Creature Technology Co.

CM: Can you tell us briefly what it is that Creature Technology Co. sets out to achieve in the creation of these animatronic puppets?

CTC: We set out to bring to life something in the physical world that otherwise doesn’t exist, and Animatronics is our way of doing this. It’s a combination of artistic vision and practical knowhow that results in a physical object that can perform, and in that performance create narrative and something magical.

CM: What was the brief for the leviathan sculpture you created for Token Armies?

CTC: The leviathan was to be an enigmatic presence at the centre of a number of characters that inhabited a near future. It had to be as big as possible and of an indeterminate materiality; to float above the ground, be capable of movement and interact with costumed performers. A kind of mother ship or whale around which the performance could take place.

CM: Tell us about the process once the design had been signed off on?

CTC: The design process never really finished but continued right into the build. The first things that had to be established were the overall dimensions and form. We used one of our proven dinosaur ‘lifters’ and chassis as the base on which to construct a steel skeleton. This was skinned and detailed into what we see in the performance. The construction required the talents of welders, fabricators, scenic artists and prop makers.

CM: What has it been like working with a choreographer, and creating something to exist within the realm of dance?

CTC: Antony had a very singular vision and a refined sense of what he wanted. As such, he came to us with a  very strong brief. It was easy and fun to work with him and extremely exciting to see our creations brought to life by the dancers, who have done more with the walker suits than we ever thought possible.

Token Armies is an evolutionary leap into an unknown tomorrow. Commissioned by Melbourne International Arts Festival.