“The walls between art and engineering exist only in our minds” says Theo Jansen, a Dutch artist and Kinetic sculptor. Jansen uses light weight materials to create life like inspired “animals” which collect the wind into lemonade bottles. The animals later release their stored energy to roam alone along beaches and deserts. There is a mystical beauty in his creations. He has been called the modern day DiVinci.
Jansen’s mechanical wonders are able to sense their surroundings. Some can detect the dry sands to change direction before they become stuck. They can tuck their sails to protect themselves from high winds or even detect the ocean water to reverse their steps and head back towards the dunes. All of this is achieved through purely mechanical methods.
In Holland, Jansen intends for roaming herds of his mechanical animals to carry sand from the waters edge to the dunes as a method of protecting the dunes from erosion. These herds will wander along the beaches with no human assistance and no need for power except that which is collected from the wind.
In Jansen’s work, beauty, intelligence and creativity are indistinguishable from one another.
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