Theo Jansen’s mechanical creatures

Theo Jansen creates new forms of “life”.  Is he a new kind of Dr. Frankenstein?  No, definately not: he’s an artist using technological and scientific principles to create mechanical lifeforms made out of plastic bottles and electricity tubes.

Sounds weird and strange, but his creations actually walk and live in their “habitats”, the beach, by means of the wind and can actually determine the safe way back into the dunes when the tide comes in.  Some of these “creatures” have bottles that suck up air whilst taking a stroll on the beach, so as soon as they hit the shore, the tubes suck up water instead of air, telling the “brain” (made from a simple step-counter) to reverse its path.

If you take a look at the video, you’ll see how gracefully these creatures walk and how they live and interact with their surroundings.  It’s art and technology working in perfect harmony… I love it!

Share This Post


One Response to Theo Jansen’s mechanical creatures



    The only thing comparable that springs to mind are the weird
    contraptions by Belgian artist, Ponemarenko (hope I remember his name
    correctly) – but they were designed to ‘fly’/float in the air.

    Reading Theo Jansen’s bio, I can’t help noticing a similarity with mine: I dropped out of Groningen University, after some math professor took 3 lectures just to prove 1 being unequal to 0 ! I’m (still) too practical and hands-on for such theoretical ‘blabber’.
    I became a self-taught technical writer/translator, and have stated
    since “to be proud, not to be held-back by an academic education”.

    Experimenting with my beloved SHARP pocket-computers, I discovered
    they were capable of a kind of Boolean flip-flop; just enter this
    simple expression: X = X = 0; then press [ENTER] repeatedly (via the
    PLAYBACK function) and the display will show “1” and “0” alternately.
    Now that is a brain breaker for math adepts …

    Keep amazing us with your fabulous, visionary, ‘impossible’ artefacts,
    Theo !
    Kind Regards
    Raymond Bakker

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *