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PUSH / PULL 2003

In the installation Push / Pull, by Edwin van der Heide and Marnix de Nijs, visitors can throw their full bodyweight into huge hovercraft-like objects. Each player has their ‘own’ playing field with their ‘own’ interactive hovercraft and yet the movements of one will be controllably copied by the other and vice versa, creating an almost Tai Chi like confrontation at a distance.

Push / Pull is inspired from the rationale behind the recognizable world network where communication is playing a growing role. The internet is used not only for text but in ever increasing amounts to communicate image and sound. However it is not often accessed for direct physical or tactile interaction. Push / Pull is a network research at this specific communication level. The round objects move freely in any direction within their field and are floating using the principle behind the hovercraft aircushion. The audience can directly and physically interrupt the pattern of movement by pushing and moving the objects. When one piece is moved the other will immediately imitate the same movement however if a second party intervenes then the contrary will take place. You literally push against each other even though your physical location has absolutely no common ground. It’s a game. Not only by communicating with each other directly but also through the objects themselves.

push / pull
push / pull
push / pull

All photos by Edwin van der Heide

The interaction is partly influenced by two of Hiroshi Ishii’s interfaces developed at the MIT media-lab; 'Curlybot' and 'inTouch'.
Produced by: The Netherlands Media Art Institute, Montevideo/Time Based Arts (NL)
Financer: Mondriaan Foundation_Interregeling


Marnix de Nijs © 2014