Since 1990 Theo Jansen is working on a new nature. By doing this he hopes to fathom real nature. His nature exists of skeletons made of yellow electricity tubes. They walk with the wind, so they don’t need to eat.
From his laboratory in Ypenburg, Holland, Theo studies the history of biological evolution to provide his new generation of creatures with greater and greater capacities. His dream is that one day they will learn how to evolve without his intervention and continue their lives as any other organism, subject to cycles of nature.
Jansen's creatures begin to take shape as a simulation inside a computer, in the shape of artificial life organisms which compete among themselves to be the quickest. Jansen studies the winning creatures and reconstructs them three-dimensionally with light and flexible tubes, nylon thread and adhesive tape.
In the end Theo Jansen wants to set out his animals (Animari) in herds on the beaches so they can live their own lives. During the years the animals were due to evolution; they become better and better. In the future they will survive the storms and the tides.
Paul Friedlander has spent more than two decades researching all kinds of technologies and systems in an attempt to turn light into a malleable, flexible material capable of taking on any form and volume.
His “kinetic light sculptures” are clearly influenced by the work of other great figures who have preceded him in the art of light or moving structures, from László Moholy-Nagy to Flavin and Turrell.
The titles of Friedlander’s kinetic light sculptures are usually references to different aspects of modern science, from quantum physics to string theory. However, both their aesthetic constructs and the way they are received by viewers inevitably contain something of the spiritual and magical.
"Spinning Cosmos" Paul Friedlander
"On the 4th of October 1957, Sputnik 1 was launched. I was 6 years old and it was the first piece of news on the TV I truly understood and felt deeply moved about. I was a child of the Space Age and I became fascinated with space travel and everything about space.
By the time I was in my teens, along with designing my own interstellar starships, I had a serious interest in astronomy and a love affair with cosmology but my first passion was to prove brief and disappointing because I fell for the wrong theory.
At the time two theories were competing and I preferred the Steady State, which proposed an eternal universe with no beginning or end to time. In 1965 the crucial piece of evidence was discovered, the cosmic background radiation, which confirmed the Big Bang and disproved my favourite theory.
Since then I have continued to follow cosmology with great interest but always with an eye for how things may be changing and whether any cracks are showing in the winning theory, which I never could feel entirely comfortable about.
Over the passing decades, observations have improved immensely and important advances have occurred but nothing has altered the basic picture of expansion from an explosive moment of creation being the main way the universe as a whole moves.
Nothing at least until now. It is perhaps hard for me to convey the excitement I felt when I first read of the discovery of cosmic spin, I felt like dancing in the street. I at once I wrote to Michael Longo, the discoverer and was delighted when he responded positively. I proposed to create a light installation on the theme and he most kindly made available his data, a list of over 25,000 galaxies. All of this galaxy data has been included into the installation along with sculptural ideas, both virtual and real inspired by the discovery."