If You Love Animals, This Device Will Horrify You
In life, Orville was artist Bart Jansen's pet cat. In death, he was his claim to fame. And now, three years after unveiling the "Orvillecopter," Jansen is working on a new Frankensteinian creation: the "Mancopter."
Jansen first prompted "global outrage," as the Los Angeles Times called it, in 2012, when he turned his pet cat Orville, named after one of the famous Wright brothers, into a functioning drone.
Orville's body spent about 6 months in a freezer while Jansen searched for a willing drone engineer. Once he found his guy, Arjen Beltman, they divvied up the work. Jansen made the puppet out of his former pet and Beltman did the electronics.
Placing one plastic propellor on each of Orville's taxidermied paws was certainly a morbid way to mourn a pet cat who, like millions of animals each week, lost his life after being struck by a car.
Since the "Orvillecopter," Jansen has continued to produce more animal-vehicle hybrids such as the "Ratcopter," the "Sharkjet" and even the "Ostrichcopter," made from the body of an ostrich who had died at a nearby zoo. In fact, the entire body of work from Jansen and Beltman's "Copter Company" is based around taxidermied animals and experiments with flight technology.
Recently, Jansen revealed his plans for the "Mancopter" in an interview with Business Insider.
"Mancopter" isn't made from a taxidermied human as the name might suggest. Instead, the "man" in "Mancopter" refers to the vehicle's potential passenger, according to the interview.
"A cow could fit a person," Jansen explains. "So a cow is one of the options ... Or any other animal we can lay our hands on that fits a person."
It's impossible to say how Orville or any of the other animals would've felt about being stuffed, mounted and repurposed into functioning vehicles in death.
As odd as it may seem, Jansen claims that the work from his "Copter Company" stems from a place of love. He writes on his website that the original device pays "tribute to [Orville's] lost life by giving him a new one."
But for those who know what horrors living animals go through every day in the name of art or entertainment, there is a particularly visceral reaction to witnessing such insensitivity to even a dead animal's body being used in such a way.