Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Fabbing strandbeesten

Ah, finally we hear again from Theo Jansen. The man has turned to 3D printing as a way to manufacture his famous 'Strandbeesten'. For about a hundred American dollars you can now buy your own miniature Strandbeest from Shapeways.

And they work magnificently:

In the following video you can hear some comments from the man himself.

Theo Jansen really seems to be an incarnation of the old lone master, who develops stunning works that will root themselves in the collective unconscious of mankind. And maybe sustaining his level of genius requires his mind to be more isolated from the more mundane processes of society. On the other hand, I tend to think that more challenge and enrichment can be found through combining work both on an internal level through deep study, creative exploration and masterful synthesis, and on an external level through trying to manifest this creativity into the world in various ways. Theo Jansen seems to be only active on one far end of this spectrum, and keeps his creations very pure. He does want to spread them, as he mentions the objects seducing us to make them. But I think we can spread them faster by creatively searching for ways to make Strandbeesten, or maybe just the mechanic principles behind them, marketable. To give an analogy, the yogi can sit in the mountains -or on the beaches- all his life, having transcended his personhood and having found higher states of consciousness more worthy of residing in, but he can only become truly enlightened if he learns to take what he found into the world and spread it there. Maybe this means that initially only small bits will take root here and there, but at least it's pushing things in a better direction. I would like to give Strandbeesten jobs, for example in becoming billboards, because those would at least be nicer billboards than the ones of today.

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