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beach beasts: theo jansen reinvents the wheel

Daily Art Muse reader Robin Johnston sent along a link to Theo Jansen’s TED talk. Listen to Jansen as he describes the project that he has worked on for the last 16 years – a menagerie of enormous constructed beasts that walk along the beach learning how to survive on their own. He refers to the kinetic sculptures as a new life form and explains how he really did reinvent the wheel. This is genius at work.

From TED:

His newest creatures walk without assistance on the beaches of Holland, powered by wind, captured by gossamer wings that flap and pump air into old lemonade bottles that in turn power the creatures’ many plastic spindly legs.

Fascinating. Want more? Me too. Take a look at this short trailer from a documentary about the creatures.

STRANDBEESTEN_TRAILER from Alexander Schlichter on Vimeo.

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3 Responses to beach beasts: theo jansen reinvents the wheel

  1. Ahhhh…! My 13 yr old son is fascinated by inventions, inventors and inventing. We watched the videos together.
    I’m so glad you brought them to our attention!
    Jansen’s “animals” remind me of a program my son plays sometimes, called SodaConstructor. See http://sodaplay.com > Create > Constructor
    I think some of the same properties come into play. But all I know about physics is what I’ve learned from my sons!
    Isn’t it wonderful to see art in the science?

  2. fascinating…..I found TED back in ’06; incredible site…a friend had turned me on to it by referencing Julie Sweeney’s talk about “Letting go of G’d”. Just great stuff.

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