Animated and most of all not-still LIFE

The project

List of authors

1 The mosquito and the little sun roses Emms
2 Not cool the Wasp! Benoît
3 The yellow butterfly on the red hibiscus flower Gabrielle
4 Ladybug MR-85 Meriadek
5 Go home... Pascal
6 A-Mante Olivier
7 The unlucky Oryctes Lucie
8 The fly and the bird of paradise Gervaise
9 The gift Gabrielle
10 The dragonfly and the midges Loriane
11 Joy and fear Nadia
12 Pleazz Wear A Mask Benoît & Emms
13 The Golden Odonate Collectif


Small mechanical beings are staged in the living world and illustrated by original texts written by different authors.

The stories

10 volunteer authors participate in the Mecanat project, and lend their pen to tell their story about an imaginary creature, yet real. To fuel their imagination, they are given a representation of the insect and the naturalistic context to develop.


They are painted in a figurative style, according to the rules of the first naturalist watercolorists. The texts can be accompanied by sketches, taken from life, according to the style of the explorers who recorded their discoveries in notebooks.
The representation of insects brings a twist to this centuries-old tradition of watercolor, which echoes the literary opposition (fundamentally existential) between mechanics and the living world, the imaginary and the real.


The story of the project is in the Blog section.

Download Newsletters and music, from download area.


The mosquito and the little sun roses
30x26 cm, Emms 2020

The mosquito and the little sun roses


Early in the morning, the watercolorist settled down with his notebook in front of his study subject, a splendid potted Aptenia Cordifolia.
It was the right time, when the daisy-shaped flowers opened one after the other, in pink spots on a bed of cobalt green leaves. He could already see which pigments to use, if the design ever lived up to it.
After an hour of application, the drawing was taking shape on the large sheet of the notebook when the crackling of wings interrupted the studious silence. A mosquito had just landed on the delicate plant, and began to suck greedily on the petals of greenery.

"This is original, we can't draw quietly around here anymore" grumbled the watercolorist on the grass.
"I would point out that I was there first," the insect retorted.

The pencil went askew on the sheet, the situation was unprecedented. On closer inspection, the mosquito was not a normal size, perhaps four times the size. Most importantly, it was made of metal. And he was talking.

"Did I sting you? The creature ventured.
“No, I don't think so,” the painter answered anxiously.
“So much the better. I was afraid I offended you by my repartee. I didn't feel welcome and I'm very upset. I suggest we get to know each other. "
" I would advise keeping our distance." answered the painter. After a second silence, he continued in diversion « Have you noticed the delicacy of these fuchsia flowers? ».
“They are not my favorite. I find them an artificial, not to say plastic air! ".
Within a second, the mosquito was gone. The watercolorist thought motionlessly, planted in front of the ficoïde which opened in the golden rays of the morning.

"A mosquito never comes alone".


Not cool the Wasp!
30x26 cm, Emms 2020

Not cool the Wasp!

Benoît Minetti

Antoniella! His friends in Naples called him the Vespa! He had believed at first that his slim waist (he almost went around it with one hand) was the origin of the nickname. Today he thinks it is more because of the violence of her venom that she is referred to as the Wasp.
They had both burned with a consuming passion during the three weeks he had spent in the Parthenopean city and he said to himself today that he would have done better, like Ulysses, to attach himself to the ship's mast.
Less than a week after his return to Casablanca he has just been crucified by a whatsapp murderer "Vaffanculo! Which puts an end to his desire to see her join him. On the terrace by the pool, he stretches his hand towards his Mojito and notices that a wasp, in fact !, is taking it over. He is going to chase her when he finds that he is not dealing with an ordinary hymenoptera: the beast is mechanical! metallic ! inorganic!

He closes his eyes.

He thought that, in his inexorable march towards transhumanism, man would soon implant in the brains of his children, from an early age, nano-remote controls capable of piloting small drones which, the specificity and plasticity being, as everyone knows, two essential properties of neural networks, would soon become for said children new organs, new senses, as natural to them as those with which nature has endowed them.
Is it possible that this is already the case and that he saw with his own eyes the artificial organ of an augmented human spying on him?
He opens his eyes again.
No more wasp!
And the Mojito's crushed ice melted turning the beverage into a warm syrup.
Disgusted, he takes a big swig of Lagavulin and thinks of Scotland and Kateri, the charming Canadian redhead he had met on the ferry to Isle of Isle the previous summer. Didn't her friends nickname her Wasp? We need the emergency whatsapp!


The yellow butterfly on the red hibiscus flower
30x26 cm, Emms 2020

The yellow butterfly on the red hibiscus flower

Gabrielle RIT

His last specimen was ready.
The old inventor gazed dreamily at the yellow butterfly he held between his fingers. He had been trying to translate the beauty of this papilio canadensis through cogs and nuts for months. He had just placed the masterpiece of that mechanical butterfly, wings he had traded for several services to old Arnold de la Tour, his cranky best friend on the island next door.
It was about time. He routinely looked at his pocket watch without seeing the time and gently placed the butterfly on a red hibiscus flower that inhabited his garden. The contrast between the butterfly's yellow wings and the flower's blood-red petals grabbed him and marked his mind.
With a careful movement, he pressed the tip of his tiny screwdriver on the last security that was immobilizing his creation and stepped aside a few feet.
The butterfly's wings began to move in jerks, caressed by the wind. The cogs kicked in, lifting the insect's fragile legs. With a life of its own, the butterfly tested its support on the crimson petal, and approached, greedy, the center of the flower to forage for it. After enjoying its first nectar, the butterfly took off to explore the garden, and the world.
This moment was always special for the inventor. The ecstasy of giving life to a little being, and the heartbreak to see him leave his engineering workshop after months of living together. Why was he doing all this? Months of work for a few minutes of fascination, was it really worth it? He had the secret ambition to populate the world with his imagination, that his creations transport a part of him from flower to flower, forever. Slowly, he returned to his workshop.


Ladybug MR-85
30x26 cm, Emms 2020

Ladybug MR-85


The Ladybug MR-85, first generation, was starting to feel its batteries draining. So she got excited when she received the neuro-typed advice from AdminSystem: “We are closing extended support for your model. From the 21st, it will be de-commissioned. »No, seriously! Removed from circulation! Me MR-85?
She then went to see an old friend Beetle-124, who worked in the archives-log.
"What can I do to remove the expiration?" "
" You will need to reach the FleurSource in the desert, which only opens 3 days a year, and allow it to unlock your system date. Your trip should take a week to get there on time. Take this GPS, it will indicate the position of the FleurSource. "

Here she is, full of hope. It floats on an ocean breeze, focused on the Neuro-Smart GPS display. Small red dot on a blue expanse, she does not remember ever having crossed such distances. It must be said that she came back to full force.
"The wind is favorable to me. By spreading my wings, I don't need to tap into the battery and should be able to complete the last few hundred DMUNIs (Distance Measured Unit International Standard) ". The gray salty air - "It's good for my batteries, I'll get there on time."

But she hasn't seen the ominous clouds and the storm that swirls her around. She lands on Jaki's boat, amazed at the sight of this strange insect. Taking her in the palm of his hand, he hears her message - "Please let me go back to my mission, meridian 45 parallel 3rd". Using her boat's radio, Jaki launches her on the right path.

- "I see the desert now, as long as the storm hasn't delayed me too much. "
Over there, a yellow spot, shining like a sun, makes the GPS of MR-85 vibrate more and more strongly -" Beetle-124, I won! "
At the end of her strength, she lets herself fall into the radiant and fresh petals of the cactus flower, irrigating themselves with their dew, as if enveloped, bathed by this fountain of youth.


Go home...
30x26 cm, Emms 2020

Go home...

Pascal MONS

Rodolpho, the old cricket, taught plants to Emerald, the young brainless grasshopper.
“Look at this Bougainvillea. Where's its flower: the three colored leaves, or the tiny daisies inside?
Before Emerald understood, Rodolpho heard a clicking sound from a grasshopper, green, but with shiny legs, perched on a branch of the bougainvillea climbing towards the window. The strange creature wanted to jump, but fell back on its leaf. The two insects joined her and tried to talk.
Emerald asked "- A foreigner?" "
Rodolpho, who had studied in Cairo, reflects:" - Insects have no nationality, but come from a continent, like the hornets of Asia.
- An Asian grasshopper?
- Exactly, I read on its wing "made in China". A machine !
- What is a machine?
- Anything that does not come out of an egg or a belly. Often dangerous, but this seems harmless. ”
Sotty had escaped the master's remote control, interference, or cyber attack? She was programmed to return home automatically and the window was open.
Rodolpho knew mechanics, and Emerald brought his computer expertise.
Sotty had stuck a stem of the bougainvillea in a joint, and the robot trampled its stainless steel on this beautiful plant, thus upsetting Rodolpho.
- Reprogram this creature to come back down, but first, untangle its paw.
Before Emerald reacted, Sotty froze, and Rodolpho, an expert in electromagnetism, quickly realized that the battery was dead. Emerald, found a USB cable. Luckily, Sotty was a standard model. It took a night of charging.
The next day, the botany class resumed. Sotty had disappeared.
Emerald wondered, "Why make a fake grasshopper to climb a real bougainvillea, rather than the other way around, much more reliable and less energy intensive?"
Rodolpho was amazed at Emerald’s progress on contact with him.


30x26 cm, Emms 2020


Olivier RIT

Pan, full, plan, rataplan. Gold, horde, order and progress. I, will, everything, clean up. Ah! Here are the orchids. Guided order, off target. But who is slipping? Rap, crawl, grate, surrender your plan. : Do not be distracted by the environment. Red and purple, however, resonates on the right wavelength ... I know some who would pause, in pink, in filouté blur, just to pause again! Lizards with autism, content-pleasers, faded watercolorists in love with dishwashing! .... while pulling the trigger ..., while relaxing, coming out, in piston, pistol, piss your blood, the blood-guignolant that appears from its box… oh… it lives, it vibrates, jerks even in the antennae and the mandibles which squeal, crunch and… crack… that's the job! All that remains is to clean up well.
We can build up the pressure, fog the sensors, have play in the connections but in the end we are still machines, right? A job well done, nickel, chrome, and brushed titanium! What is wrong? Ah don't talk to me about that again, the evil, the male, the rough, the male-to-bar, the poorly equipped yes! Emotive goes! All in disorder, in feeling. I wouldn't give a damn!
Mind you, that's the only thing that's useful! I’m A-mantis, the Supermodel so of course I’m for glamor, love, death. It's written in my design, my drawing, it's my purpose, my destiny. That's why it freaked me out when I ran into a funny number the last time ... Mi2 model ... and he was squealing his number as I finished cutting it up ... Metwo! Mitou! Put all my loulou ... I did not deprive myself! it hit the nail on the head and buzz lights it up!


The unlucky Oryctes
30x26 cm, Emms 2020

The unlucky Oryctes

Lucie Lefèvre

It is still early days, and yet the heat is already being felt. The rhinoceros beetle moves painfully on the sandy earth which rolls under its paws. He's been on the road for several days now. From hills to plateaus, from too hot days to freezing nights, the climbs are laborious. Sometimes a plant generously offers its shade, but it has been too long now since such an opportunity has presented itself. The sun continues to rise in the sky. Finally, a cactus stands on the horizon of our friend. This one presses, tightens, and deploys many efforts. Its shell dodels in the desert. The meters become decimeters, then centimeters. Here we are, Oryctes nasicornis comes to meet the salutary shadow.
The much sought-after rest allows us to focus more specifically on the appearance of the beetle. Indeed, the breastplate of his elytra seems even more solid than what nature would have agreed. If you look closely, it is not sclerotin, but an alloy. As for the joints of its legs and mandibles, they are made up of very fine screws. The finesse of the book could have misunderstood the fragility of our rhinoceros beetle. Despite his resistant morphology, our friend appreciates his rest.
The plant that hosts our brave companion is an opuntia microdasys. A racket-leaved cactus whose areolas look like small yellow velvet cushions. Our companion comes to curl up against the plant. Comfort after so much effort. The unfortunate person realizes too late that the areolas of our cactacea are made up of micro-prickles that give the appearance of velvet, but not its comfort. If you go looking for trouble you'll find it ! His breastplate is not superfluous to face the thorny cacti that harshly shelters him. It is angry that our oryctes are resuming the path of their adventure.


The fly and the bird of paradise
30x26 cm, Emms 2020

The fly and the bird of paradise

Gervaise RIT

A fly is walking around, a little grumpy and sullen. She reflects on her life.
We don't really like and admire him. Small, black and stocky, she is not very attractive. It's not like beautiful butterflies, slender dragonflies, helpful bees, or cute ladybugs, no one cares or marvels at her existence. Oh sure, those who created it made it into a useful robot cleaner, but we still hunt it down or try to grab it and devour it, mistaking it for one of its living sisters.
Lost in gloomy thoughts, she hovers here and there without paying attention to her surroundings and suddenly falls in the bend of a bush on a strelitzia, a bird of paradise. Stupidly, she thinks she has rushed into the beak of an exotic bird and imagines herself already swallowed by this beautiful bird. His existence as a poor creature is over.
Having stopped just in time, to recover from her emotions, she discreetly observes the motionless bird. Its colors and lines are so beautiful, that she is drawn towards him and cannot help but approach to admire him: his large green wings, his slender neck, his shimmering fiery orange and ultramarine blue crest, his long red and green beak. Ah if only she were as fine, colorful and racy as this creature, her life would be so beautiful….
Approaching even closer, she realizes her mistake: it is not a dangerous and proud bird ready to swallow her but a motionless and harmless flower! Perked up, the fly begins to think.
"How stupid I am to feel sorry for myself! What am I to envy of this static, aimless, motionless beauty just waiting to be admired! I can fly wherever I want, discover the world and accomplish my mission. I am free and I have a purpose in life! "
Reassured about the taste and meaning of her life, the fly leaves happily fluttering from one point to another in search of a waste to be disposed of with a good little robot cleaner.


The gift, b&w preparation
30x26 cm, Emms 2020

The gift

Gabrielle RIT

Araknea swirled from web to web, wandering through the sprawling web of threads she had built for years. Lou was going to wake up soon. She had an hour ahead of her to find a present for her friend's birthday. His internal clock had reminded him this morning that it had been a year to the day since Lou had picked it up and fixed it with makeshift tools.
Since then, they were inseparable and survived together on the streets of Meridian. Lou was the only person who wasn't afraid of a mechanical spider and didn't see it as a pest. The little girl had taught him to go and steal coins from the pockets of passers-by, and Araknea often used his artificial thread to sew up the scraps of fabric that Lou used as clothes.
But today was a special day. Rather than a few crowns or a loaf of bread, Araknea wanted to find something unique.
She arrived at the market square where traders were just starting to open their stalls. Fruits, vegetables, wild and mechanical animals, hardware bazaars and concoctions with magical properties, all could be bought and sold - or could subtly disappear, provided you had the skills of Araknea. In addition to his sons which allowed him to move quickly, Araknea had memorized all the habits of the merchants, useful knowledge to be able to fly without being seen. Without stopping, she walked past a throat-warming fire-eater, then a baker who meticulously lined up his buns. Suddenly she was drawn to the vivid colors of a florist. Her stall was covered in flowers of a thousand and one colors, and a small cactus was a little out of the way. Araknea was fascinated by the contrast between the thorny aspect of the cactus, and the majestic flower that crowned it. It was decided, this flower would be the perfect symbol of her friendship with Lou, born from the meeting between two beings filled with loneliness.


The dragonfly and the midges
30x26 cm, Emms 2020

The dragonfly and the midges

Loriane RIT

The air is soft, the flowers open at the start of the afternoon. A sudden roar interrupts this sweet haven and the sky appears like an asteroid. Magnifying and Magnifying stands out better and better and emerges a thin and powerful machine consisting essentially of a long cylinder and slender wings. The mini rocket rushes at 90km / h towards a bush of velvety flowers to land with a whistle above. Odonate has arrived to harvest.
From the plant appear small spheres twirling like midges which come to float around their mistress.
- "Surveillance of all for the Safety of all" emits the internal speaker of the dragonfly.
- "Surveillance of all for the Safety of all" answer the Apodes.
Every Tuesday the General Welfare officers collect in Bluetooth the images and sounds that the small midges have recorded on the other insects in order to make sure that all is well and that everyone is following the Master. The procedure takes place button for flower button since each small machine has its dedicated flower. Everything is going well 62% of the load shows an error message, O5438 is not connected.
- "Identify the state of O5438. Identify the state of O5438 ". Automatically repeats Odonate. In this kind of situation the Apodes have to deal with it quickly. No one wants to be reset by the agents. All the midges then whirl around in a disorganized manner under the annoyance of the strict dragonfly.
After a few seconds, which is equivalent to tens of minutes, precious time is wasted. Would it be a revolution, would the Neighbors have attacked? So many questions defying the Order. Odonate then launches a localization of the chip, a kind of black box of planes. And it is a few meters further that they find ... Apodus O5438 discharged into a nearby flower.
He forgot to plug in during the night.


Joy and fear
30x26 cm, Emms 2020

Joy and fear

Nadia Lefèvre

Ah! How happy I am to be here! This outing allows me to discover so many things, I who have just graduated from the workshop!
Earlier, in the garden, I could smell all these herbs that humans call “mint”, “thyme”, “savory”… and unlike the little black ant that I met there -low, I can feel at a distance, without my antennas (which allow me many other things ...).
I can hear the people I just arrived talking to. The woman I hear singing, talked about making tea with the branch I'm sitting on. Ah! Here it is ...
"Come on sweetheart, watch how we prepare mint tea." It is necessary to take in these pots the green tea ... a spoon; sugar too… and we fluff the mint a little. Do you take the mint?
- Oh !! Mamina Mamina! Look at that bug! Is it an ant, maybe? "
And suddenly I find myself naked, near these pots which do not protect me very much, with huge pairs of eyes, very close, to scrutinize me ...! Until then they were nice, but now, I feel a little ... er ... observed too closely!
"- Oh yeah, it looks like an ant, but I've never seen one like this before! We'll take a good look at it to remember it and tell Grandad! "
I take advantage of their intersecting gazes to slip away and regain some privacy. I go hide and explore a little further! This promiscuity does not suit me!
"- Ah well, Mamina, she's gone away!
- Well, we're going to make tea, then! "


Pleazz Wear A Mask
30x26 cm, Emms 2020

Pleazz Wear A Mask

Benoît & Emms

A sizzle. In the middle of nowhere. Like a moan.
A sapphire with copper highlights, almost motionless, pinned to the top of a cactus.
“Pleazz Wear A Mask! Pleazz Wear A Mask! ”
Here he moves an articulated arm, then a second, and the creature progresses to the top, making its way through unlikely and defying gravity.
On its back, 5 letters, HAEB. Like Highly Autonomous Electronic Beetle Device. A few years ago, the Moroccan branch of robotic SK on the occasion of the Covid-129 pandemic had the brilliant idea of ​​extracting a dozen prototypes of the terrestrial drone chains to hastily graft a piece of code to them. rudimentary with two functions: 1- shout "Please wear a mask" in the presence of humans and 2- obey summary orders sent by radio according to a simplistic protocol which basically boiled down to indicating the direction to follow until further notice . The program was honored with the Royal Innovation Award in the Hope of Sustainable Health Development category.
On one of these prototypes, unbeknownst to the company oils, a brilliant intern had added the very first version of artificial consciousness.

Focus on the moment, keep the balance.
The sapphire leans imperceptibly to the side, deflects a thorn from one of its articulated arms, and rises a half an inch higher at the cost of a Pleazz Wear A Mask

The intern's intervention had disrupted the prototype delivery chain, so much so that the experimental and revolutionary drone was forgotten at the foot of the engine rooms. No one could have imagined that by simple magnetic capture, the little mechanical beetle would rotate its AC continuously, moving from the stage of consciousness to that of omniscience, and finally emotion. He developed absolute empathy for the world of the living, natural and artificial.

For them, to challenge the impossible. If I keep the Balance, then will they hear.
With one last perfect movement, the mecascarab reaches the starry summit of the cactus.
“Pleazz Wear A Mask! Pleazz Wear A Mask! ”


Golden Odonate
30x26 cm, Emms 2020

Golden Odonate


“Here control tower.”
“I repeat, here control tower”.
“On behalf of Supreme Gold Odonate 5MS, I ask for the status of the troops.”
"Control tower, here Méridian, I have information on Arak-N34, over to you."
“Meridian, I'm listening to you.”
“Arak-N34 was detected in the city market, then became rogue again.”
“Snape? Didn't I ask you to deactivate this feature of the Arak-NXX? How are we going to find her now ?! ”
“This feature has been deactivated from the Arak-NXX generations. But it looks like the Arak-N34 specimen has reactivated its rogue component. ”

“Message Agent MSTK for 5MS”
“MSTK, you are online”
“Operation watercolor canceled. Target informed, attack reprogrammed to 11 Papa Mike - two three zero zero ”.

"WASP-Control with control tower, we have a visual on the Mécaguêpe Wasp3358 type module, it is… unexpected!"
"Control tower at WASP-Control, request for clarification, what do you mean by unexpected?"
“WASP-Control control tower, the Wasp3358 module had been missing since early afternoon. We have just resumed radio contact. Analysis of his flight recordings indicate that he tested a sample of a solution strongly dosed in citric acid, menthol and ethanol. The results of the analysis are quite confusing and then the report indicates that the module will test the spiral flight. I think that’s what we’re seeing and it’s… unexpected! Finished"
“Control Tower at WASP-Control, learn to master your modules, we don't have any flight test programs in our back-log this week! you are a bit of a mess! Finished"
“WASP-Control (aside): We Are Still Pumping! We could make it our new motto! ”

“Ô General well-being, I received a signal from PAP-CAN0. This is Delta3, District 32. ”
“I receive you Delta3, over to you.”
“The signature of PAP-CAN0 was spotted in a field of red hibiscus, GPS coordinates 45.4972159, -73.6103642.”
“What is its status?”
“Her signal is weak, it looks like… she has been foraging to the point of exhaustion. Charging in progress. Finished."

"ORY-26 with control tower - ORY-26 with control tower, advanced overheating state, my GPS is stranded. I'm completely lost. Can you locate me? Over to you."
"Here control tower, well received ORY-26. We're trying to locate… That's it I have you on the radar, damn it, ORY-26 what state are you in ?!"
"It is a bit long to explain, I will not expand, let's say the environment is not very hospitable in this desert."
"I send you A-MAT urgently. She has completed her mission for MI2. She has no equal in getting rid of the thorns that have seeped under your breastplate. Get yourselves back, old man, you have looks very dismal! Finished "
"Well received control tower. Done"

“Ground meca, here Odonate Azure. My agents picked up an alert signal from FRM-1. Level 3. ”
“FRM-1 reportedly saw humanoids from a little too close during an exploration mission. An anxiety attack in progress, ETA 5 minutes. Request to send soothing pheromones ASAP. "
“Here Ground meca, request well received. Permission to issue W33D pheromones at FRM-1 granted. "

"New message for the Control Tower, a mechanical grasshopper was reported stuck in a bougainvillea. Alert over, on site we only see two insects of biological origin. Vigilance remains nevertheless required, we will come back for a new check. On the other hand, no news of MR-85, it has disappeared from our radars for 2 days."

“At the control tower, from the DIPTERE-NET supervisor, all the cleaners are currently in action in accordance with their flight plans.
Only one anomaly to report: this morning, MCH-NT2020 did not report any waste for several minutes, then her GPS report noted a stop and then everything is back to normal, she resumed her tour .
Certainly an area of turbulence or a slump. It will be necessary to take care (Pchhhttt) its batteries (Pchhhttt) next passage (Pchhhttt) ”

The sun shoots the rockery with rays of blood. Golden Odonate reduces the volume of its audio receivers. Robotic surveillance is fading away. The hiss gives way to deep silence.

How beautiful is the agony of the day.

5MS begins to dream.