Part of a series of images from the liquid metal, carbo-plastic, hydrogel and permacrete core of visual creators on the Internet. Images that stir my senses and evoke plots and concepts for what I’d like to see (or fear) in the future.
There is something eternally fascinating about simulacra of the human form. In making such things, it’s as if we’re doing something far more instinctual than narcissistic, from a species point of view: apes looking back at themselves without the need of a surface of polished metal and glass.
This fascination multiplies exponentially when you add movement – even the illusion of movement through hand-cranked winding mechanisms.
Are we dancing foolishly in the footsteps of the God(s) that forged us through the combined sciences of maths and chemistry?
The art of automata dates back centuries and it’s a delight to see some contemporary creations that still evoke that sense of wonder. The boy (bot) in the box. The machine in Man (Woman).
Levi van Veluw has achieved this through this wooden piece powered by 100 gears. The small cubes rotate around the human figure. Leaving us to wonder: is it a prison? Or a product of the figure – sat within intense concentration, weaving new structures into the fluid matter of reality that surrounds them?
Going forward. Artisans are stepping away from metals and woods to focus on creations using polymers of sugar and phosphates bolted onto thymine, cytosine, guanine and adenine, chopping, splicing, inserting, and transcoding into proteins to make ever more complex, elaborate constructs. And perhaps one day, they will forge the intelligence that allows those constructs to detach the winding mechanism and walk – crawl – slither or dance away from their master’s hand with an insolent swagger of independence.
Intelligence. The magnum opus of the master craftsman.
I highly recommend you visit the official website of Levi van Veluw (tagged here to view more images of the automata) and review his other body of work. The man has a marvellously medieval mind.