I have linked a more complete video here, which explains a little more about this Dutch artist, Theo Jansen and his amazing kinetic sculptures that are so, quirky, and delightful and yes, magic. He creates these “animals” that come to life from the wind.
These animated sculptures are also a little disturbing to me. Wind, breath, spirit, what is it that makes the difference between animate and inanimate?
And then, simply because something is animated…is it alive? Well of course not, you snort. Life is…Yes? Life is what?
Trees respire and expire and synthesize energy and light and yet, they stand rooted and mostly immobile. We would all define them as living because we certainly can identify them when they’re dead. But how is their being alive and our being alive different?
Is it simply having a heart? Then how does human life differ from a whale or a robin or a Chihuahua or does it?
And if, on this Valentine’s Day, we can say it is because we love and that we are also capable of planning and remembering and hoping and that is what sets us apart from our pets – like my dearly departed Dalmatian who loved me so unconditionally but had not a single thought in her head about future plans – than maybe Hallmark is right to remind us of this essential fact of our humanity;
That is, we should remember that love is always the answer, even if most of the time, we’re no longer quite sure of the question.