dancing appliances and fat suits

I know that in the low latency of the internet a month is pretty much another age, but I’ve been sitting on this since just before the move-supernaut-and-recode-700-pages-to-XHTML-standard thing.

Rania Ho‘s Fatso installation consists of inflatable fat suits and a wrestling ring controlled by motion sensors.

Each of the suits are linked to leaf blowers through an umbilical cord-like system. Audience members are encouraged to don the suits, enter the ring and wrestle each other. Any action in the vicinity of the installation is detected by the motion sensors and initiates the inflation of the suits and the wrestling ring. If there is no one in the ring, the blowers stop and the installation slowly deflates.

In 1999, Rania Ho worked on a project i’ve always liked: Free Range Appliances in a Light Dill Sauce.

This robotic project explores the anthropomorphic qualities of household appliances, and inspires a moment of reflection on the role of “smart” devices in our homes.

Toasters, blenders and other kitchen appliances were equipped according to their personality with mechanical and sensor technology. This allows them to live out their repressed desire to wander and seek out human companionship by reacting to light and warmth. If you shine a flashlight on one of the appliances, it will move toward the light. If the light source disappears, it will turn away and look somewhere else. If the appliances are in an especially good mood, they may start dancing for joy.

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