Must see: Strandbeest take over downtown Boston - Metro US

Must see: Strandbeest take over downtown Boston

Animaris Currens Ventosa, Oostvoorne, The Netherlands (1993). Courtesy of Theo Jansen. Photo by Adriaan Kok.
Peabody Essex Museum

It’s a beautiful sunny late summer day — in other words, the best time to sneak out of work early and watch some giant statues move around.

The Peabody Essex Museum is doing a few pop-up appearances of artist Theo Jansen’sStrandbeests in town. This is the first major American exhibition of Strandbeest, which Jansen describes as “skeletons that are able to walk on the wind, so they don’t have to eat.” He’s also given a massively popular TED talk about them (3.6 million views and counting).

Strandbeests are massive kinetic structures made out of PVC piping that crawl on their own, powered by the wind. Sadly, downtown Boston is not the best environment to power them that way, so museum staffers will be moving them, but you can see the full exhibit this September at the museumalong with demonstrations of the wind powering the structures.

Today, you can see them at City Hall Plaza between 11 a.m. and 1 p.m., and then later in the afternoon in Dewey Square between 4:30 p.m. and 7 p.m. Jansen will also be doing a panel discussion at MIT Sept. 10 at the MIT Media Lab at 3 p.m., followed by a demonstration at 5:30 p.m. outside the Media Lab. Check out the video below to get a preview of what to expect.

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