Monday, March 26, 2007

Clockwork insects

I just found these while clicking around, and can't believe how marvelous (in the original sense) they are. Talk about magical realism!

Here's what Mike Libby, the creator, says:

"One day I found a dead intact beetle. I then located an old wristwatch, thinking of how the beetle also operated and looked like a little mechanical device and so decided to combine the two. After some time dissecting the beetle and outfitting it with watch parts and gears, I had a convincing little cybernetic sculpture. I soon made many more with other found insects and have been exploring and developing the theme ever since."
(quote courtesy of

You can buy his creations on his Insect Lab website, which is beautifully laid out to display his spiders, butterflies, cicadas, dragonflies, beetles, bees and wasps, all with their own bit of mechanical elaboration.

While we're on bugs, check out this amazing short movie by Wladyslaw Starewicz, made in 1912. Starewicz was a Pole living in Russia who made several stop-action animations, but this is his best, proving that in many places animation has a long history of not being for kids.

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