Monday, January 25, 2010

Steampunk Insects

Click any image for larger view.

Click any image for larger view.

Click any image for larger view.

STEAMPUNK—THE ARTISTIC REVOLUTION THAT LOOKS BACKWARDS FOR TECHNOLOGICAL INSPIRATION, is the inspiration for these robot-like insects by artist Mike Libby. Mike buys actual real (but non-endangered) insects from Africa, China, New Guinea, Brazil and other parts of the world, then fits them with mechanical “engines” from harvested antique pocket watches, parts from old sewing machines and typewriters, sprockets and other mechanical paraphernalia. What he ends up with are wonderful, science-fiction like robotic insects ready for any James Cameron movie, beautifully encased in shadowboxes or glass domes.

Libby says about his work “Robot-like insects and insect-like robots are the stuff of science fiction and science fact.

“In science fiction, insects are frequently featured as robotic critters. Either scurrying across the galaxy as invading aliens or as robo-bug counterparts to a futuristic human race. There are countless examples in TV, movies, video games, comic books, even on rock and roll album covers, (see Journey’s “Escape” circa 1981,). From Cronos to The Golden Compass, the insect/robot archetype has been used, re-used and re-imagined countless times.

“In reality, engineers look to insect movement, wing design and other characteristics for inspiration of new technology. Some of the most advanced "aircraft" is no bigger, or heavier, than a dragonfly, and NASA scientists are making big steps in walking rovers and “swarm theory” probes for planetary exploration. Man-made technology is finding that the most maneuverable and efficient design features really does come from nature.
Ironically and often, this technology closely resembles the musings of science fiction.

“This hybridization of insects and technology from both fields, is where Insect Lab borrows from. Insect Lab celebrates these correspondences and contradictions. The work does not intend to function, but playfully and slyly insists that it possibly could.”

Learn more here.

1 comment:

Maureen said...

Was loving this until I saw the spider.

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