This past Sunday’s New York Times Magazine had a an incredible profile on artist Theo Jansen.
Jansen creates kinetic sculptures—he calls them beests—that literally walk themselves across the coast:
The calibrations and recalibrations took years, across generation after generation of new beest types and fresh experiments at the shore. ”People talk about how beautiful my strandbeests are as they parade down the beach,” he said. ”But you have to understand: I was never interested in beauty as such. I was interested in survival, so everything was based on a consideration of function, how to make the things function better. The fascinating thing, though, was that — here again, as with nature — the better the functioning, often, the more beautiful the result.
You have to see his beests in action to understand how awesome they are: