Technical Improvisations for Carnival Float Robotics: A Study of Passion 4 Designs in Carnival Calabar (2008–2012)

Esekong H. Andrew, Chris Agibe, Emmanuel Eneh


The paper discuses a series of technical improvisations created on carnival floats by the technical team of Passion 4, a band in Calabar Carnival in Nigeria between 2008 and 2012. The team, consisting of artists and engineers has over the years been saddled with the challenge of designing and building carnival floats with robotic components to convincingly capture the annual carnival themes and sub-themes, and to make meaning to the target audiences. Constrained by lean resources, it has been difficult for the team to fabricate special robotic models for specific designs that need mobility. So, the designers have always depended on the option of improvising by adapting found materials and in some cases re-fabricating them to create moving parts in the float designs. Using the descriptive procedure, the paper highlights the carnival themes, the interpretation of the themes for float design, and the corresponding visual artistic renditions for the years under review. The paper also narrates the artistic and engineering procedures; improvisation techniques and resourcefulness in the use of materials in the carnival float construction projects.


Technical improvisations; Carnival float Robotics

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