Theo Jansen (1948) studied physics at the University of Delft (The Netherlands) from 1968-1975. He left University to become an artist. He painted for the first seven years. In 1980 he built a flying saucer (15 ft flashing lights, beep sounds) that flew over Delft and set the town in commotion. Then he built a light sensitive spray-gun which paints an object on a surface. Since 1986 Theo Jansen has been writing a column for the Volkskrant (national newspaper). Since 1990 he has been working on a new creation: skeletons made of electric-conduits which walk on wind-power. These animals have evolved into several generations over the last twelve years.
“Not pollen or seeds, but plastic yellow tubes are used as the basic material of the new nature. I make skeletons that are able to walk on the wind, so they don’t have to eat. Over time these skeletons have become increasingly better at surviving the elements such as wind and water and eventually I want to put these animals out in herds out on the beaches, so they will live their own lives.”
“The wolf also shall dwell with the lamb, and the leopard shall lie down with the kid; and the calf and the young lion and the fatling together; and a little child shall lead them… They shall not hurt nor destroy in all my holy mountain: for the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the LORD, as the waters cover the sea.” (Isaiah 11:1-9)