26 March 2006

Theo Jansen


I thought I would talk a little bit about Theo Jansen. (See the 'cream structure' picture taken at night)
The blurb in the brochure reads, " Trained as a scientist at the University of Delft in The Netherlands, Theo Jansen designs and builds immense wind propelled mechanical creatures that roam the beaches of Holland. His designs for multi-legged "sand beasts" are exceptionally agile because each leg is developed, tested and has "evolved" to rotate and lift independently with just the slightest of pull. Constructing hundreds of designs mostly from light PVC tubes, Jansen has never made the same creature twice, but continues to develop and optimise their leg movement through trivial and error, playing midwife to fantastical designs with each successive generation of his fast-evolving beasts."

Jansen uses PVC pipes that are used in Holland for electricicy cables and at times he uses cardboard or found materials. However he transforms these materials into something extraordinary, (moving sand beasts) that have no real purpose except to fascinate and excite the viewer. The movement of the structures are truly amazing, they move perfectly.

I wanted to talk about him because of all the presenters I think his work engaged everyone in the audience most. People were wowed. So what is radical here? I am not sure I can answer that, except to say that the structures were definately craft and definately art, they presented us with something our visual recognition had never seen before and because of this he amazed us. His work had a humbleness and simplicity, even though the structures were complex.

Frances

3 comments:

  1. Reading about Theo's work immediately created an image in my mind of these creatures roaming the beach in Lunan Bay...also they look a little like wireframe structures created in digital environments...is the sea a virtual environment and the beach an interface??? Did the creatures immerge from their wireframe virtuality and manifest as physical at the beach interface...M

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  2. Reading about Theo's work immediately created an image in my mind of these creatures roaming the beach in Lunan Bay...also they look a little like wireframe structures created in digital environments...is the sea a virtual environment and the beach an interface??? Did the creatures immerge from their wireframe virtuality and manifest as physical at the beach interface...M

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  3. these creatures are really amazing and you can find more info on them here

    http://www.ted.com/talks/theo_jansen_creates_new_creatures.html

    and i believe that turning them into a boat like creature that can travel across water would alow them much more freedom and let them go EVERY WHERE!!

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