Friday, July 09, 2010


It's technology, it's art, it's...magic!

Soon, the Menagerie will be set lose in the UK. This fantastic creation was originally commissioned by the city of Senart outside of Paris in 2008, and has since been seen in other places such as Spain. This summer, Britain will be the lucky recipients of this chance at pure fantasy and fun!

Like the Sultan's Elephant, and La Princesse before - this amazing piece was designed by artist-cum-engineer François Delarozière and his company La Machine. Artichoke, the company sponsoring this treat in the UK, describes Delarozière as "...a modern-day Michangelo", and it's not such a stretch to say so.

He works in the large and the small, bringing wood, metal, fur, glass, and paint to life in ways that delight the eye and feed the soul. That my friends, is why art is the stuff of life, and should NOT be considered optional in educational curriculum, or in political budget funding! Life, without art, is empty...
“To build a moving object is to create a living architecture.

Movement is what makes life. In a machine, the frame is the skeleton, the jacks, pulleys and gear wheels are the muscles, and the wood trim is the skin.

It is not a question of copying or imitating nature but rather a matter of drawing inspiration from it, a matter of using its forms, tensions and movement to imagine, to create a language which will be based on the relation between the machine and the animal. But this is a complex, delicate language. The ways and means that are used so as to create a movement are both as important.

The operators’ presence, child or adult users in this case, strengthens even more this idea of life and gives an additional meaning to the machine’s movement. As a result, we have a couple made of the machine and the operator.

The machine becomes an actor and the operator plays this instrument.”

François Delarozière / La machine

“He creates machines, machines which are both beautiful and crazy, giant animals, strange contraptions which play music, boats which sail across the land, birds from where you can have a drink in a daydream, a world which is both real and dreamlike and which invades cities for beautiful, moving and crazy celebrations.”


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