News

‘Strandbeest’ to roam Fed Square

December 21, 2011

Dutch artist Theo Jansen’s kinetic, artificial life ‘Strandbeest’ sculptures are due to visit Melbourne’s Fed Square in February 2012.

Dutch artist Theo Jansen’s kinetic, artificial life ‘Strandbeest’ sculptures are due to visit Melbourne’s Fed Square in February 2012.

Approximately 12 metres long, four metres high and two metres wide, the Strandbeest are giant, self-propelling skeletal structures mostly made of stiff plastic tubes and plastic bottles. While they draw power from the wind, they are also equipped with a form of analog artificial intelligence, which allows them to change course to avoid obstacles.

A fusion of art and engineering, since 1990 Jansen has devoted himself to constructing the ‘animals’. What was at first a rudimentary structure has evolved to become a complex creation with a rotating spine, legs, stomach (plastic bottles for storing wind energy) and lengthening muscles (pistons within the plastic tubing).

Translated from the Dutch, Strandbeest means “beach animals” in Dutch, with the beach being the natural habitat for Jansen’s creations.  Eight Strandbeest ‘fossils’ will be on display in The Atrium at Fed Square, charting the evolution of the Strandbeest from simple structures, to complex forms with a highly developed ‘nervous system’.

Says Jansen “These evolving sculptures each take on the survival skills of the last generation, using a rudimentary intelligence to dig into the sand when a storm is sensed or to avoid obstacles like the ocean. Eventually I want to put these animals out in herds on the beaches, so they will live their own lives.”

The Strandbeest will be on display from 1 February 1 to 26 February, 2012, at Federation Square, Melbourne.


 

Leave a Reply

x
Keep up-to-date with our bi-weekly newsletter

You’ll get

  • News, insights and features from the interior design and architecture community
  • Coverage on the latest projects, products and people
  • Events and job updates

Join now!
X

Sign up to the newsletter