One gets the impression that Theo Jansen subscribes to Danish Philosopher Soren Kierkegaard’s maxim : Once you label me, you negate me.
(Aw hell, just accidentally negated Kierkegaard again…)
In any event, no single label can suffice where Jansen is concerned. A maker of kinetic sculptures who resists defining himself as an artist. A trained physicist who celebrates evolution as a ‘miracle.’ An early morning optimist. An evening depressive. An engineer of life, preoccupied by death.
All this is to say, Theo Jansen is an original, as compelling as the awesome, lumbering creatures he conjures from plastic tubing and wind. Hear him speak for himself, above. Watch his Strandbeests in action below. And don’t feel bad if the labels you’ve spent a lifetime amassing begin to feel a bit narrow compared.
- Ayun Halliday built a Rube Goldberg Device under duress.