Chile Highlights: Dutch artist Theo Jansen’s sculptures for the first time in Chile
Whoever has had the chance to see Theo Jansen’s sculptures won’t ever forget them: built out of plastic tubes used in electric installations, these art works are meant to walk through the sandy coast with their multiple feet, driven by the wind or slightly pushed by their creator. He calls them Strandbeests (beach animals) and they are the result of a 27-year investigation and experimental work based on mathematics, energy, shapes and materials and their relationship with the environment. This is what can be seen in Algoritmos del viento, (Wind algorithms) the exhibit brought to Chile in Centro Nacional de Arte Contemporáneo Cerrillos, inaugurated on April 14th and open until July 1st 2018.
It all started when this Dutch physicist and artist (today 70 years old) began questioning the possible outcomes of climate change, after reading an article on the close possibilities of the ocean covering up the beaches of the Netherlands in the near future. He imagined big format animal-machines that would guard the coasts by strengthening the dykes and soon began building them with materials he had at reach. He supported his work on algorithms, mathematical processes, fundamental shapes, numbers, longitudes and the base triangle that certain mechanisms, like the human leg, rely on.
This exhibit, which has already received over 22,000 visitors during its first two weeks, is part of a bigger project called Theo Jansen in Chile, curated and organized by Fundación Mar Adentro, foundation based in Chile who’s purpose is to create links between private and public organizations in order to develop multidisciplinary projects. For this one in particular, the initiative includes a vast educational program -that started with a free conference given by the artist himself- and that offers over 35 open workshops that will take place in Santiago and in different regions along Chile, in collaboration with institutions such as FabLab Universidad de Chile, FabLab UC, GAM, CECREA and the Ministry of Culture and the Arts. All in all, the program is an invitation to reflect upon the human impact on the environment, as well as the opportunity to interact with nature and technology.
“Algoritmos del viento” can be seen in Centro Nacional de Arte Contemporáneo Cerrillos (Av. Pedro Aguirre Cerda 6100), in Santiago, Chile until July 1st, 2018.