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Kinetic sculpture
May 5, 2007 6:01 AM   Subscribe

Kinetic sculpture. Will stroll the beach with you.
posted by wallstreet1929 (44 comments total) 27 users marked this as a favorite

 
Wow! Scary and beautiful at the same time!
Great find, wall-'29!
posted by Dizzy at 6:07 AM on May 5, 2007


previously
posted by buriednexttoyou at 6:21 AM on May 5, 2007


Daaaamn. The mind, it boggles.

Channeling Agent Cooper: "This must be where tumbleweeds go when they die."
posted by Iosephus at 6:24 AM on May 5, 2007


I love this guy, because you know it's going to take just one investor to call him "insane", or one broken heart before those things are turned loose on the city and Batman must stop him and his horrible, beautiful wind machines.
posted by Uther Bentrazor at 6:27 AM on May 5, 2007 [11 favorites]


Seen these before but no objection to seeing them again. The guy's hardware development skills are as impressive as his imagination. But really these are just first halting steps because you should be able to turn them loose and have them wander around forever, so basically they need to be bewitched. First successfully bewitched model, he can name it Galatea.
posted by jfuller at 6:46 AM on May 5, 2007


I've seen these before, but not the fabric covered one, which I think is fantastic. Thanks!
posted by Eekacat at 6:53 AM on May 5, 2007


It's like anime, come to life. Thank yoU!
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 6:59 AM on May 5, 2007


Beautiful. I wonder how they are controlled, so that they don't run people over on a windy day.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 7:11 AM on May 5, 2007


Should be useful for clearing minefields. Once anyway.
posted by Standeck at 7:22 AM on May 5, 2007 [1 favorite]


Please see essexjan's photos! She is so far beyond awesome, rilly.
posted by Eideteker at 7:41 AM on May 5, 2007


For Buried, other newness.
posted by wallstreet1929 at 7:42 AM on May 5, 2007 [1 favorite]


Beautiful. I wonder how they are controlled, so that they don't run people over on a windy day.

Is that a trick question?
posted by odinsdream at 7:58 AM on May 5, 2007


wikipedia on the sculptor
posted by jouke at 8:01 AM on May 5, 2007


The Strandbeest looks like it is actually in a state of continuoiusly falling over, and leg is extended to catch it, pulling on other legs to get in place for the next step. It is an elegant and beautiful solution. Now can I build one big enough for me to ride it? I think it would fit in well at the solstice parade in fremont this year.
posted by mrzarquon at 9:01 AM on May 5, 2007


The American version.
posted by 517 at 9:14 AM on May 5, 2007 [1 favorite]


I can't find the video nor the reference right now, but there are people who advocate that motor programs like walking don't have a lot to do not with the nervous system but how the structural anatomy is set up. The demonstration was a model of a human pelvis and leg that would walk on its own (and off the table) once set in motion.

Looked something like the sculpture in the video, but freakier.
posted by porpoise at 9:25 AM on May 5, 2007


Another Strandbeest video.
posted by ericb at 9:35 AM on May 5, 2007


Well thank Zeus for the 2nd Law of Thermodynamics, or else we would spend all eternity being dominated by our winged multi-legged Dutch overlords.
posted by Avenger at 9:48 AM on May 5, 2007


Yes, this guy is a genius.
posted by sour cream at 9:51 AM on May 5, 2007


Amazing. Anyone know the song/artist behind the music in that video?
posted by bhouston at 10:03 AM on May 5, 2007


perpendicular millipede?
posted by bhouston at 10:04 AM on May 5, 2007


Hi, Jesus? I don't need you to carry me over the sand any more. Got it covered. Thanks and say hi to your dad. Regards, Theo Jansen
posted by brain_drain at 10:15 AM on May 5, 2007 [1 favorite]


HOLY CRAP ON A KAISER ROLL I WANT ONE!!!!!!!!!!!
posted by The Deej at 10:15 AM on May 5, 2007


Looks like they have been talked about here since 2002. Why me no see before now? My above statement stands.
posted by The Deej at 10:18 AM on May 5, 2007


The American version.
posted by 517


Yes, of course the American version has to have a loud, smoke-spewing engine, and clank along on asphalt proclaiming its imminent arrival.

YAY AMERICA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
posted by The Deej at 10:22 AM on May 5, 2007 [1 favorite]


Amazing. Anyone know the song/artist behind the music in that video?

It's "February" from Calendarsongs, you can listen to it here.
posted by swordfishtrombones at 10:27 AM on May 5, 2007


This is beyond cool.
posted by TungstenChef at 11:28 AM on May 5, 2007


Exquisite geometry and engineering. What a treat. Been loving Theo Jansen's scientific artworks since 2002. This video has even more of his creatures. Really nice, thanks.

Very much in the SodaPlay family of creativity.

He then lets them roam free on the beach, measures their success, and updates his model.

From his website, in discussing his work, his first creation was "a project with a big flying saucer, which could really fly. It flew over the town of Delft in 1980 and brought the people in the street and the police in commotion. Since about ten years he is occupied with the making of a new nature. Not pollen or seeds but plastic yellow tubes are used as the basic matierial of this new nature. He makes skeletons which are able to walk on the wind. Eventualy he wants to put these animals out in herds on the beaches, so they will live their own lives."

Would have loved to see a video of that " big flying saucer" and people's reactions to it.

Google images of Theo Jansen's work.
posted by nickyskye at 11:35 AM on May 5, 2007


"The walls between art and engineering exist only in our minds."

I love how, to me anyway, these works of kinetic art are simultaneously beautiful and ugly. There's a beauty in their movement as if like elephants traversing great distances, or birds flying south for the winter, but the rough skeletal like structure of these moving works of engineered art is alien and off-putting. What would an urban construction site look like if it picked itself up off the ground and went to get a pizza? That's the question I don't think anyone ever asked, and this guy answers it.

Def beyond cool.
posted by ZachsMind at 11:38 AM on May 5, 2007


This one "weighes 2. tons, but can be set into motion by one person. It stands 4.70 meters tall. Because of its height it catches enough wind to start moving." [sic.]

It's shown in the Poster's linked video, but click the video link on that page, and you can hear the metallic clanking. Freaky!
posted by The Deej at 11:44 AM on May 5, 2007


Oh, and to answer this:
Now can I build one big enough for me to ride it? I think it would fit in well at the solstice parade in fremont this year.
posted by mrzarquon


The above linked version "is equipped with passenger seating and can be used for transport."
posted by The Deej at 11:48 AM on May 5, 2007


It says on the wikipedia page about the artist that he uses a computer program to genetically breed his designs. I want to see some screenshots!
posted by snoktruix at 12:26 PM on May 5, 2007


MUST HAVE NOW.

::runs to art supply store to get balsa and mylar::
posted by jimmythefish at 12:55 PM on May 5, 2007


How would genetics figure into mechanical design? It's probably just a flashy way of saying "designed on a computer".

It's a great idea to have these roaming around on their own in packs, scaring little children, walking over sunbathers, destroying sand castles, smashing against the seawall.
posted by parallax7d at 1:03 PM on May 5, 2007


Pick me up a couple tubes of glue and some paper bags, wouldya?
Going to be a long weekend.
posted by Dizzy at 1:04 PM on May 5, 2007


How would genetics figure into mechanical design?

There is a computer search/optimization heuristic called a genetic algorithm and it has been applied to mechanical design.
posted by Bort at 2:12 PM on May 5, 2007


Dizzy, you're not going to huff glue fumes from a bag are you?
posted by Burhanistan at 2:14 PM on May 5, 2007


That would be silly.
I'm gonna make a kite.
For my mind.
posted by Dizzy at 3:10 PM on May 5, 2007


From Wiki link for those too lazy... I mean busy to click it:

Genetic algorithms can be modified to solve a variety of problems ... 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 ... He then lets them roam free on the beach, measures their success, and updates his model.

Cool!
posted by The Deej at 3:19 PM on May 5, 2007


So, clearly, wind power will never work for energy generation.
posted by frogan at 4:11 PM on May 5, 2007


beautiful. as nickyskye said, they seem like the digital creations at sodaplay brought to life. great find.
posted by milestogo at 6:40 PM on May 5, 2007


well, I pooped that link up. once again, sodaplay
posted by milestogo at 6:43 PM on May 5, 2007


This guy is the only reason, i repeat the only reason, everyone in my family keeps a primed and ready to go flame-thrower ready in their basements at all time. Some of us don't live in fear.
posted by damn dirty ape at 1:14 AM on May 6, 2007


Baltimore Kinetic Sculpture Race.
posted by ericb at 10:09 AM on May 6, 2007


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