Mechanical spiders help Japan port mark anniversary AFP: April 22, 2009 –AFP…Steered by humans perched high on their heads, the mechanical arachnids — brainchild of French performance art group La Machine — made their debut last weekend on the Yokohama waterfront, accompanied by piano music and clouds of steam blowing from their fanged mouths.
Yokohama, south of Tokyo, invited La Machine to join celebrations for the 150th anniversary of the port's re-opening to the world in 1859.
It helped end Japan's two centuries of self-imposed isolation and Yokohama has since become a major gateway to the world.
La Machine's art director Francois Delaroziere said the spider image fits well with the history of the port.
“The spider is a representation of the foreigner. She arouses phobias,” he told AFP. “Our idea is to provoke emotions among the spectators: the spider is a repulsive animal, but it's also a creature that weaves ties.”…more...