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Tree ceremony

Kirsty Boyle

Tree ceremony 2010 is an intricate automata doll performance featuring the kimono clad robot Suki. Through dance, Suki honours the living Bonsai tree beside her, presenting a choreographed recital reminiscent of movements influenced by traditional Japanese dance. This work incorporates advanced Artificial Intelligence techniques with traditional automata craft practice which draws upon Boyle’s comprehensive knowledge of Japanese mechanical doll making known as Karakuri Ningyo.

Since 2002, Boyle has studied with Mr Tamaya Shobei, a ninth generation Karakuri Ningyo craftsman and last remaining mechanical doll Master in Japan. Boyle is currently his only student and the only woman to have ever been trained in the tradition. Tree ceremony was commissioned by the Tinguely Museum, Switzerland and the Kunsthaus Graz, Austria, for the touring ‘Robot Dreams’ exhibition 2010-11.