Coming in Summer 2021, Lakeside Arts, Nottingham, UK
‘Thingamabobas’ is a playful, sensory experience where participants meet and interact with a circus troupe of performative hybrid mechanised sculptures crafted from sustainable and recycled materials. The installation space is a place of wonder and draws on the absurdities of British artists’ Heath Robinson and Rowland Emett’s contraptions, Calder’s Circus (1930’s), automatas, object theatre, puppetry and circus acts.
These artificial life forms have a whimsical personality with embedded artificial intelligence (AI) and capabilities for touchless interaction that responds to the audience's movements. The sculptures aesthetics and movements will reference traditional circus acts; clowns, acrobats, trapeze acts, tightrope walkers, jugglers, contortionists, trampolinists and unicyclists.
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. During our R&D we explored open source machine learning tools developed by Google Creative Lab.
How to create interactive and engaging touchless experiences
Our previous installations have relied on tactile materials and touch technologies to engage young audiences. In Thingamabobas we are experimenting with new approaches by using touchless sensing, dance, machine learning, robotics and Heath Robinson like contraptions. Exploring touchless sensing technologies and AI will serve as a foundation for our upcoming and future work. We are exploring gesture tracking, proximity sensors, Infrared sensors, and pressure sensors (foot based interaction) for designing participatory experiences.