While googling about mechanical inventions like Mark Galt’s walking mechanical humans, I happened upon this lovely 1890 piece of restored gears and springs, with the original bellows: a singing bird mechanism. From Colossal:
Singing bird boxes were extremely popular in Europe starting from the 18th century, first as a toy for a privileged few and then later as a more affordable item. Watch this video from The British Clockmaker Ray Bates to see how the bird fit in with the box’s innerworkings:
And below, HD video of a singing bird box made by Jaquet-Droz & Leschot, Switzerland circa 1785:
“If the truth is hard to swallow, it’s not my fault. Anyhow, after what you’re already been through, you ought to be able to hear me out! We take off into the cosmos, ready for anything: for solitude, for hardship, for exhaustion, death. Modesty forbids us to say so, but there are times when we think pretty well of ourselves. And yet, if we examine it more closely, our enthusiasm turns out to be all sham.
We don’t want to conquer the cosmos, we simply want to extend the boundaries of the Earth to the frontiers of the cosmos. For us, such and such a planet is as arid as the Sahara, another as frozen as the North Pole, yet another as lush as the Amazon basin. We are humanitarian and chivalrous; we don’t want to enslave other races, we simply want to bequeath them our values and take over their heritage in exchange.
We think of ourselves as the Knights of Holy Contact. This is another lie. We are only seeking Man. We have no need of other worlds. We need mirrors. We don’t know what to do with other worlds. A single world, our own, suffices us; but we can’t accept it for what it is. We are searching for an ideal image of our own world: we go in quest of a planet, of a civilization superior to our own, developed on the basis of a prototype of our primeval past.
At the same time there is something inside us which we don’t like to face up to, from which we try to protect ourselves, but which nevertheless remains, since we don’t leave Earth in a state of primal innocence. We arrive here as we are in reality, and when the page is turned and that reality is revealed to us—that part of our reality which we would prefer to pass over in silence—then we don’t like it anymore.”
by Nicola Samori
mixed techniques on paper applied to canvas, 2007
Franke: Rotationen, Projection, 1970-71