Creatures of the Wind: Theo Jansen’s Strandbeesten

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April 3, 2016 by katmcdaniel

Beach beasts that move with the wind!! Love this oldie.


We are born with the urge to build and make things. What does this creativity tell us about our origins?

Strandbeest by Theo Jansen Public Domain Image by Axel Hindemith Strandbeest by Theo Jansen
Public Domain Image by Axel Hindemith

Since 1990, Dutch artist Theo Jansen has been designing animals from PVC pipe and walking them up and down the beach. His search to create new forms of life has many sources of inspiration, from Biblical creation stories to Darwin’s evolutionary theory, but chiefly springs from his delight and surprise at his own existence. Nature calls him to imitate and be co-creative with the forces that shaped the world.

Jansen’s kinetic (moving) sculptures are called Strandbeesten, or beach beasts. They don’t require food or gasoline, but are propelled by the wind, harnessing impressive energy. The first Strandbeest had to be dragged into the wind by hand and would then shamble back up the beach in the opposite direction. Later versions had propellers, and…

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