A new one-off piece by Paul Spooner.
The fifth iteration of the “Suddenly it’s Now” series; this one is a robot holding a human-faced bug in its hand. There are three main mechanisms: A bellows in the base sends puffs of air to a smaller bellows forming the mouth parts of the robot. A cam and follower control the driving bellows, timing it to approximate the movements of a mouth uttering the words “Suddenly it’s now”. Another cam raises a section of a cylinder in the robot’s breast aperture, gradually revealing the same words. On the common camshaft is a stridulating mechanism comprising a serrated disc of hard plastic rubbing against a brass tongue. The serrations coincide with the opening and closing of the mouth and the appearance of the words. On its own this device makes an unintelligible rasping sound but in combination with the others it’s very likely that the onlooker hears a robot saying “Suddenly etc.”
The bug was an afterthought. It took two days to make. When the machine is operated the bug’s legs quiver. You can buy
similar objects, usually encased in a walnut-like box, for a few coppers. Many of the cheap ones work better than this artist/ designer version. On the other hand, they don’t come with this label attached- which could be a life-saver in a Doomsday scenario.
Label reads: The way things are going, it’s likely that the daily running of human affairs will soon be taken over by mechanical entities. We once hoped that we might survive as brains floating in jars, tended by obedient, well-trained robots. Now we understand that the future dominant species will be some sort of cockroach. Given recent scientific discoveries, it would be prudent to ally ourselves with our insect friends; combining genetically their survival skills with our capacity for thinking outside the box.
Height 380mm x Width 150mm x Depth 150mm
Made from reclaimed architect’s drawing board, lime wood, leather, brass, plastic and stainless steel.