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 el 2 Sep 2008 por Alicia Rodríguez Mediavilla

More strange 'beach creatures' by Theo Jansen

The last generation of Theo Jansen’s beach creatures –Strandbeest– are capable of moving even in windless conditions

<i>Animaris Ventosa</i>, one of The Jansen’s beach creatures
Animaris Ventosa, one of The Jansen’s beach creatures
<i>Animaris Ventosa</i>, one of The Jansen’s beach creatures <i>Animaris Rhinozeros</i> Theo Jansen, creator of the Strandbeests –beach creatures Other creations by Theo Jansen <i>Animaris Percipiere</i>
Theo Jansen is a kinetic sculptor, who creates sculptures that become alive and are able to walk on the beach sand using the wind. That’s what his "Strandbeest" or beach creatures are. He’s been over 15 years exclusively dedicated to this task, which explains the reason why his creatures have evolved that much. He’s just finished working on the last generation of them, which according to Jansen, are able to move even when there’s no wind blowing at all.

Jansen has created this last generation of his creatures together with the students of the Summer courses at the Menéndez Pelayo International University in Santander, Spain. It’s called Animaris Andreain tribute to one of the students participating in the creation.

The materials used by Jansen for the making of his kinetic sculptures are primarily yellow-ish PVC tubing, nylon threads and adhesive tape. They involve lots of mechanics and quite a lot of engineering work. It all starts as an algorithm, a computer simulation; later he builds them three-dimensionally with the above mentioned materials.

From his first creatures up to his last generation there’s been a lot of development. Originally, they could walk just a few metres and then they’d collapse. Now he has managed to achieve that his beach waking critters –strandbeests– move without the aid of the wind and are even able to take their own decisions to survive. Talking about the Animaris Sabulosa, it’s able to drive a pin into the ground and sink its head in the sand to prevent itself from being blown away by the wind.

They also keep improving their looks, from the first critters with tubing structure in full view, up to the last ones, boasting skin. Beyond doubt, one of the most spectacular ones is the "Animaris Rhinozeros", can even carry passengers inside and reach places where there’s no wind or sand –thanks to a complex and clever system to impulse using compressed air stored in plastic bottles.

Jansen’s desire is to populate many beaches with his creatures, that they become more and more complex and maybe one day they won’t even need him to survive. At the artist’s website you can see photos and watch videos of his amazing creatures.
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