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.