The Dream Machines of Theo Jansen

By Lena Herzog
With essay by Lawrence Weschler

Published in 2014 by TASCHEN in conjunction with the exhibition at the Peabody Essex Museum, MA, Chicago Art Center, IL and Exploratorium, San Francisco, CA


For seven years, photographer and artist Lena Herzog has followed the evolution of a new, kinetic species. Intricate as insects, but with bursts of equine energy, the "Strandbeests" or "beach creatures," are the creation of Dutch artist Theo Jansen, who has been working for nearly two decades to develop a new life-form that moves, and even survives, on its own.

“They really do appear to be alive. Purposeful, resolute. They don’t fall into the uncanny valley that afflicts so many other robotic assaults on the absolutely lifelike… they almost seem to evince a soul.”

Lawrence Weschler, The New York Times Magazine, New York