David Cranmer is Nervous Squirrel – Installations

March 10, 2015
by Tim Rabjohns

    [youtube http://youtu.be/9E5yb9Mpx28 w=573&h=322]

    Mostly we stick to all things virtual on dotmogo, but sometimes there are people and ideas in the real world that can capture our imagination.  David Cranmer is the archetypal eccentric British inventor – a modern day Caractacus Potts who creates mechanical sculptures and analogue music devices under the name Nervous SquirrelNervous Squirrel on dotmogo

    There is some much that is strange and wonderful in his back catalogue it’s difficult to summarise it – so I will put forward a couple of examples and let you wander through the caverns of his imagination by going through his website.

    To whet your appetite how about the Furby Gurdy?  A version of a hurdy gurdy (ancient folk instrument) mixed with those electronic Furby toys inspired from the film Gremlins, which gradually learn more English the longer you have them.  As a further twist he has managed to mess with their speech circuits so they speak utter gibberish at the flick of a switch – see video above.  Each project has ample sketches and notes on how they came about.  You can see the Furby Gurdy making of page here
    So apart from the Banana Machine, the Gnome Machine, the Owl ThereminBrian the Penguin, the Calculator Orrery and The Rave Kestrel there is the giant sized robotic crow called Stakcgrox.  David briefly mentions the inspiration for this: “There had been a recent story on the news about the Pope releasing two doves from a balcony, which went on to be attacked by a crow and a seagull. I love how the symbolic gesture went wrong and turned into an unintentionally dark metaphor of doom – it has been my favourite story this year. As a tribute to the crow I decided to make a giant mechanical version.

    You also get some footage of the Rave Kestrel at the end of this as a bonus! I love it.
    [youtube http://youtu.be/ZG48wDekTOA w=573&h=322]

    His latest commission was by Toyota for Red Nose Day 2015 –  various sensors, motors, speakers and water jets were used to create a ticklish car….

    If you have any ideas for mechanical sculptures I’d love to hear them…

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