Art 1 – 2/13/12 – Beach Creatures

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Look at this film and notice Jansen’s comments about his intentions for his art (the reasons he makes these things) and his ideas about the connections between art, science, and engineering.

Wind Beasts

Look at his website thoroughly, using the menu bar to check each category:

Theo Jansen website

What is the most interesting aspect of his art to you?

Would you like to see it on the beach? Why or why not?

How does it compare or contrast to Taylor’s work last week?

Do an hour drawing that is related to and inspired by his work.

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47 responses »

  1. I think the painting machine is a super cool idea. That is my favorite. However, regarding the beasts, I don’t think I would like to see them on a beach but somewhere not so natural because they are a cool idea, but I don’t think they are meant for that setting. Jansen’s art is similar to Taylor’s because it is in a natural setting, created by human things. Taylor’s art was in an attempt to create new habitats for animals, while Jansen’s is an attempt at portrayal of the animal itself.

  2. I liked the engineering parts. The system of pistons was amusing.
    I don’t have an opinion about whether it should be on a beach.
    Taylor’s art was underwater and for animals. The beasts are abovewater and imitations of animals.
    I think Taylor’s art is less “natural” because it’s trying to replace a part of nature, whereas this is trying to be a part of nature.

  3. I find it really interesting in the way he can construct something that only lives on the air surrounding them. I would love to this on the beach! I think that I could spend hours just laying down and studying the way they walk around. Comparingit to last weeks art, they’re both amazing ways to being artistic but I think that their goals on trying to show what they symbolize are quite different.

  4. The idea of this art is really interesting. I especially found it intriguing when he said that “the walls between art and engineering exist only in our minds.” I like how he blends his amazing engineering skills with creativity – I have never seen such artistic engineering before. I also find it interesting that he considers them “new forms of life” according to his website and wants to release herds of them into the wild.

    I think seeing them on the beach would be strange, but fascinating to watch how these machines work. However, I think they should only be put in certain locations and enclosed for public safety and so if they break the materials will not go into the ocean.

    I think Jansen’s art was similar to Taylor’s in that the artist is trying to blend their art into a natural setting. The main difference is the subject matter (humans or animals) location, and style. (natural/subtle) or standing out as Jansen’s art does.

    • I think Leonardo Da Vinci would agree with him that our walls between engineering and art are mental since he was one who was both an engineer and an artist. Often the engineering was to enable him to do his art but in the case of his colossal equestrian bronze, Il Cavallo, that was a feat of both engineering and art, as are these. Unfortunately, it was so complex and costly, it couldn’t be made in his lifetime. At least Jansen has been able to see these creatures move about the beach….

  5. What an unbelievable and unique original idea. The machines he built on these beaches remind me a little bit about a building set I bought at a toy store when I was younger but in a much larger scale. The thing that makes this even more amazing is that it is powered by wind and it movement is almost alien like. This is genius.

  6. I think the most interesting aspect of his art, is just that he had the imagination to do such a thing. It’s extremely creative and original, and it looks like he put so much work into each sculpture. They kind of freak me out in a way, but are still really cool. If I saw it unexpectedly at the beach, I’d be pretty…surprised to say the least, but if I knew it was going to be there then yeah, the beach would be cool. The main difference, like a lot of other people said, is that Jansen actually created a new “animal” or part of nature, whereas Taylor was just trying to replace a part of nature.

  7. It’s obvious that Jansen puts a lot of time and effort into these. The part that I found most interesting was how you could kind of tell which animal he was trying to create (like the rhino), but that he wasn’t trying to reproduce each animal exactly. Yet, the way that he combined engineering and art allowed me to imagine the inner-workings of an animal. I wouldn’t mind seeing it on a beach, I think it’d be pretty cool and exciting. As for the a comparison between Taylor’s art and Jansen’s, I think that both are combining two aspects. In Jansen’s case he is combining art and engineering, and in Taylor’s he is combining art and the restoration of nature. Also, Jansen is using some recyclable materials for his art (like plastic tubing, hose, and water bottles), which is earth-conscious, like Taylor’s underwater sculptures.

  8. I found the art of Jansen to be just as creative and original as the art that Taylor (under sea statues) did. I would like to see the moving art on the beach, but I would think that if you did not know what the art was and it was walking towards you from a distance, it could be a little bit scary at first. Both Jansen’s and Taylor’s art forms look at home in and around the seashore.

  9. I find it really interesting the way Jansen has created a world for his art, and made it very complex. To him, his works are not sculptures but what he refers to as a new kind of creature that needs an environment to live in. I would love to see these on the beach! I love the way they move. One of his works reminds me of an elephant. The similarity between Jansen’s and Taylor’s art for me was the connection between nature and man made objects.

  10. well, its kind of cool, but at the same time i dont like it. Its too mechanical. its not art, its engineering .. or something. its not art to me.
    its cool how its powered by wind and the way they move is interesting, but whenever he talks about them he calls them “animals” which i think is dumb, because they’re not animals, they’re machines…

    I guess it would be cooler to see them on a beach than anywhere else really.

    I find it much easier to accept what Taylor did as art, than Theo’s stuff. I guess the way he shaped the machines is kind of arty, makin them look like animals. But its hard to know whether he was being creative with their shape or if it was just part of the mechanics.

    • That’s a really good point: how much of the shape came from the engineering? Form follows function in general….but it makes you wonder how much variation was possible since he tries to have them resemble certain creatures.

  11. I liked the way the machines moved. It reminded me of insects. I think that the machines looked good on the beach, but I think they would have the same effect on people anywhere else. Both Taylor’s and Jansen’s work connects to nature. Also, both artists have a creative and unique taste in art. I wish I could see something like this in real life.

  12. i think it is amazing that he is able to turn the wind power into movement by creating fans or propellers and hooking them up to hundreds or individually complicated legs. i wonder how many times his creations have failed. they are much more impressive than the sculptures under the ocean because they can do something, and something very complicated at that.

    ~Ramsey Kerr~

  13. i like the way they seem to be alive. you really start thinking about what makes something live. his creations independently take power from they’re surroundings and convert it into a form of movement with just simple machines. they are practically real creatures!

  14. I think that this is an amazing idea. I wonder how much trial and error he had to go through before he got it right. I think it’s really cute how he refers to the creatures as if they are living beings; you can tell how much he cares about his art. Certain pieces remind me of different animals, which is really interesting.
    If I saw one of these on the beach, I would probably be freaked out until I understood what it was, and then I would be fascinated. They really are incredible to watch.
    I think Taylor’s work was all about creating something motionless that the surrounding environment can then affect, while Jansen creates mobile creatures that can affect their environment.

  15. I was moved by the fact that Theo used recycled bottles, wood, etc. to build his masterpieces. They reminded me of small moving creatures that inhabit the ocean floor. This then parallels Taylor’s work with the ocean and his statues that are taken over by plants and animals. I kept wanting to watch more movies of his work because I loved watching the “animals” move on the beach.

  16. seems like theo art could only work on a pretty windy day but it is still amazing that something that complex could move without any motor or help.

  17. I think the most interesting aspect of his art is how he constructed the “beasts” to move as if they were truly alive. They reminded me of spiders! I wouldn’t like to see the machines on the beach. They are truly amazing, but still have a creepiness about them that would not seem pleasant at the beach. It compares to Taylor’s work from last week because it is artwork set in the natural world, yet it isn’t harming or impacting the area. Also, both ideas are related to the ocean.

  18. The amount of planning and math used in making his art is almost rediculous. I would say his “beasts” are equal parts art and machine. Personally I would be scared to see one of them on the beach because they look scary. Both Jansen and Taylor’s work are ocean realated and rely on the earth’s natural tendencies (the growth of algae, wind, etc..) in order to be the masterpieces they are.

  19. I think this machine is interesting, how he design the beast to move or how they work. i think it not good to has it on beach because how do i know that it will not move to beach or move far form beach. i think if it break it will make beach dirty and may be destroy natural.

  20. I think the wind beasts are really cool. I love the way they move in the wind and it’s amazing how he designed them to move like animals. I would like to see them around but I wouldn’t want them all over beaches. Maybe a park with the creatures would be cool. I think his other creations are awesome, especially the painting machine and flying drill. It is similar to Taylor in that they both relate to nature and the ocean. Jansen makes creatures that rely on the wind and Taylor makes sculptures that sea creatures somewhat rely on. They are both very creative.

  21. i think the coolest part about this is the fact that he’s kinda like almost creating new life forms. i think it would be pretty awesome to see one of those things walking down the beach because its an awesome work of art and would make my day at the beach a lot more interesting. its similar to tailors work because there both creating art in nature but i think Jensens are cooler because they actually moving pieces of art.

  22. I’ve actually seem the walking machines before. I think that they are amazing but I see them more as marvels of engineering then of artistic talent. All of his creations would be remarkable to see in person. Taylors art was mimicking nature will these creatures are meant to be a new part on it.

  23. First of all, these beast things are absolutely amazing! Me, with a scientifically engineered brain, would have never even thought of something like this. It’s awesome to see two different fields of study come together. I can’t even image the physics and blueprints behind these beasts, but I bet they are extremely complicated. It’s like a human body, or a centipede, you have to study each muscle, bone, and leg to find out how they work in unison (especially to the detail where you have TONS of “legs.”); then there is the whole wind concept that actually propels the motion. I also admire the fact that these creatures are made of recycled materials like cardboard, plastic bottles, and used pipes. It’s always nice to make use of “wastes.” If I saw this on the beach, I’d probably freak out a little, but if you think about it, what is the best environment for these creatures? You need places where there is open wind and so I think a clear beach is idea or maybe a grass plain (no wind obstruction.) This relates to Taylor’s work in the way that it’s both sculpture, and it’s in a oceanic setting. (They also both are somewhat environmentally friendly.) However, these types of art are very different as well. One being underwater and more sturdy and somewhat signifying “old, heavy, or death.” The other on top of the shore showing a sort of new life (in that it’s wind powered and light.” Well that’s how I characterize them in my mind even though they don’t exactly fit the characterizations, and they might not be intended too.

  24. Something i find really interesting to ponder about Theo’s work is the concept that art truly can be abstract and different than the stereotypical portrayal of “Art.” I don’t think that art is only paint on a canvas, or a drawing, or a song or dance. I think we see true art every day and don’t even notice it. In this case, he is using genus engineering mechanics to produce amazing art, and i think it is incredible how we can take something like this and relate it to our fundamental class. In correlation to last week, i see the comparison between true life and fake or artificial life, but i think the way it is shown is different. I would LOVE to see this on the beach 🙂

  25. I am simply amazed! The feat of engineering involved is much more impressive to me than the artistic aspect. They would be awesome to see at the beach, but if you were trying to do anything other than observe them, they would really get in the way. None the less, I woulve love to see them anywhere. Both he and talyor have environmentally friendly ideas that are both very creative. I personally found jansen’s work slightly more interesting because of the artificial life, and engineering aspects.

  26. This work immediately reminded me of the engineering work of Da VInci, who also combined art with engineering. These kind of giant machines can often inspire a person more than any flat piece of art work and I like the beach as a place for them because of the coastal breeze, long flat coast line, and most of all the spectacle.

  27. I thought the sheer spectacle of his art was the most interesting aspect of it. You don’t really see that combination of size, movement, and material ever. It reminded me of something you would see at Burning Man or in a Hayao Miyazaki film. I would love to see one of the beasts on the beach. I think that would be, for lack of a better word, awesome. To see anything so huge, animal-like, and complicated up close would be breath taking. It is similar to Taylor’s work in that it has a function other than an aesthetic one.

  28. Personally the most interesting part for me is the ability of his creations to move themselves by means of the wind. In addition the sheer magnitude of his creations render them fascinating. Personally I think they may be better suited for environments different than a beach. Similarities exist on the level that they are both related to the ocean but additionally in the idea that they focus on blurring the line between natural and man made.

  29. I thought it was really interesting how he portrayed the beasts as living and breathing creatures, just that they don’t have to eat. It would be very cool to see these on a beach, as part of an exhibit or something, but a little obnoxious on every beach. The engineering behind this is likely extremely complicated, which makes in even more interesting, as they are kind of seen as light and flowing, just going through the wind. It would be a little weird to see them just sitting, when it wasn’t windy. I think it’s really interesting that he sells smaller versions on his website, making me wonder how complicated those would be and if they compare to the real ones. Taylor and Jansen’s work are similar in how they’re both becoming part of nature, but Taylor’s is much more static and not flowing, unlike Jansen’s.

  30. Kinetic Art is a very interesting medium. Theo must have a pretty creative and dark mind to create those lumbering beasts. I wonder if he designs according to the engineering, or makes the engineering aspect work with an original artistic design. The beach is an awesome way to show the art, the ocean working on its own, like the moving of the art. If i were Theo, i would leave one of these things walking in the middle of the desert, hoping some wary travel would see it randomly.

  31. i really liked the complexity of the machines, while they were still made from “garbage”. i would think its pretty cool to see those kind of things moving along the beach, but i would get old after a while having to deal with them.
    i feel its like taylors work last week in that its aweinspiring

  32. I thought the fact that he actually engineered the machines is pretty cool. I don’t know that I have an opinion of seeing it on the beach. There is the danger that pieces of the designs could fly off and cause pollution, but I really don’t think that’s a huge possibility. Unlike Taylor’s art, it’s more of a trick in engineering rather than a stylistic piece of art.

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