Part Three in an Eight-Part Series on Amazing Artists of the World
(image via: Strandbeest)Theo Jansen calls his kinetic sculptures “Animari.” The creatures walk in herds on beaches, powered only by the wind. Some of them are able to capture and store the wind, then keep moving for extended times. Some even have the ability to anchor themselves in the sand when the wind threatens to blow them away – allowing the plastic-tube critters to engage in active self-preservation.
(images via: Strandbeest)Jansen wasn’t always a creator of life. He once studied physics, later quitting to become a painter. He caused near-panic in a town with his homemade “UFO” and invented an amazing painting machine in the following years. In 1990, he found the happy medium between physics and art with the creation of Animari. The number of tubes and the length of each tube determines the genetic “code” of each strandbeest (or beach animal), dictating how it will move and interact with its environment.
Whether these strandbeest continue to evolve or not, they are compelling on their own as art and as a beautiful example of inventive engineering.