Building on an understanding of mechanical engineering, performance, and narratives, this thesis aims to present a novel way to create a spectacle that captures the socio-cultural aspects of Indian Society. The attempt here is to perform a movement-based ethnography of Indian culture and represent the same in the form of mechanical, kinetic artefacts that can mimic the movement. An automaton is a moving sculpture that can tell stories and can be automated to allow control and are portable in nature. By analysing the concepts from Laban Movement Analysis and 'Natyashastra', a language for analysing the movements is developed. Using the concepts of six basic motions, any movement under consideration can be studied. These six basic motions are easily translated into mechanisms. A combination of these simple mechanisms can result in well-articulated automata that capture the essence of the movement. Thus, this systematic manner of articulating and creating mechanical automata helps to master this craft effectively.
Keywords: automata, ethnography, kinetic sculpture, Laban Movement Analysis, movement ethnography
Student Name: Pranshu Kumar Chaudhary
Guide: Dr. Jignesh Khakhar, Co-Guide: Ms. Suvani Suri