Aluminum castings of ant-nests

How would you like it if some giant came and did that to your home?

2 Likes

Insect lives don’t really count for much. They’re cheap and short and plentiful, and it doesn’t take all that much to feel justified ending them. Especially for things like fire ants, which are after all harmful invasives.

Yet I look at these things with their bubbles at the top, and can see they must have been brood chambers, where the young lay sleeping dreamlessly in their cocoons until they were extinguished with all their kin in a burning flood. It’s interesting, but worthwhile or not, it just…kind of hurts to view.

But then @antdude and @vermes82 and I are named after bugs and the like, so there’s that.

5 Likes

Just out of interest, what volume of molten aluminium would the aliens need to cast the London Underground?

3 Likes

That would qualify as extreme porn and not be allowed in the UK.

3 Likes

I’m not saying “do it during rush hour next Thursday”, I’m just asking “do we have enough metal for a pilot study on the Circle line?” and “which is the best metal for casting human transportation systems?” Do we have enough aluminium?

3 Likes

Presumably, after sufficiently many of these have been executed, enough might be learned about their structure to allow us to generate them artificially and then just 3d print them?

Then the only question will be - would they fetch as much on eBay? Would we regard such models as we might regard the simulacra of fragile sites like Stonehenge and Lascaux? Not quite the real thing, a bit, um, fakey?

1 Like

ants are a pain this is true, I am not sure though if I approve of burning them to death for art but the result is cool. I myself would feel guilty at this act as I did killing an ant nest that came up in the middle of my lawn, but I got over it.

1 Like

Hm, good thing I’m not a chemical engineer I guess.

2 Likes

Great quote :slight_smile:

I can’t see his work on ebay, though :

1 Like

Vermes is a bug? “How wude.” I am an insect. :stuck_out_tongue:

2 Likes

Actually, a 3D computer model of the Underground (say, in Google Earth) with semi-transparent surface detail, would be pretty cool. There are 3D cave models around that are likewise very interesting.

1 Like

Did anybody else imagine a tiny 6-legged Scotty shouting up to the queen about the reactor moments before all the smoke starts pouring out of the mound?

2 Likes

You could buy one of those “gold” iphones and still have change :slight_smile:

Doom Caster?

Depends on whether you think of them as original works “in the style of”, or as reproductions. Reproductions are not as satisfying to own as “the real thing”, for most of us; prices tend to reflect that.

I could argue this one either way. I think it comes down to individual decisions.

(I have a related problem with original art created in the computer. Is a high-quality printout, promised to be the only one that will ever be made, “original art”, or is it just a very-limited-edition print? It should be the former, but emotionally that’s sometimes a hard jump to make. Some artists working in this sort of medium do handcrafted frames just to provide the emotional excuse to pay original prices.)

1 Like

It’s fascinating, but I still think this is the most fun thing you can do with a termite mound.

3 Likes

I still feel remorse for the ants I burned with a magnifying glass when I was 12 years old.

4 Likes

It’s good but I can’t help feeling that casting it in chocolate would be better.

1 Like

I remember reading about someone else doing this with bronze in “Weekly Reader” back in the 6th grade. I recently moved to a high desert area with humongous ant hills and have thought of doing this but, like Robulus, I fear the ringing of tiny, tiny, screams in my ears at night.

As a former fine arts student specializing in sculpture, I can confirm from personal experience that aluminum, so far as molten metals are concerned, is no big deal to work with. I always found that pouring molten fire was a very satisfying and primal experience.

Apparently, the near instantaneous oxidation of aluminum that protects it from any real deterioration can be defeated with a judicious application of mercury.


1 Like

Liquid Nitrogen - it’d be like the crossbow / icecube murder.

1 Like