DUTCH ARTIST-MODEL MAKER THEO JANSEN has been creating various mobile creations he calls Strandbeest for decades. Over the years, Theo has tweaked his mechanical creatures to the point where they can now react to their environment in a realistically lifelike way.
Theo says, "...over time, these skeletons have become increasingly better at surviving the elements such as storms and water, and eventually I want to put these animals out in herds on the beaches, so they will live their own lives."
The Strandbeest name comes from the Dutch words for beach (strand) and beast (beest), and they are built as complex fabrications, mostly made from materials such as pipes and wood. Today's Strandbeest are well suited to their sandy beach environment, the legs being, "...more efficient on sand than wheels...they don’t need to touch every inch of the ground along the way, as a wheel has to.'
Some Strandbeest can store air in pumped-up plastic bottles. This allows them to move when there is no wind to provide motive power. Another Strandbeest can detect water, and move away from seashore waves. Yet another can sense an approaching storm.
Amazing stuff, and a form of artistic endeavour that in many ways bridges the gap between art and model making.
Visit Theo Jansen here.