Theo Jansen, born 14 March 1948, is a Dutch artist. In 1990, he began what he is known for today: building large mechanisms out of PVC that are able to move on their own, known only as Strandbeest. His animated works are a fusion of art and engineering; in a car company (BMW) television commercial Jansen says: “The walls between art and engineering  exist only in our minds.” He strives to equip his creations with their own artificial intelligence so they can avoid obstacles by changing course when one is detected, such as the sea itself.

Born 1948 in Scheveningen, Netherlands
Studies physics at Delft University of Technology

1975 – 1980 Paintings and drawings

1980 Flies UFO across Delft

1981 Flies UFO across Paris

1984-86 Develops the painting-machine in Delft

1986-2008 Write fortnightly columns for de Volkskrant national daily newspaper

1986 Rotterdam Computerprint, 40 m long x 3 m high, Rotterdam Central Station

Teacher at the photography department, Royal Academy of Art (KABK), The Hague

1989 Shares exhibition at Het Prinsenhof with the Inventieven group. Makes large rocket, which was launched at the opening

1990-present Drill machine project, The Hague Light sculptures with an ultra-light plane, Delft

1990 Develops Animari (beach animals)
Engaged in designing a ‘new nature’

Zogenaamd Ik, book published by Bzztoh, The Hague

1994 Writes columns for Metropolis-M
Exhibits at Galerie Akinci, Amsterdam
Awarded the Sandberg Prize by the City of Amsterdam

‘Mission Impossible’ exhibition at Westergasfabriek, Amsterdam

1995 Exhibition at Stroom (HCBK), The Hague
iorama ’95, Martinihal, Groningen

1996 Receives Max Reneman Prize
Klimmen in lucht, book published by SUN, Nijmegen
Animaris Sabulosa exhibited at KunstRAI
Exhibition at Galerie Maurits van de Laar
Exhibits Panorama 2000 at Centraal Museum, Utrecht
The Making of Panorama 2000, NPS film by Leon Giesen

2000 Artificial evolution of a herd of seven animals on the beach at IJmuiden

2003 Witteveen+Bos Techniek Prijs

2003 Grand Exhibition, Kunsthal, Rotterdam
Ypenburg project. Construction of a laboratory on top of a sound barrier hill alongside the Rotterdam-The Hague motorway (A13). Includes a 50 metre wide sandpit and a bone-yard for deceased beach animals.With a portocabin as a workshop

2005-2006 Lectures in the US, several conferences

2006 Animals let loose in Trafalgar Square, London
Exhibition at Institute of Contemporary Art, The Mall, London
ETAT, Exhibition in Taipeh, Taiwan
BMW commercial televised in South Africa

2007 Lectures at TED conference, Montery (CA), USA
Lectures at New York Academy of Sciences
‘The Believers’, exhibition at Museum of Contemporary Art, North Adams (Mass.), USA
BMW commercial televised in Germany
BMW commercial televised in Spain
Exhibition Souls and Machine Reina Sophia Museum Madrid

2009 Exhibition Hibya, Tokyo watch it here

2010 Exhibition Science Museum, Seoul South Korea link

2011 Convocation ceremony honorary doctorate
Concordia University Montreal
link to convocation ceremony

2011 Oita City Art Museum
865 Ueno Oita City Oita Prefecture Japan recorded 141,000 visitors link to exhibition



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