Dutch artist Theo Jansen possesses a unique engineering skill; he can make moving sculptures of animals and they can actually flap and move a bit just by harnessing the power of the wind blowing in the area. He is currently in San Francisco California and showcasing his work at the city’s Exploratorium for a few days. Here is some of his amazing work:
Jansen’s project is called Strandbeests or beach animals in Dutch and is by no means just a moving sculpture. The eccentric artist has filled his area with photos by Lena Herzog of himself at work, a hands-on tinkering studio and other ways to see how these amazing structures came into being. We can also study their bones and the younger audience can play around with his PVC pipes and zip ties that he used to make this work. He has even given it a yellowish color, symbolizing the Netherlands’ love for cheese.
A Physics major, Jansen is forever passionate about his work and it shows how much he loves it. He began this project almost twenty years ago and he originally intended them as a horde that could keep out the sea away from Holland’s beaches since the sea levels are rising. He has since shifted his focus on a basic anatomy of things and evolution in general.
He unveils a brand new Strandbeest in his home country every summer and observes how it reacts to wind and other forces of nature. This study helps him make even better strandbeests and at the end of each fall, the animal has to be dismembered and its raw materials are used again. Pretty cool, isn’t it?