MMMmm. Friday Props always tastes better when battered, fried and served on a stick.
Welcome, welcome. Please, come inside and have a seat. Mind the carpet. It’s vintage 70’s shag and I had it fluffed only yesterday to match the stereo speakers. Before we begin Friday Props, let me thank you for coming. It is always a joy to have you visit. Now, put on your slippers, relax, and we shall begin.
The digital age moves fast and the technology evolves so rapidly, it is difficult to ‘keep up’ with the trends and tools. Heck, people get paid simply to try. Looking back in to the history of computers, huge analog machines like Deep Blue mark the beginning of mechanical calculation, right? I thought so, too, until I saw this: The Antikythera Mechanism. Sponge divers found his computer, dated back to the 1st century BC , among items in a shipwreck off the Grecian island of Antikythera. Thorough analysis and investigation over the decades determined that this ‘computer’ contained at least 30 gears and calculated astronomical information relating to the position of the sun and the moon, planetary cycles and ecliptic events all relating to three different calendars. Yeah. This was no ordinary sundial. First Props goes to the many unknown investors of this computer and to the scientists who dedicate their lives to The Antikythera Mechanism Research Project.
Our second prop today is for Edouard Matinet, a French sculptor and ‘virtuoso insectophile’ of the art world. Of course, he doesn’t create only insects. Edouard creates a wide variety of ‘natural’ creatures out of metal bits with the same meticulous nature required to design and build The Antikythera Mechanism. One remarkable feature of his beautiful pieces; they are all screwed together. There is no solder, no welding, giving his work a sense that this is what the natural world would look like if there was no organic matter, only metal. Beetles, frogs, fish, falcons, dragonflies, and praying mantises are all part of Edouard’s world and we applaud him for his vision.
And, while on the topic of mechanical animals, I looked around and found a Japanese artist, Michihiro Matuoka, who is creating “mechanical animals” of his own. I wouldn’t characterize his work as steampunk, though there’s certainly some influence there. But he’s got this thing, and it is very cool. His website has a little more on the artist, but spend a little time looking through the photo albums on his Facebook page. Domo arigato, Mr. Matuoka. You deserve some props.