THEO JANSEN

THE CREATOR. text by Luna Todaro

The line between art and engineering exists only in our minds

With this significant quote by Theo Jansen we begin to explore this extraordinary but little known Dutch engineer/artist, and creator of unusual kinetic sculptures.

Jansen’s artistic career began in 1980 with the creation and subsequent launch in Delft of a ‘UFO’ – a 4 meter-long artifact filled with helium and driven by lights and sounds. This evoked such a sensation that we can even find records of it in the police reports. A few years later he developed the painting machine, equipped with a mechanism that was able to recognize lights and shadows then play back the image of an object through a life-size photorealistic rendering.

Jansen’s true masterpieces are the strandbeesten (beach animals). Watching them in action, one is filled with wonder and disbelief. At first sight it isn’t clear whether the spectator is in front of bizarre objects created by means of funny engineering tricks or if instead he is dealing with magical living creatures.

Forget Calder’s evanescent mobiles or Tiguely’s squeaky aerobic mechanisms: Jensen creates forms of life.

The strandbeestens are enormous biomorphic creatures, assembled with tubes used in electronics, scotch, and others items such as PVC bottles.

Animaris Vulgaris – a morphing of the Latin words animal and maris – represents the first species, which is not yet capable of movement.

The next generations are able to move autonomously, using the power of wind aided by complicated devices formed from the theories of many disciplines including physics, biology, medicine, engineering and evolution.

Jensen actually considers his creatures to be real animals, capable of retaining memories, reacting to danger and living independently.

His most recent projects, Animaris Rhinoceros Transport and Animaris Mammoth, which is still under construction, envisions the possibility of carrying and containing people.

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Time: 2 giugno 2011
Category: Article
Views: 3054 Likes: 0

Tags: animaris , creatures , strandbeesten , theo jansen

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Title: THEO JANSEN

Time: 2 giugno 2011
Category: Article
Views: 3054 Likes: 0

Tags: animaris , creatures , strandbeesten , theo jansen