Social Design

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Bumper Ballet

By 20-11-2019

Bumper Ballet is a new media art installation consisting of a bumper car track of approximately 6 x 12 meters containing four bumper cars. Any visitor can purchase a ticket, hop in and take the cars for a ride. Initially the bumper cars function as normal, but after a few minutes ‘the system’ takes over and the steering wheel no longer works.

Visitors become subject to the cars and experience first hand what it means to lose control when a computer takes over. From that point on, the cars perform a ‘dance’: a bumper car ballet inspired by the ‘dancing DAF-cars’ from a promotional video by the famous Dutch car manufacturing company DAF. The installation playfully tackles the social implications of emerging autonomous technology.

Bumper Ballet has been realized in close collaboration with Eindhoven Museum and the designers Peter de Man and Douwe Hibma.

Bumper Ballet is the new installation of media art collective Dropstuff as part of the project The Fair Grounds, where folk culture, heritage, arts and technology are connected.

The Fair Grounds won the NICE Award 2019 – a European prize for social innovation.

Photos: Barbara Medo