January —
December 2003
Joey Ruigrok van der Werven, Alicia Talbot

A spectacular performance event. An after-dark world. Pumping rhythms & towers of steel. Flying mechanics & dancing engineers… driving junkyard chariots, sweating sparks, welding their dreams to the sky…

Further Information

A gang of surreal metalworkers grinding and hammering, sweating sparks and breathing rust, stealing lights from the nearby shopfronts, loading them into a junkyard chariot. Mysterious processes transforming everyday things into objects of wonder.

All to a pumping soundtrack that moves between drum’n’bass and industrial baroque. Welcome to Mechanix: a total world and a total experience.

Directors Vision

We want to create another world in the Plaza, a kind of after-dark world. It’s a world of darkness and light, of steel and sweat and rust – but also of dreams and love and poetry. Itís about living and surviving in a mechanical world. But it’s not a straightforward answer of “it’s all horrible and inhuman”, as in films like “Metropolis” and “Modern Times”. And it’s not just spitting out propaganda about how technology is going to make our lives wonderful. It’s about using our creativity to take control of the machine, using machines and objects in ways that werenít intended.


…an outdoor performance event in thepost-apocalyptic vein; the aesthetic is more junkyard and Mad Max than its silicon chips and Kubrick’s 2001… (with) two purpose-built towers, a row of man-sized cages and a giant chariot are swarmed by more than 30 performers in this collaboratively created spectacle that is great fun.

Colin Rose, Sun Herald

…a performed walk though the cuddlier aspects of Marinetti’s futurist manifesto… with a really good soundtrack.

Stephen Dunne, The Australian

Creative Team

Created, performed and built by 50 community members - performers, rock climbers, acrobats, welders, metalworkers, inventors, artists... working with the UTP team of:


Joey Ruigrok van der Werven & Alicia Talbot

Sound Artists

Reza Achman & Liberty Kerr

Movement Director

Lee Wilson

Assistant Director

Beck Wilson

Lighting Designer

Simon Wise

Production Manager

Richard Montgomery


Lisa Abbott, Leanne Alcock, Victor Areces, Renee Busutill, Kira Carden, Tim Carroll, TJ Eckleberg, Kylie Evennett, Elizabeth Ferguson, Margaret Gillespie, Mishelle Grigor, Steve Kourouche, Susie Langford, Sally Lewry, Jack Ma, Rhonda Ma, Ned Matijasevic, Alexis Motassam, NomisE, Kim Nguyen, Anthony Nguyen, Tra Nguyen, Simon Peart, Matthew Prest, Natalie Rose, Emma Stevenson, Marguerite Tierney, Fonseena Tran, Sarah Vongmany, Luke Waterlow


Reza Achman, Chris Bluebeard, Renee Busutill, Elizabeth Ferguson, Jason Coltan, Nathan Robinson, Liberty Kerr, Ned Matijasevic, NomisE, Simon Peart, Sebastion Toast, Sarah Vongmany


Victor Areces, Linden Braye, Heidi Chappelow, Jenny Chu, Tom Easton, Margaret Gillespie, George Jabboury, Simon Peart, John Plaege, Lesley Sammon, Jeffrey Stokes, Rob Wagner