April 24, 2008 3:32 PM
Theo Jansen's Biomechanical Sculptures
So there's this guy in the Netherlands named Theo Jansen. He's a kinetic sculptor which means that he builds huge moving pieces of art. His sculptures are strange mechanical interpretations of the biological world. Watch this video to see an example of his work in action:
(Turn off your sound to avoid horrible techno in this one...)
All of these are completely wind-powered. Some of the creatures have bottles that are pressurized by the motion of their wings - the compressed air gathered by the wings is in turn used to move the sculpture when there is no wind.
Jansen releases these things on his native beaches and observes how different designs survive. From these observations he builds new creatures by combining the attributes of those creatures which survived best. The goal of this quasi-evolution, Jansen says on his web page, is a day in which he can release his creatures in herds and let them live out their lives.
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