Yesterday, Kim and I spent the morning at Mass MoCA, the hidden gem of the Berkshires (this is what two married art teachers do on their anniversary). Here we saw a few outstanding exhibits, including one entitled The Believers, an exhibition on artists whose lives, beliefs, and artwork are all inexorably intertwined. This was serendipitously, the perfect epilogue after reading The Accidental Masterpiece.

From the Mass MoCA website:

The Believers isn't about "belief" per se, but rather about the believers themselves, whose deeply-held personal truths fly in the face of skepticism, irony, and often, reason.

One of the most striking pieces was Theo Jansen's Strandbeest, a skeletal sculpture made from PVC piping, tubing, plastic, and bottles- an amazing feat of engineering that suggests Da Vinci's combination of art and engineering.

Jansen's mammoth sculpture's are powered by the wind, and can be found walking, crawling, or slithering across the beach where he lives. He talks about one day releasing them in herds to travel down the beach and live their own lives. While you can't see the Strandbeest in all its locomotive glory at Mass MoCA, you can see one up close, and watch videos of how they operate. Here is an example of his work:

These exciting sculptures will interest students of all ages- a perfect example for any lesson involving kinetic sculpture.

Theo Jansen's Website
Theo Jansen-Wikipedia
More YouTube Results for "Theo Jansen"


  1. Rebecca Burch said...
    WOW!!!! Those are fascinating! Mind boggling!
    Rebecca Burch said...
    How it works:

    dsgran said...
    Hey Rebecca- thanks for that extra link! Very cool.

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