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We all need to play. Play spaces in the city tend to be formal and designed primarily for children, but adults have a great capacity to play and to be playful too. The Balloonometer is our invitation to you; it's your permission to play; whoever you are.
The Balloonometer is a colossal crowd-controlled device that uses microphones, balloons and fans to create an engaging spectacle both day and night.
This incredible vehicle for play is made by joining the industrial and transformative stuff of a city with the whimsical stuff of play. The Balloonometer combines a scaffolding structure with large bright balloons to create something very special; a game for everyone that transforms the city space and the people who join in.
The Balloonometer installation will encourage audiences to become players and work collaboratively: a balloon is released into the enclosed scaffold structure and players must move the balloons towards one of two containers - a safe house and a container with spikes.
Which end will the players chose for the balloon?
Players move the balloon using fans which are controlled via a variety of technologies to enable as wide audience engagement as possible. These might be a telephone number that enables you to talk to keep the fan blowing, microphones embedded into the structure to shout into, sensors around the structure that require arm flapping or even a Smartphone application where players blow into their microphone inputs to spin the fans.
The rules are simple and require no descriptive explanation. The goal, the aim and the reward are in clear sight at all times. It is not possible to complete the task alone, so collaboration and communication between strangers become key.
The Balloonometer asks the people of the city to remember their playfulness. We are inviting play into their lives through our provocation and allegory.
This Playable City Award idea is brought to you by:
Transforming spaces through technology and play, Ludic Rooms work has at its heart a participatory approach. All our work is interactive, enabling the audience to co-create and author their own interpretation. We play with technology in the real world to create a unique individual experience.
In partnership with:
Splash & Ripple
Splash & Ripple are ‘Purveyors of Fine Experiences’ - using a combination of street gaming, theatre and clever digital media to create award winning productions. We like to create a bit of a splash; something that is remarkable, something that inspires excitement, intrigue and wonder in participants.
Since 1992 Talking Birds has been producing thoughtful, playful, resonant, mischievous and transformative meditations on people and place. Our work, which we call Theatre of Place, is characterised by a distinctive blend of humour, music and visual flair in venues both conventional and unconventional across the UK and internationally.