Theo Jansen builds giant, kinetic, wind powered moving animal’s that fall somewhere between the disciplines of Art and Engineering.
The project is 22 years along the animals evolutionary path, each variation is a step closer towards Theo’s final goal, where his animals can survive by themselves on their beach environment. Each reiteration has new survival techniques. Allowing some to turn the other direction when reaching water or the sand dunes. Some have the ability to store energy in plastic bottles and some, to survive a storm by driving a peg into the sand.
The creatures are both surreal and inspiring. Referencing a passive post apocalyptic world, they certainly do bring up questions of evolution and progress. These animals are created only to exist, and although the innovation of technology can’t be ignored, the beauty and quiet disposition of his animals far surpasses the need for progress. You have to admire Theo’s creativity, persistence and dedication to his ideas.
You couldn’t imagine what he tell his mother what he does for a job, but sometimes great thinkers are difficult to categorise. Theo, originally a Physicist, demonstrates how focusing on your skills and applying them to different disciplines can yield new ideas and new forms. Theo speaks little of a commercial application for his technology but the mechanics must have uses outside of their current environment. Just a little reminder of the power of innovation for innovations sake.
Have a look at some his animals in motion at his talk for TED.
You can see his animals at Federation Square until the 26th of February.
If you would like talk about your new ideas, drop us a line.