“I’m coming for all of you!” – Mary McDonnell talks about science fiction, Laura Roslin’s eyeglasses, and the other Earth
Last week, I had the opportunity to interview one of my favorite artists, Mary McDonnell. The complete text of that interview is up at the Galactica Sitrep:
Me: In popular culture, we always imagine that the robots will want to exterminate us. There’s a real fear that as soon as machines become intelligent, they become a threat to us. Why do you think people have that knee-jerk reaction?
Mary: Because I think that we’re still trying to struggle beyond fear-based culture. I don’t think we’re quite there yet, but I do think we’re on the brink of it. A lot of what I learned on Battlestar, both through playing Laura Roslin and through being brought out into the culture a bit, through conventions and things like the World Science Festival, is that people are on the brink of giving up their fear. And if we can give up our fear, then the whole concept of the Other as alien starts to dissipate a bit. And if we’re willing to risk perhaps giving up our fear of death at the core of all of this, and we start to see life as an ongoing process, that our nominal death is just a little part of the ongoing process, then we won’t perhaps continue to project, culturally, artificial intelligence as coming to kill us, or something we have to eliminate at our first glance. I think that’s part of where we grew a little bit inBattlestar – the absorption of the alien as the self, rather than the Other or the enemy.
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