ABOUT once a month I run across a person who radiates an inner light. These people can be in any walk of life. They seem deeply good. They listen well. They make you feel funny and valued. You often catch them looking after other people and as they do so their laugh is musical and their manner is infused with gratitude. They are not thinking about what wonderful work they are doing. They are not thinking about themselves at all.
Theo Jansen’s “Strandbeest” sculptures are more like a species of artificial animals than a work of art. Their movements are incredibly life-like. Meaning “beach animals” in Dutch, Jansen’s creations move with the wind and are made with plastic tubes and lemonade bottles. In the future, he wants to equip them with artificial intelligence, so they know to avoid the water and not drown.
photo credit: Artist’s impression of The Tree of 40 Fruit. Sam Van Aken/Ronald Feldman Fine Art
The enchanted-looking tree above harbors a wondrous secret.
Using an ancient technique called “chip grafting,” artist and Syracuse University professor Sam Van Aken has carefully nurtured trees that can bear over 40 different types of stone fruits, including peaches, nectarines, apricots and almonds.