Dutch artist Theo Jansen‘s Strandbeest kinetic sculptures are extraordinary objects, creatures, animals. Since 1990 he has been building self-sufficient beach creatures that survive on nothing more than wind. The creatures which have been ‘evolving’ for over 30 years have come along way, have gone through many eons of development, the latest his ‘animarae adulari’ created this summer on the beaches of the Netherlands.
The Strandbeests are made entirely from recycled bottles, wood, wing-like sails and plastic tubing. The bottles act as a stomach into which air is collected under high pressure by the flapping of the sails. Once collected the air acts a ‘food source’giving the animals the ability to move across the sands. Kind of complicated but here’s what Jansen says:
Self-propelling beach animals like Animaris Percipiere have a stomach. This consists of recycled plastic bottles containing air that can be pumped up to a high pressure by the wind.
Having created a mechanical means to power the beasts Jansen has gone on to develop ‘muscles’ that respond through the lengthening and shortening of the pipes and according to the reserve of air. When the air moves from the bottles through a small pipe in the tube it pushes a piston outwards and the ‘muscle’ elongates. This action then activates other muscles, the action repeats itself, which in turn creates control centres that are not unlike a brain.
This incredible piece of engineering allows the beasts to support themselves, as well as prevent them from drowning by integrating hoses that react to being blocked by water – telling them to move away from the sea. Unbelievable. I’m confused just writing this.
Jansen hopes to eventually achieve complete autonomy for future species, with the ‘animarae adulari’ one step closer to roaming the sandy dunes of the North Sea.
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.
If you want to see these Strandbeests in action checkout the artist website for details.
Via Design Boom
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