Insect Lab art

Borrowing from science fiction and fact, Insect Lab customizes real insect specimens with antique watch parts and other technological components.

Given that these pieces go for a couple grand, this seems yet another grand scheme to part the wealthy from their money. But I must admit, it’s a clever parody of the human assumption that “insects are machines”–and not very complex ones at that.

DK Images

The more I study insects and their kin, the more I realize this is far from the truth. Beneath all the fussy mechanics you see on the left is a remarkable organism that, when it was alive, demonstrated some fascinating inner workings.  Here’s a model of the respiratory system (right). Imagine it working in a living insect!

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