Tiny Sydneysiders on the right track

Tiny Sydneysiders on the right track

Sydneysiders are invited to discover their miniature selves, brought to life in an interactive toy town installation on Central Station’s concourse.

As part of Art & About Sydney, I Think I Can creates an interactive model railway town called Springfield Junction, inspired by the much loved childhood tale, The Little Engine That Could.

I Think I Can brings together all the joys of the model railway with a quirky online twist, where people can engage and play by becoming ‘residents’ of Springfield Junction via a tiny puppet avatar.

Participants complete an iPad ‘personality test’ to determine their resident, who will lead a completely different life to theirs in Springfield Junction.

With more than 160 characters, participants can choose to live vicariously through a range of personalities, from the Pope or the Queen to a nuclear physicist, rugby league player or even President Obama.

The resident is then placed in the town and instantly brought to life by writers, a puppeteer and live video.

As writers work with participants to create a story for their resident, the life of each character is animated and its journey broadcast onto large screens above the model town.

Participants can continue to track the life of their character and the happenings of Springfield Junction through the imaginary town’s online newspaper.

The project’s co-creator and artistic director, Sam Routledge, from Terrapin Puppet Theatre in Hobart, said: “I Think I Can is a work of collective storytelling where each figure’s placement changes the story of the town and its residents.

“Each participant receives a passport for their resident, allowing them to return to the installation and direct their resident’s story, propose new moves and respond to other residents’ actions.

“A blogger documents the story as it evolves and updates the online newspaper with breaking news.”

Lord Mayor Clover Moore said Art & About Sydney was all about breaking down the barriers and making creative art more accessible to all.

“Thousands of Sydneysiders travel through Central Station every day, intently concentrating on their mobile phones. This project gives people a chance to live through a very different avatar and imagine a completely different way of life,” the Lord Mayor said.

I Think I Can will operate at Central Station during Art & About Sydney from 20 September to 6 October on Tuesdays to Fridays from 1pm-7pm and Saturdays and Sundays from 11am-5pm

I Think I Can, by Sam Routledge and Martyn Coutts, is presented by Art & About Sydney and Performance Space in collaboration with the Hills Model Railway Society.

The project is produced by Intimate Spectacle in association with Terrapin Puppet Theatre and is supported by the Australian Government through the Australia Council for the Arts, its arts funding and advisory body.

Art & About Sydney
runs from 20 September to 20 October 2013.

For more information, visit artandabout.com.au or contact:

Art & About Publicist Elaine Kelly.
Phone 0401 54 33 54 or email ekelly@cityofsydney.nsw.gov.au

City of Sydney Senior Media Adviser Keeley Irvin.
Phone 0448 005 718 or email kirvin@cityofsydney.nsw.gov.au

For interviews with the Lord Mayor, contact Matt Levinson.
Phone 0427 044 768 or email mlevinson@cityofsydney.nsw.gov.au