One of the Strandbeests. Photo by Lena Herzog from The New Yorker’s article on artist Theo Jansen.
Since 1990, artist Theo Jansen has been creating ‘Strandbeests’, which translates to beach animals in Dutch. The strandbeests are assembled from stiff plastic tubes and then animated by wind to walk like alien creatures along the shore.
Video from the Strandbeest Webshop.
The kinetic beasts were originally designed to throw sand onto degraded dunes to help protect against loss from storm surge or sea level rise. What has occurred since then, are multiple generations of Strandbeests – divided much like geologic eras and each christened with a scientific-like name such as Animaris Duabus Caudis.
According to Jansen’s Web site, he makes these skeletons to walk on the wind, so they don’t have to eat. His vision is to have herds of Strandbeests, that are self sustained to roam and live their own lives.