Theo Jansens’ ‘StrandBeests’

A very interesting body of work crafted by an artist, which seems to delve more into scientific exploration and research than the conventional rules of sculpture. Theo Jensens’ ‘StrandBeests’ are massive kinetic sculptures that move and walk along beaches, purely through the power provided by wind. The ‘Beests’ do not need to eat, as they are fuelled by a renewable source, and it provides an insight into thwt machines could be like in the future. Inspired by fossils, the ‘beests’ are technological marvels; and with each problem that arises, Jensen changes the design in order to overcome it. There is a real sense of evolution here, within the pieces of artwork, as they shift and morph in reaction to their surroundings on the beach. There’s something particularly interesting about the aesthetic they hold; they are skeletal, holding no eyes or other unnecessary organs or parts, instead containing parts only for function. Yet, this provides them with a unique and engaging form; much like the ribcage of a megalithic primordial being, the pieces form a repeating pattern within the delicate and intricate moving parts. However, because of these strange repeating patterns and multitude of limbs, they do not specifically resemble anything on the Earth; well, not in our contemporary world today. Therefore, these ‘Beests’ are alien, unknown, abstract in form; resembling certain parts of animals that we know today, yet excluding any distinctive resemblance to anything. The artist has taken over the role of God and/or Nature, and has begun to craft his own new form of life on the earth; a new species that relies solely on an unseen force, does not eat, and does not sleep; Much like machines. Jensen is the creator, and his beests are his herd.

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