September 19, 2011

Torah Kachur

The Romans perfected it, the Fox Network sensationalized it and Floridians seem to have a strange obsession with it - the battle of Man versus Beast.  Man usually wins in some rigged up event but even the toughest guy on the planet would get his assed kicked by a tiny Rhinoceros Beetle.


            Rhinoceros Beetle Science in Seconds Natalie Jeremijenko 


Part of an ongoing plethora of projects by installation artist/activist/social thinker Dr. Natalie Jeremijenko is the Rhinoceros beetle wrestling interface.  A place where you can face off with an insect to prove your manhood.  The rhinoceros beetle is the strongest species in the world - weighing it at a wee 2 grams these little guys pack, pound for pound, the most strength of any organism ever discovered.  They can carry up to 850 times their own body weight, which in human terms, would mean lifting this truckXylotrupes ulysses is, not surprisingly, native to Australia - the land of evolutionary oddities and crazy critters - and the males of the species has evolved its super strength and rhino 'horn' to wrestle for the lucky ladies.  Not so different from my usual friday night.


Dr. Jeremijenko is part philosopher, part artist and part scientist and she is making a statement.  Actually she is making many statements, her ongoing project Ooz is aiming to change the way we see our place in the world.  The Rhinoceros beetle wrestling project is just one way to show that humans are insignificant wimps in the big picture.  The interface she created to face off with a beetle takes our human strength and sizes it down as if we were the same 2 gram size of our foe across the wrestling ring.  If it's  your turn in the octagon, you climb into a exoskeleton control module and try to take the little scarab down. 


I'll cut to the chase - you'll lose.  Everytime.


There aren't any plans to make this interface a public attraction but I suggest the first one to get installed in Florida to teach those bushwhackers a thing or two of the power of nature.


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