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Strandbeest Preview: $15 General; $10 Members; Free for Lab Members
Ways of Knowing: $30 General; $20 Members (includes museum entry)
Members, show your card and get $10 off.
Adults Only (18+)
Preview + Theo Jansen Talk SOLD OUT
Note: Overflow seating for the Theo Jansen talk will be available in the Phyllis C. Wattis Webcast Studio (included with museum admission).
Explore the creative process behind Theo Jansen’s extraordinary strandbeests—self-propelled creatures made primarily of PVC—during a conversation with the artist and Marina McDougall, Director of the Exploratorium’s Center for Art & Inquiry. And explore the preview of Strandbeest: The Dream Machines of Theo Jansen.
$30 General; $20 Members; Space is extremely limited (150 seats). Includes After Dark admission. Members, for a $10 discount on Ways of Knowing Tickets, refer to your member code or email us.
Note: Overflow seating will be available in the Phyllis C. Wattis Webcast Studio (included with museum admission).
Since 1990, Theo Jansen has been fashioning a menagerie of wind-walking creatures called strandbeests—“beach animals” in Dutch—from prosaic parts, primarily PVC tubing, zip ties, empty water bottles, and string. These graceful and preternatural animals, originally inspired by a desire to save Dutch beaches from the ravages of nature, have evolved into an extraordinary artistic expression capturing the imagination of millions.
How did Jansen first envision creatures capable of walking on sand? Of surviving waves and storms? Explore the iterative and creative processes behind strandbeest evolution during an intimate conversation with renowned artist Theo Jansen and Marina McDougall, director of the Exploratorium’s Center for Art & Inquiry. Learn how Jansen’s singular vision—and the haphazard lessons of sheer trial and error—has shaped his new forms of life, as well as their emerging independence.
Ways of Knowing is presented in conjunction with a preview of Strandbeest: The Dream Machines of Theo Jansen, a temporary exhibition opening Friday, May 27 and running through Monday, September 5, 2016.
Born in the Netherlands in 1948, Theo Jansen studied physics at the University of Delft but left in 1974 to pursue what became a life-long career in art explored through technology. In 1990, Jansen began building strandbeests, wind-driven beach-walking kinetic sculptures. Today, he continues to create strandbeests at his workshop in Ypenburg, near Delft.
Marina McDougall is the Director of the Exploratorium’s Center for Art & Inquiry, where she develops the strategy for the museum’s cross-disciplinary work in the arts and oversees the Artist-in-Residence and Over the Water programs. As a curator with 25 years experience organizing exhibitions and public programs, McDougall specializes in interdisciplinary and hybrid artistic practices. She is Adjunct Professor in the California College of the Arts Curatorial Practice Program and serves on the board of the Seed Fund.
Bechtel Central Gallery
Come explore Strandbeest: The Dream Machines of Theo Jansen, a temporary exhibition which officially opens tomorrow and runs through September 5. Jansen’s strandbeests—“beach animals” in Dutch—are enormous, self-propelling kinetic creations. Constructed largely of PVC tubing and other hardware store materials, strandbeests are mesmerizing in their motions and eerily lifelike. Equipped with sensory organs and ever-evolving survival strategies, they walk a wandering, wind-blown line between art and engineering, mechanics and biology.
Physicist-turned-artist Jansen has been creating strandbeests since 1990. Iteratively designed and intricately assembled, Jansen’s self-propelled creatures have evolved over the years, becoming increasingly complex and lifelike, with specialized adaptations to help them survive in their seaside environment.
On tour for the first time in North America, the exhibition is illuminated by artist sketches, immersive video, live demonstrations, and the lyrical photography of Lena Herzog, who spent more than seven years documenting the strandbeests’ evolution.
Photos © Lena Herzog
Strandbeest: The Dream Machines of Theo Jansen is organized by the Peabody Essex Museum, Salem, MA. Audemars Piguet provided generous support as the tour's National Sponsor. This exhibition is supported as part of the Dutch Culture USA program by the Consulate General of the Netherlands in New York. ABC7 is the local media sponsor with additional support from SFGATE and the San Francisco Chronicle.
Bernard and Barbro Osher West Gallery
Take an excursion through total darkness in our Tactile Dome. Crawl, slide, and bump your way through the pitch-dark Dome using your sense of touch as your only guide through its chambers and mazes.
Please Note: Due to the nature of this experience, certain restrictions apply. Guests who are afraid of the dark; claustrophobic; have back, neck, or knee injuries; or are in their third trimester of pregnancy should not participate. Guests wearing casts are prohibited. Also, please wear comfortable clothes.
Learn more about the Tactile Dome.