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Amit Drori with one of the creations from his show, Savanna, currently playing to rave reviews around the world.


Lecture with Amit Drori

“Israeli artist Amit Drori is a theatre director, designer, and maker of beautiful, moving objects. His stage work creates a theatrical universe based on the use of mechanical and robotic wood-crafted artifacts, live performers, video projections and open source technologies. His projects evolve through a long process in which theatrical imagery and human perception work together like a beautifully complex machine.” Barbican, London. 2013

Amit Drori’s lecture will focus on aspects of the multidisciplinary process of creation, and the search for poetic expression in the delicate relationship between man and technology. It offers a chance for puppeteers, designers and visual artists to look into the intimate world of personal creation. In the foundation of the art of puppetry lies a motivation to enter deeper into unexplored landscapes of the human spirit.

The power and capacity of an animated visual image to bypass verbal communication has been known throughout history and, as such the art of puppetry has always been a platform for innovation in terms of non-verbal communication. This unique art form has evolved through the collaboration of performing artists like actors, story tellers, and puppeteers working with sculpturors, painters, designers and craftsmen.

The infinite search for new approaches and tools of expression, made the art of puppetry a pure manifestation of the human search for freedom. The 21st century created new challenges for this art, as the development of the cyber and digital world opened new horizons. The art of puppetry has needed to reincarnate into this new world, and communicate to contemporary audiences with contemporary tools. Today, it is essential to understand technology and master it, in order to create dynamic art.

The field of robotics is a wonderful environment for that development, as it deals with the fundamental question of puppet building: the independency of the puppet, and the relationship of the puppet with the manipulator. Bringing robotic craft onto the art was very difficult before the internet revolution. in the past 10 - 15 years, the open source culture has opened the gates for artists without technical backgrounds to access technologies, and use them as a raw material for creation.

The purpose is not only to bring robotic possibilities in puppetry, but also to use the experience of puppet builders to create sensitive robots, to create a “personal machine” as opposed to the “cold” machinery of the industrial world. In the workshop we will experiment with a simple robot, understanding how it works, and getting to know the different parameters that we should understand when designing a robotic character.

The workshop will also demonstrate some of the basic terms, materials and online sources through which each participant can start their own exploration.

Courtesy of The EMBASSY OF ISRAEL in Pretoria and TARARAM (South Africa-Israel Culture Fund)

THURSDAY - 16:00
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