Tipu’s Tiger

Life size 18th century automaton of tiger eating European man from the Victoria and Albert Museum Life size 18th century automaton of tiger eating European man from the Victoria and Albert Museum (detail of face) Life size 18th century automaton of tiger eating European man from the Victoria and Albert Museum (detail of inner workings)Tipu’s (or Tippoo’s) Tiger is a life-sized wooden mechanical organ made around 1793, depicting a tiger mauling a man in European clothing. When the crank is turned, a hidden mechanism causes the man’s arm to goes up and down, and plays his wails of agony along the growls of the tiger. Under a flap on the tiger’s body there is also a small pipe organ, which can play 18 notes. Continue reading

Katzenklavier: The Cat-Piano

Illustration of a cat piano, from La Nature (1883)

Illustration of a cat-organ, from La Nature (1883). Image via Messy Beast.

When I was a kid, my weird and wonderful mother used to amuse us by picking up the cat and pretending to play it like a bagpipe, using its tail as a mouthpiece. Her improvised feline instrument has, sadly, been upstaged by my discovery of the Katzenklavier, a Cat-Piano (also known as a cat organ) dreamed up in the 16th century.  Continue reading

Horses, balloons, bunnies and smoke: Surreal photographs by Andrea Galvani

Photograph by Andrea Galvani of black horse with head covered by black balloons.

Andrea Galvani, ‘Death of an image #9′, 2006. C-print on aluminum dibond, 108 x 146 cm. Collection AGI, MART Museum, Italy.

Surreal photo by Andrea Galvan of white horse with white balloons covering head.

Andrea Galvani, ‘Death of an image #5′, 2005. C-print mounted on aluminum dibond, 108 x 146 cm. Collection AGI, MART Museum, Italy.

Photography by Andrea Galvani of a man standing in snow with upper half consumed by grey smoke.

Andrea Galvani, ‘The Intelligence of Evil #5′, 2007.

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