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A flying cat? Dutch artist turns dead feline into a helicopter

June 04, 2012|By Deborah Netburn
  • A flying cat helicopter by artist Bart Jansen is displayed at an Amsterdam art festival.
A flying cat helicopter by artist Bart Jansen is displayed at an Amsterdam… (Ade Johnson / EPA )

We've seen a lot of strange things on the Internet, but this dead cat turned into a remote-control flying helicopter may be the strangest yet.

The cat helicopter was conceived by Dutch artist Bart Jansen, and debuted for the public at the KunstRai ArtFair in Amsterdam that ended Sunday. Jansen calls his creation the Orvillecopter and describes it as "half-cat, half-machine."

The Orvillecopter is exactly what it looks like: A taxidermied cat with a plastic propeller attached to each paw. No animals were harmed for this project. The cat, who was conveniently named Orville, belonged to Jansen and died after he was hit by a car.

RELATED: Orvillecopter sparks global outrage

"After that he received his wings posthumously," the artist writes in a description of a YouTube video showing the Orvillecopter's first flight.

The artist says he did observe a period of mourning before turning his dead cat into a flying machine, but he clearly thinks he's done Orville a favor by giving him flight after death.

"Now he is flying with the birds," he writes. "The greatest goal a cat could ever reach!"

According to an artist's statement, Jansen's work is mostly about what happens when the race for technological progress meets human error.

"When Bart creates installations, they are mostly inventions, new machines, devices that fufill meaningless functions," the statement reads. "One condition goes: They must work."

It did take Jansen a while to get his Orvillecopter to work, as a series of YouTube videos shows. But after a few engine updates and a new speed controller, the Orvillecopter was in good flying form, as you can see from the video below.

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