Thursday 23 April 2009

creepy automata: The Musician by Pierre Jaquet-Droz

"The Musician is a female organ player who can play a real organ and perform other tasks that a human can do (such as breathing and following her hands with her eyes). Pierre Jaquet-Droz was a Swiss watchmaker who made over ten thousand automated machines, the most famous of which were a trio of humanoids called the Jaquet-Droz automata. These consisted of the Musician, the Drawer, and the Writer. All three performed amazing complex tasks for their time (they were built between 1768 and 1774). All three of these machines were able to be programmed to change what they were doing, making them very early precursors to modern computers."

The video of the Organ Player Automata also astoundingly opportunes us the advent or the origin of Kinetic Art. This self-operating machine and many other works of Pierre Jaquet-Droz, such as; provide me with deep reflective references of contemporary industrial hierarchies like mechatronics, robotics, science, and software or programing, simultaneously documenting a moving toy !

The full video (in French or English, NTSC or PAL) is available here. Alternatively you may prefer to have a go at building a mechanical toy yourself.
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