Machines of the Isle of Nantes                                                                       Les Machines de l’île

Robot Caterpillar Machine

In a long forgotten shipyard on the Island of Nantes, two artists ( Pierre Orefice and François Delarozière) began to construct an alternate world– a world inspired by Jules Verne and Leonardo da Vinci. This faux caterpillar, part of their latest creation “the Heron Tree,” seeks not only to emulate the smooth, natural movements of its living counterpart but to do so while also clearly demonstrating the methods to this movement– much like some early studies by De Vinci in which he sought to study a natural mechanism by recreating it as a standalone machine (The the right, a sketch of his “articulated wing” study). This uncomfortable juxtaposition of “natural” movement with understandable mechanical working touch on a prejudice we have as humans.  With our biological bias we tent to be demystified by systems which are created by us, and astounded by even the most simple biological systems– however in the Isle of Nantes these two collide, leaving its viewer perplexed and uneasy at the prospect of a world populated by artificial creatures.

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