Strandbeest: The Dream Machines of Theo Jansen by Lena Herzog (Photographer), Theo Jansen (Artist), Lawrence Weschler (Contributor)
Photographer Lena Herzog spent seven years following and photographing Theo Jansen’s strandbeests, or “beach animals” in Dutch. Strandbeest: The Dream Machines of Theo Jansen offers a portrait of Jansen’s enormous, self-propelling, kinetic creations. Jansen has been working for nearly two decades to create a new life form that moves, and can even survive, on its own.
Herzog’s photography focuses on both the artistic and scientific aspects of Jansen’s creations. The photographs show Jansen’s often-solitary process, and many of the photos illuminate the beests’ mechanics: PVC tubing and other hardware-store materials Jansen uses to build his complex, lifelike sculptures. Like the strandbeests themselves, Herzog’s photos mesmerize viewers with a hypnotic, almost surreal sense of landscape, process, and imagination.
Herzog’s book also features a fascinating essay by Lawrence Weschler, a former staff writer for The New Yorker and current writer in residence at the Carter Journalism Institute at NYU. 330 pages, hardcover