I have finally given into the temptation, Da Vinci Automata is now on the Facebook under the current alias (what else Da Vinci Automata). I have also created a Clock group on the Facebook. Here’s the link to the profile and a link to the group. Add me if you get a chance. It can be a good place to get all the Clockpunkers together. Keep clocking!
Published January 28, 2008
Automata , Clockpunk , Comic , Media
Tags: Clockpunk, da vinci automata, japan, japanese, robot, robot carnival, robots
Robot Carnival is a Japanese Anime anthology with many elements of Clockpunk. Especially the following short (excerpted from Wikipedia is of much relevance to Clockpunk.
Presence: Directed by Yasuomi Umetsu. This segment (featuring dialogue) tells the story of a man who has an obsession with a robot girl he has been secretly constructing in an attempt to compensate for the lack of any close relationship with his wife and family. The setting seems to be British and of the early twentieth century, but also suggests another planet or a future which has attempted to re-establish a former social structure. When the robot takes on a personality of her own, far beyond what the man had programmed, he smashes her in a fit of panic, and leaves his secret laboratory for what he believes is the last time. Twenty years later, the man has a vision of his robot appearing before him, but then blowing up before he can take her hand. He returns to his shed to find the robot still sitting smashed in a corner, just as she had been left years earlier. Another twenty years elapse, and the robot appears again before the man. This time, he takes her hand and walks into the distance with her, before vanishing in front of his shocked wife.
The folks over at Cabinet of Wonders did a post on David C. Roy’s Kinetic Sculptures some time ago. It has been in my drafts list for quite some time now. Here is the description of David Roy’s work from the Cabinet of wonders:
Mr. Roy, who has a degree in physics and engineering, says that the artistic influence of his wife, and later, an interest in optical patterns, led him to the designs he produces today. The names of his sculptures, words such as Radiance, Illusion, Spectrum, and Harmony seem to imply a dual interest in physics and metaphysics, or at least meditation, on Mr. Roy’s part.
Interestingly, I thought these objects were small, either hand-held or head-sized; but if you look at Mr. Roy’s About the Artist page, you will see that they are actually quite large, some of them about the size of large wagon wheels.
It’s nice to see an elegant combination of craftsmanship and mechanical works; and combined, they produce a contemplative and, in some cases, satisfyingly clockpunk result.
Clockpunk indeed! Interestingly the sculptures are designed in Adobe Illustrator. A great combination of the new and the old. The moving parts create quite an interesting effect, the price tag is kind of hefty but one can easily see why. If there will be a clockpunk based mystery novella or a tv series, I am sure we will see something similar to David Roy’s sculptures.
Its been a while since I last posted something, it was an extraordinary busy semester. Hopefully I will be able to post somewhat regularly at least until the new semester starts. I recently found this site about 18th-19th century Automata. Be sure to check out their recordings of music automata, recreations of 18th century music playing automatas. Here is an excerpt which captures the spirit of the age and also the spirit of clockpunk to some extent.
The genuine automatons were born in the middle of the Age of Enlightenment, thanks to the art of watchmaking. This period, which was dominated by scientific spirit, and more precisely, by the biomechanical conception of the human being, corresponds to the birth of numerous artificial creatures, which were intended to be exact replicas or copies of nature. Androids and mechanical animals were thus manufactured by watchmaking technicians who were very interested in medicine and natural sciences. They did not aim at entertaining but rather at contributing to the progress of science. In that view, they surrounded themselves with doctors and surgeons to elaborate the different artificial organs.
Here is the URL: http://www.automates-anciens.com/english_version/
Anyways Happy Holidays, Eid Mubarak, Merry Christmas, Greetings on Kwanza.
Cabaret Mechanical Theatre is a collection of (humorous) contemporary automata. The site has a bunch of interesting things e.g., they also seem to hold competition for building automatas for school kids. Many of their automatas are part of a traveling exhibition in Britain, while others are at Marvin’s Marvelous Mechanical Museum in Detroit, USA. Be sure to check out their virtual exhibition section which gives some ideas about their automatas. Coincidently these folks also have a book on making automatas titled Cabaret Mechanical Movement which can be bought from their website. And you can also buy a whole bunch of automatas from the site also.
Keep an eye on the news section of their site for their future exhibitions.
Previously I mentioned Tayfun Uslu’s Master’s thesis where he mentioned this blog. Here are the relevant excerpt from Tayfun Uslu’s Master’s Project Thesis, Fundamentals of the Network Neutrality Debates, where he uses DaVinci Automata as an example of autonomy in network information economy.
Davinci Automata* blog is an example of how the Networked Information economy increases individuals’ autonomy. Davinci Automata is a blog on he Clockpunk genre of Science Fiction. It is designed for a segment of the population that is interested in this genre; thus it makes diverse information available to individuals. The owner has the open source tools to customize he blog as he wishes. The readers get turned into users by leaving comments or even submitting their work to be posted in this blog.
(Image Source: Little Clock Shop)
Great news for Clockpunkers! This blog, Da Vinci Automata, was mentioned in a master’s thesis on network neutrality by Tayfun Uslu. A link to one of his video presentation is given below. The presentation “focuses on the fundamentals of the Network Neutrality debates. The subject requires the analysis of historical, social, technological, economical and policy related developments.”