Kinetic Skeletons

Theo Jansen
Animaris Percipiere, 2004

theo jansen

Theo Jansen is an artist and kinetic sculptor living and working in Holland. He builds large works which resemble skeletons of animals which are able to walk using the wind on the beaches of the Netherlands. His animated works are a fusion of art and engineering. In a BMW television commercial, Jansen says “The walls between art and engineering exist only in our minds.”

theo jansen

Jansen is dedicated to creating artificial life through the use of genetic algorithms. These programs simulate evolution inside their code. Genetic algorithms can be modified to solve a variety of problems including circuit design, and in the case of Theo Jansen’s creations, complex systems. Some measure of “fitness” is introduced into the algorithm; in Theo’s case it is to survive on the beach while moving around within two enclosing lines on the wet sand near the ocean, and the dry sand at the edge of the beach. Those designs best at the assigned task within the modeled beach environment are bred together and graded again. Over time complex designs emerge which sprout wings and flap in the breeze pressurizing what look like plastic 2 liter soda bottles. Articulated legs sprout and scuttle across the sand like those of a crab. Theo uses plastic electrical conduit to make some of the computer’s most promising designs. He then lets them roam free on the beach, measures their success, and updates his model.

Watch them move on video

Interview with Theo Jansen

Eén gedachte op “Kinetic Skeletons

  1. jayant jadhav

    hi i m jayant jadhav an artist from india i have seen u r side and i like it. i can more relate to it cos my work are in same process. my process is taking inner anatomy of insect and making construction witch human can interact. i like the work u have on side. i want to c some video if u have of artist.theo jasen, brian jungen,roxy pame. and some side relateted to it.thanks

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