Steam Punk Beetles
May 23, 2009 10:44 PM   Subscribe

Insect Lab -- is real insects remodeled to add clockwork, as if they were from the age of steam and brass. For instance, a Rhino beetle, a Tarantula, a dragon fly, and a mantis. NOT SAFE FOR PEOPLE WITH INSECT PHOBIAS!!!
posted by Chocolate Pickle (24 comments total) 10 users marked this as a favorite
Boing Boing post about steampunk insects in 10... 9...
posted by chorltonmeateater at 11:55 PM on May 23, 2009

I remember back in the 7th or 8th grade we were required to do insect collections. We had to go out and buy the super-fine insect mounting pins from the University Book Store. This was in Montana, which has a climate cold enough to support only a limited variety of insects. But we did our best, and after several weeks we had numerous insects mounted and categorized by order.

My friend Dave and I realize that sometimes these specimens dry out, and break apart at the segments. This being the mid 1970's, cyanoacrylate adhesives were becoming popular, and we realized we could often repair damaged specimens with a judiciously small dab of superglue.

But being the age we were, we thought "why stop there, why not create completely novel specimens using the same technique?" Using a trusty X-ACTO knife and a tube of Crazy-glue, we created several hodgepodge specimens we labeled as "UFI" or Unidentified Flying Insects.

Sadly, our teacher knew that Dave and I were cohorts, and when we simultaneously showed up with a number of "UFIs", we were busted...

So I must salute the steampunk spirit I see with these expensive art pieces: The parts of the artist's brains that stayed 13 years old are alive and well!
posted by Tube at 12:01 AM on May 24, 2009 [8 favorites]

Tube, that teacher of yours should have given you a pat on the back for having such active imaginations.
posted by metagnathous at 12:30 AM on May 24, 2009 [2 favorites]

Jesus, the prices.. even for just prints.
posted by Malice at 1:15 AM on May 24, 2009

Mrs Coulter would have a field day.
posted by inire at 3:13 AM on May 24, 2009

With Propeller!
posted by louche mustachio at 4:43 AM on May 24, 2009 [1 favorite]

Don't we have a ban on Steampunk? I thought we agreed with Cory that we wouldn't do Steampunk, or spend most days talking about his damned books, and he wouldn't post anything intelligent..... mods, could you check the language on that agreement?

That said, as neat as those are, does anyone besides me feel that killing even an insect and calling it "art" is a bit, ah, wrong? I didn't see any disclaimers that any of the insects (other than the first one he did) wasn't killed for the sake of his pocketbook.
posted by HuronBob at 5:01 AM on May 24, 2009 [1 favorite]

Hmm, I am torn between thinking these are pretty awesome-looking and agreeing with HuronBob that killing stuff for kicks is kind of icky.
I had to do an insect collection for a class once. For a hippie-ish, vegetarian high schooler this was a source of some psychic discomfort. It was a damn pretty collection though - I wish I still had it.
posted by naoko at 6:55 AM on May 24, 2009

does anyone besides me feel that killing even an insect and calling it "art" is a bit, ah, wrong?

wtf, you dirty chitin lover! Every single centipede could DIAF right now and I wouldn't care until it had some dramatic, unforeseen effect on the global ecosystem
posted by adamdschneider at 7:15 AM on May 24, 2009

DIAF? Die in a fire?
posted by nosila at 8:29 AM on May 24, 2009

Nice use of the "IForOneWelcome" tag.

Noticeably missing are the "Steampunk" and "ThinPost" tags.
posted by paisley henosis at 8:31 AM on May 24, 2009

DIAF? Die in a fire?

posted by adamdschneider at 8:58 AM on May 24, 2009

Some of those objets d'art look suspiciously like the artist took a dead bug and dumped a pile of gears on it.

...I've been steampunk'd again, haven't I?
posted by Glee at 9:43 AM on May 24, 2009 [2 favorites]

Beautiful. Although I would love to see steampunk Beatles.
posted by HumanComplex at 9:51 AM on May 24, 2009

Is this not a double? I could swear I've seen it on the blue before, but I can't find it....
posted by kaseijin at 11:44 AM on May 24, 2009

Not to get all Name-dropFilter, but Michael Libby is a close friend of mine from art school, and one of the most naturally talented people I know. It's a treat to see him getting some attention on MeFi.
posted by ducky l'orange at 12:31 PM on May 24, 2009

Some of those objets d'art look suspiciously like the artist took a dead bug and dumped a pile of gears on it.

Were they made by the art director for Predator 2?

"1997 is way in the future, when guns will have a bunch of useless extra crap glued onto them!"
posted by Sys Rq at 1:29 PM on May 24, 2009

I agree, HuronBob - these remind me of the "cool stuff made of bacon!" trend. It seems like treating life very frivolously. But I own leather and eat meat, so the uneasy feelings this site brings about in me are perhaps hypocritical.
posted by Solon and Thanks at 1:52 PM on May 24, 2009

This is absolutely amazing.
posted by FusiveResonance at 6:42 PM on May 24, 2009

Um . . . do these DO anything? What with the gears and all, they should walk around. Or at least open their elytra. Or tell time. Or something.

Disappointing. If the artist is going to off these beautiful real bugs, he needs to at least make his clockwork, you know, WORK.

Man, if only I was mechanically inclined . . .
posted by miss patrish at 7:42 PM on May 24, 2009

I dunno, the gears seem so random, with no adherence (no pun intended) to functionality. "Oh, here's a joint, we'll glue a gear on!" Try thinking about how the gears would make the insect move and your eyes sort of cross.
posted by bettafish at 2:32 AM on May 25, 2009

Cory Doctorow has ruined this type of stuff for me. I have long stopped reading his blog but the cloying scent lingers. I really want to punch him in the dick.
posted by Ratio at 10:01 AM on May 25, 2009

Y'know, to some of us Cory Doctorow is at most an occasionally mildly interesting writer who pretty much vanishes in an ocean of other occasionally mildly interesting writers. The only reason his name is particularly familiar to me is because of the way people who claim to want to not hear about him anymore keep bringing him up all the time on any pretext or none at all. It's just bizarre and I can't help thinking that his agent couldn't ask for more than you.
posted by George_Spiggott at 11:05 AM on May 25, 2009 [2 favorites]

Hate is just the flipside of love. It's equally emotional, equally strong. Ratio has strong feelings for Cory, and sometimes they overwhelm him and he needs to share. Take pity on the starstruck youth, George, take pity!
posted by five fresh fish at 9:07 PM on May 25, 2009

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