The Dutch Introduce Us To “Strandbeests” (Beach Animals)
These things are incredible. “Strandbeests” (beach animals in Dutch) are moving sculptures that actually walk on the beach. They’re in the tradition of Dutch landscape sculpture but in a complicated, modern way, and are the creation of celebrated local artist Theo Jansen.
Described by writer Ian Frazier (who narrates the video below) as “just like witchcraft,” the Strandbeests have been made by Jansen since 1990 and are constructed with PVC plastic pipes. They walk on local beaches throwing sand up onto dunes in order to help preserve them from the rising seas.
“He manages to make things look so close to being alive that you almost can’t imagine that they aren’t,” says Frazier.
Check out video of the sculptures below, courtesy of The New Yorker: