San Diego, CA—The Fleet Science Center is pleased to announce the opening of Mechanics Alive, featuring exhibits from the Cabaret Mechanical Theater. The engaging traveling exhibition gives visitors an up‐close look at a collection of wonderful automata. 

As visitors enter the curious world of Mechanics Alive, they are delighted with a fun-filled, interactive experience that combines science, technology, engineering, art and math (STEAM). This exhibition explores small, surreal worlds through fantastical and amusing mechanical sculptures known as automata.  

Mechanics Alive is a visually stunning and playful experience where guests can marvel at humorous and thought-provoking automata that come to life at the push of a button or pull of a lever. Like complex mechanical toys, these whimsical machines are brought to life by intricate arrangements of handmade cams, gears, cranks and other basic mechanical elements. The exposed inner workings of these creations reveal how each piece comes to life. 

In addition to the collection of automata, visitors can learn about the artists who made the pieces and the revival of this inspiring art form. Artists include Matt Smith, Keith Newstead, Carlos Zapata, Paul Spooner and Ron Fuller. 

"Mechanics Alive is a great opportunity that brings art and science together in an engaging and unique way," said Paul Siboroski, Exhibits Director at the Fleet Science Center."The artists' pieces on display are funny, whimsical and you can actually see how the mechanics work. I bet everyone will pick a favorite."

In conjunction with this exhibition, exciting workshops and other opportunities to explore the world of automata will be available in Studio X, the makerspace at the Fleet Science Center.

Mechanics Alive opens October 9, 2021, at the Fleet Science Center in Balboa Park and will be on view through January 17, 2022. This exhibition is included with regular admission to the Fleet Science Center.

Mechanics Alive is powered by Cabaret Mechanical Theatre, London, and is presented at the Fleet Science Center through the generous support of the City of San Diego.

For more information, visit

About Cabaret Mechanical Theatre

The Cabaret Mechanical Theatre (CMT) was formed in 1979 by Sue Jackson as a small general craft shop located in Cornwall, United Kingdom. Working with local artists, CMT specialized in creating hand‐made automata that sold to the general public. Due to the shop’s huge success, CMT moved its premises to London in 1984, where it soon established an international reputation for the quality and uniqueness of its product. Jackson's daughter, Sarah Alexander, has continued to evolve the company, and CMT now focuses on designing and developing temporary and permanent automata exhibitions. CMT’s exhibitions have toured for over 20 years, entertaining and engaging audiences across the world. For more information, visit

Image of a mechanical hand holding a red heart with text that reads "October 9–Jan 17, 2022.