How do you meld tattoo-parlor functionality with a century-old gas pump to elevate the skin-inking experience to new auto-voyeuristic heights?
Just ask steampunk evangelist Bruce Rosenbaum. “I found this 1918 hand-cranked gas pump and restored it,” he told Wired.com. “The hose that had been used to deliver the gas now swoops down and behind where the tattoo subject sits. Out of this nozzle comes a webcam so that when you sit with your back to the camera you can see this monitor attached to the gas pump and watch the work as the artist tattoos your back.”
Steampunk “Back” Tattoo to the Future is one of several dozen pieces included in the Rosenbaum-curated Mobilis in Mobili exhibition. Translating roughly as “movement within mobility,” the phrase served as the Latin motto for Jules Verne’s science-worshipping hero Captain Nemo.
Subtitled “An Exhibition of Steampunk Art & Appliance,” the show features entertainment systems, furniture and clockwork guitars crafted by 26 artist-designers. See some sample images in the gallery above. Mobilis in Mobili runs through Jan. 14 at New York City’s Wooster Street Social Club.