Link - article by Avi Abrams

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French city of Nantes recently became host to extremely strange and fascinating sculptural display: "Les Machines de l'Ile Nantes", designed by François Delarozière and Pierre Orefice.

Claude Joannis has a few photographs that'll give you some idea about how extraordinary cool this exhibition is (the first on my list of museums to visit, if possible!)
(all images by permission of respective owners, click to enlarge)

(images credit: Claude Joannis)

The Mechanical Manta-Ray, The Squid, the Deep Sea Monster, all seem to come to life straight from Jules Verne' science adventure books:

Note the girl inside the maw of this monster - every "animal machine" is also a moving vehicle:

Constructed on the site of the former city dockyards, these steel and wood animal machines consist of the innumerable moving parts, hydraulics, gear wheels - all skillfully combined to make up various obscure sea creatures, a huge elephant, birds and prehistoric monsters... here is a mysterious crane nest:

The Squid seems genuinely surprised to end up on display in the 21st century:

(images credit: Claude Joannis)

Le Grand Elephant

Most impressive creation on display is the 11-meter high "mechanical" elephant, which weighs more than 40 tons:

(images credit: Claude Joannis)

(image credit: Stefan)

The Night in the Museum

The genuine look and feel of the creepy museum installation truly comes to life when the dark descends:

(images credit: Claude Joannis)

Sultan's of India Remarkable Journey

Some of the artists responsible for this display are also creators of the similarly bizarre theatrical show "The Sultan's Elephant", which took place in London in 2005 and then traveled across the country.

First the mysterious time capsule/spaceship arrives:

(images credit: Nikki Tysoe)

The Giant Sultan's Elephant appears, spraying the screaming crowds with water:

(images credit: Nikki Tysoe)

Also part of the show, the adjacent cars were routinely SEWN together with a giant needle (!):

(images credit: Nikki Tysoe)

Mechanical Elephants FTW

There was a series of concepts in Modern Mechanics magazine with the similarly weird "walking" modes of transportation - for fun, and for the military:

in 1933 the horse of steel runs across fields:

and later in 1962: Army crossing the mountain terrain on mechanical elephants:

(images credit: Modern Mechanix, more info)

Something about giant walking machines... Even the Emperor supplied his Stormtroopers with AT-ATs. Such machines are definitely in our future. It's only a matter of time, till we'll be mounting a mechanical steed to go riding into the sunset to pick up groceries.





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Blogger Dan said...

That last one shows proposed moon vehicles.

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Those walker-robots look similar to proposed Mars robots for transport, they have legs and small wheels at the end of the legs. They can also attach simple tools to the wheels..

Blogger John David said...

Very cool. Have you seen the work of Theo Jansen? This reminded me of his kinetic sculptures. http://tinyurl.com/3xafep

Blogger Dr Chewbacca said...

More photos of the Machines available here

Anonymous Anonymous said...

oh, it's grandiose mechanisms, thank u!

Anonymous Chris at TV on the Web said...

That looks like one amazing show. I take it the elephant doesn't actually "walk" right? That would be pretty amazing. The sewn cars is pretty awesome as well.

Blogger Unknown said...

there are some cool walking machines designed by boston dynamics that have actually been built

Anonymous Irina said...

Interesting blog you have so many wonderful items will go ...


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