Presented by Audemars Piguet and the Peabody Essex Museum // Art Basel Miami Beach
As part of the official Art Basel Miami Beach 2014 global partnership program, Studio Sebastien Leon was commissioned to design the exhibition Strandbeest, the Dream Machines of Theo Jansen, presented by Audemars Piguet and the Peabody Essex Museum (PEM).
From 3-7 December 2014, a clutch of Strandbeests, each with unique characteristics and histories, inhabited a prominent stretch of the beach in Miami Beach. Daily, visitors were able to meet Jansen as he led his larger-than-life, wind-powered creatures in demonstrations along the beach. An accompanying installation featured Jansen’s newest Strandbeests, including the 42-foot-long Animaris Suspendisse, as well as a reproduction of Theo Jansen’s workshop on the beach and an exhibition of Lena Herzog’s photographs of the Strandbeests.
Jansen’s renaissance imagination roams freely between the realms of art and science. Possessing an uncanny life-like locomotion, his Strandbeests (“beach animals”) are intricately constructed from PVC tubes, which Jansen refers to as his “artistic protein.” Through 25 years of experimentation and development on the Dutch seacoast, Jansen’s Strandbeests have evolved from rudimentary structures to complex creatures that are able to autonomously respond to environmental conditions by storing wind power, changing direction when they sense water and anchoring themselves during oncoming storms. Each year, Jansen increases the capacity of his Strandbeests to interact and adapt, clearing new hurdles for their sustained survival on the beach.
Commissioned by MA3 Agency
Photography by Remy Amezcua ©
The Strandbeests Arrive at Art Basel | The New York Times | Produced by Bill Morrison