From the 1 July – 7 July, Nottingham City Libraries will be hosting the imagination captivating ‘Thingamabobas’ contraptions in partnership with ‘Makers of Imaginary Worlds’. Perfect for children, adults and curious individuals!

Completely Free!

No Booking Required.

What are Thingamabobas?

Thingamabobas is a playful, contactless sensory installation where participants meet and interact with a circus of performative hybrid mechanised smart sculptures crafted from sustainable and found objects embedded with sensing technologies. 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), robotics, automatas, and object theatre. 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 design, aesthetics and movements reference traditional circus acts; clowns, acrobats, trapeze acts, tightrope walkers, jugglers, contortionists, trampolinists and unicyclists.

Keep on reading about the different installations and where you can find them below!

A picture of the dancer and an actor interacting with the contraption

The Dancer

Towering above young audiences, this Thingambobas contraption is a cross between a stilt walker and unicyclist. It is inquisitive and excited to play and dance with anyone in its sight. Holding ostrich feathers at the tip of its robotic arm, it communicates by following and encouraging children to follow its movement. Its intricate costume slowly shifts and shimmers in delight, creating a timeless juxtaposition of the old and the new while hinting to a circus of the future.

See The Dancer at St. Ann’s Library

From 1 July – 7 July

St Ann’s Library

The Micro Machinearium

The Micro Machinearium

The miniature Thingamabobas are ready and waiting to perform. They are an eclectic group of performers made from found objects and forgotten materials. When a child approaches the Machinearium, their movement and actions activate the show lights and signals the start of the side show.

See The Micro Machinearium at The Dales Library

From  30 June – 7  July

Dales Library


More Info!

We really hope to see you come and interact with these wonderful installations. We will also have actors on the day to encourage the children to engage and get as much fun out of the contraptions as possible. Please remember that social distancing measures are still in place and we require the use of face masks and the use of hand sanitiser. The installations will be regularly cleaned as well for your safety and we require that children are supervised at all times.

For more more info about the people behind ‘Thingamabobas please visit the Maker of Imaginary Worlds Website.