Animaris Currens Ventosa, 1993. PVC, 4 x 24 x 8 meters.

Dream Machines: A Conversation with Theo Jansen

In 1990, Dutch artist Theo Jansen began creating Strandbeests, or “beach animals,” an interactive and dynamic, wind-driven life form that roams on the beach. Skeletal in structure and mechanical in nature, these large-scale kinetic sculptures bridge the realms of art and science. The Strandbeests, which are made of simple materials including PVC pipe, plastic water bottles, string, and canvas, have been evolving into various species, complete with Latin names and described by a vocabulary gleaned from the protocols of scientific terminology—tongue-in-cheek but to the point when it comes to explaining what Jansen does and intends. His refreshingly simple explanations offer layers of complexity to everyone who experiences the work. Jansen, who has presented at several TED conferences, has been profiled by the New Yorker and the New York Times. …see the entire article in the print version of June’s Sculpture magazine.