Inside the Mind of Werner Herzog, Luddite Master of the Internet

Jason Tanz in Wired:

ScreenHunter_2148 Aug. 11 16.15Werner Herzog gazes solemnly at the metal exoskeleton. The set of robotic arms lies slumped in a laboratory on the UCLA campus, surrounded by empty cardboard boxes and abandoned shelving units.

Unceremoniously named Exoskeleton Prototype 3, the device is designed to serve as a “human amplifier,” a tool that responds to neural impulses in a pilot’s skin to reinforce natural arm movements. Herzog nods at the machinery before a guide moves him along, continuing an impromptu tour of the engineering department. It’s hard to tell if he’s impressed. The exoskeleton is the kind of invention that promises a magnificent cyborg future, a time when humans will interact with machines as seamlessly as they use their own limbs; but here, under the unforgiving fluorescent lights, it already looks like a relic, an artifact tossed into a future civilization’s storage unit and forgotten.

Herzog himself requires no amplification. The swashbuckling German director has made more than 60 feature films and documentaries over the past half-century, and his extreme commitment to his art has made him one of the most beloved—and mythologized—figures in independent cinema.

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