Ever dreamed of being eaten by a giant mechanical spider?

  • Arriving at Derby Square in Liverpool on 6 September 2008. Image credit: La Machine/Photo by Matthew Andrews
  • Arriving at Derby Square in Liverpool on 6 September 2008. Image credit: La Machine/Photo by Matthew Andrews
  • Preparing to set off for their finale on 7 September 2008. Image credit: La Machine/Photo by Matthew Andrews
  • Preparing to set off for their finale on 7 September 2008. Image credit: La Machine/Photo by Matthew Andrews
  • Royal de Luxe The Sultan"â„¢s Elephant. Produced by Artichoke in London, May 2006. Image credit: Sophie Laslett, courtesy Arts Council England
  • Royal de Luxe The Sultan"â„¢s Elephant. Produced by Artichoke in London, May 2006. Image credit: Sophie Laslett, courtesy Arts Council England
  • Royal de Luxe The Sultan"â„¢s Elephant. Produced by Artichoke in London, May 2006. Image credit: Sophie Laslett, courtesy Arts Council England
  • Royal de Luxe The Sultan"â„¢s Elephant. Produced by Artichoke in London, May 2006. Image credit: Sophie Laslett, courtesy Arts Council England
  • Image credit: Sophie Laslett
  • Image credit: Sophie Laslett
  • Image credit: Sophie Laslett
  • Image credit: Sophie Laslett
Date:4 October 2009 Tags:,

This is normal for humans as well as sentient robots. In fact, I regularly dream about sliding down the gullet of a whale-sized arachnid, kicking and screaming as I go. This probably explains why I become agitated whenever I look at pictures of giant mechanical spiders invading cities and eating hundreds of innocent people and small dogs, which I do quite often (become agitated, I mean… not eat small dogs).

Take a look at the chick in this photograph. Yes, it’s a female spider, and as we all know, female spiders are inclined to eat their male companions immediately after having it off with them. (Yes, I also dream about this happening to me, but only after a bout of spectacularly inappropriate coitus.) Her name is , and she was built last year by La Machine, a loose-knit collaboration of artists, designers, fabricators and technicians who specialise in the creation of extraordinary theatrical machines and permanent installations.

In September 2008, commuters arrived at Liverpool’s Lime Street station to find a gigantic mechanical spider – apparently about to enter a state of hibernation or something – clinging to a derelict building. A group of French specialist researchers announced that they had been observing the 13 m-high creature for weeks and were concerned lest it lay a whole bunch of eggs and effectively destroy the city. The spider duly woke up, and the crowd went wild (as crowds tend to do).

It was an amazing performance, as was a later exhibition in Yokohama, Japan (check out the video).

According to their Web site, La Machine has built many other large-scale theatrical machines over the years, including a series of giants for Royal de Luxe. Over a period of 15 years, from 1991 to 2006, they designed and created a host of huge performing creatures – including a rhino and a huge elephant – that walked the streets of European cities.

C’mon, … try to eat me. I dare you.
– Buzz

Related content:
* To watch the video of at the exhibition in Yokohama, Japan, |click here|.

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