Pixelsumo is a blog about interaction, with an emphasis on play, installation, video game culture, playgrounds and toys. Written by Chris O'Shea.
[update] Here is a video by Gaz Cobain showing some of the works. Show open until 5th May 2007.
I’ve been a regular visitor to the Kinetica Museum in London since it’s opening. One of the things I always really liked were the automata donation boxes. For this reason I attended the Cabaret Mechnical Theatre workshop that gave an insight into the processes using cardboard prototyping (some photos).
Last night was the opening of Cabaret Mechanical Theatreâ€™s first-ever major retrospective show, which includes over 80 automata and a number of previously unseen works from CMTâ€™s illustrious The Ride of Life. Here are my photos.
I can safely say that this one of the most beautiful, playful and magical exhibitions I’ve been to for a long time. My photos don’t do it justice, you need to go and see them moving in real life. It has a real feeling of British crazy backyard inventor to it, mixed with detailed tiny models to large scale automata. It was surprised by many of the works, narratives that formed over time rather than simply looping playback. I can’t recommend this exhibition enough.
From the site:
The Ride of Life, developed as a satire of British culture, was a large-scale project commissioned in the late 1980â€™s by the Meadowhall Shopping Centre in Sheffield. Designed and created by the top British automatists of the time, it was to become a huge automated theme park and ride covering a colossal 25,000 sq ft area of the shopping centre and was set to become a landmark in the history of automata. However what started as a wonderful dream in the booming 80â€™s had a very rude awakening with the recession of the 90â€™s and after 3 years of work, the project was suddenly axed. Stored in sheds and warehouses for the past twenty years, many of the sets were tragically destroyed through vandalism and theft. CMT have initiated the restoration of the surviving scenes with some of the artists originally involved, enabling segments of The Ride of Life and the only complete surviving scene to be shown publicly for the first time.