Dutch artist Theo Jansen, 67, has spent the past 25 years creating delicate, animal-like figures called “Strandbeests” and is set to exhibit eight of them at the Chicago Cultural Center starting Feb. 6.
These magnificent creatures are the result of Jansen’s background in physics as he uses what he refers to as a “genetic algorithm,” or an equation that determines the length and construction of the tubes for the Strandbeests legs. “Strandbeests,” which translates loosely to “beach creatures” are created using hundreds of PVC tubes and usually measure 16 feet long, 6.5 feet wide, and 10 feet high and weigh between 77 and 330 pounds. The creations are wind-powered and have between four and six sails which power the crankshafts that move the legs.
Strandbeest: The Dream Machines of Theo Jansen runs February 6 to May 1 at the Chicago Cultural Center, 78 E. Washington St.
Check out the video below to see Jansen demonstrate a Strandbeests at Millenium Park:
Image and video credit: Emma Sandler