Thingamabobas

‚ÄėThingamabobas‚Äô is a playful, sensory experience where participants meet and interact with a circus troupe of performative mechanical and kinetic structures. In this animatronic and robotic circus of bizarrely wonderful machines created to inspire, delight and intrigue.

We explored a world of overlooked treasures, transforming old toys, kitchen tools, and clock parts into one-of-a-kind Whatchamacallits.

The sculptures in the installation space will come to life, each with its own whimsical personality and charm. Drawing inspiration from the absurd and imaginative contraptions of British artists like Heath Robinson and Rowland Emett, as well as the playful spirit of Calder's Circus from the 1930s, these artificial life forms will captivate viewers with their enchanting movements. Incorporating elements of automatas, object theatre, puppetry, and circus acts, each sculpture will possess embedded artificial intelligence and touchless interaction capabilities, making them responsive to the audience's movements.

As visitors engage with these interactive sculptures, they will be transported into a world where traditional circus acts come to life in a unique and magical way. From the antics of clowns to the grace of acrobats, the daring feats of trapeze artists to the skill of jugglers, the flexibility of contortionists to the agility of trampolinists and unicyclists, every movement and gesture will evoke the thrill and wonder of a circus performance. Get ready to be amazed and delighted as you witness this captivating blend of art, technology, and imagination come together in a truly unforgettable experience.

Tour Schedule 2021-25

  • 29th May -6th June 2021-Lakeside Arts, Nottingham, UK
  • 30th June -8th July 2021¬†Nottingham City Libraries- Dales and St Anns
  • 8th Sept 2021¬†Cobot Maker Space, University of Nottingham
  • 14th to 18th Oct 2021¬†Theatre Hullabaloo, Darlington, UK
  • 3rd to 4th June 2023- Green Hussle Festival, City Arts, Nottingham, UK
  • 8th to 9th July 2023- National Festival of Making
  • 22nd August to 8th September 2023-¬†Mansfield Museum, Mansfield, UK
  • 29th May to 2nd June 2024- Lakeside Arts, Nottingham- Book tickets here

 

'Very creative; good to encourage children to see new things in the 'ordinary.'

Parent feedback 2021

image-slider-with-thumbnail1.jpeg
image-slider-with-thumbnail2.jpeg
image-slider-with-thumbnail3.jpeg
image-slider-with-thumbnail4.jpeg
image-slider-with-thumbnail5.jpeg
image-slider-with-thumbnail6.jpeg
image-slider-with-thumbnail7.jpeg
moiw_web035
moiw_web034
moiw_web036
moiw_web037
moiw_web039
moiw_web038
moiw_web038
moiw_web014
moiw_web013
moiw_web011
moiw_web013
moiw_web012
moiw_web010
moiw_web09
moiw_web08
moiw_web07
moiw_web06
moiw_web05
cropped-3.jpg
3
5
7
2
PlayPause
image-slider-with-thumbnail1.jpeg
image-slider-with-thumbnail2.jpeg
image-slider-with-thumbnail3.jpeg
image-slider-with-thumbnail4.jpeg
image-slider-with-thumbnail5.jpeg
image-slider-with-thumbnail6.jpeg
image-slider-with-thumbnail7.jpeg
moiw_web035
moiw_web034
moiw_web036
moiw_web037
moiw_web039
moiw_web038
moiw_web038
moiw_web014
moiw_web013
moiw_web011
moiw_web013
moiw_web012
moiw_web010
moiw_web09
moiw_web08
moiw_web07
moiw_web06
moiw_web05
cropped-3.jpg
3
5
7
2
previous arrow
next arrow

Developing our Learning Resource

Download now!

In October 2021, to help further develop and test our learning resource for Thingamabobas Installation we delivered a series of workshops in two schools, one in Hong Kong and one in Nottingham, to explore design thinking and tinkering. We worked in collaboration with Lakeside Arts at The University of Nottingham, Djanogly Strelley Primary School UK, Hong Kong artists Agnes Pang and Zoie So and Huen King Wing School, Hong Kong.

The results of our collaboration and the children's work is published in several Galleries here and a panel discussion was held on 20th October at Spark 2021 British Council Online Festival.

In the workshops, students were encouraged to unleash their creativity by experimenting with different materials and techniques. The design thinking process guided them to brainstorm innovative ideas, prototype their concepts, and iterate based on feedback. The collaboration between the schools, artists, and organizers fostered a rich environment for learning and exploration.

The children's projects showcased a wide range of innovative solutions, demonstrating their unique perspectives and problem-solving skills. From interactive installations to thought-provoking sculptures, each piece reflected the students' ingenuity and passion for creativity.

'A great interactive experience which encouraged my child to use her imagination. The caretaker was fabulous and very engaging.'

Audience feedback, May 2021

Creating interactive and engaging experiences

For the design of the participatory experiences in Thingamabobas, we have delved into the realm of cutting-edge technology and sustainable practices. By tapping into contactless sensing and utilizing recycled materials, we aim to create an innovative and eco-friendly interactive environment. Our team at The Cobot Maker Space, University of Nottingham, is pushing the boundaries of creativity by incorporating motion tracking, proximity sensors, Infrared sensors, robotics, and even foot-based pressure sensors into our installations. Through this fusion of art and technology, we are crafting a unique and engaging experience that brings together the worlds of science, creativity, and sustainability in a harmonious blend.

360 Videos of the Thingamaboabas

We created a series of 360 dance videos from the perspective of a Thingamaboba. Visit our Youtube channel to see more.

20201001_132216

September 2020 R&D Experimenting with machine learning Investigating the creative possibilities of smart moving sculpture that can learn and be inspired by a dancer’s movements. Read more

A2 poster Thingamabobas
Thingamabobas logos-2
Thingamabobas

Interested in commissioning a design, hiring Thingamabobas or running an inventors workshops for an event? Contact us with any questions or queries and we will get back to you shortly.