Bumper Ballet

Bumping & Ballet: when autonomous technology takes over

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’: abumper 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 is the latest instalment of The Fair Grounds: a series of artworks where an amusement ride doubles as an ‘art installation’ and a vendor doubles as a ‘performer’. A new narrative has been added to pre-existing amusement rides and old forms of entertainment have been updated. Likewise, new forms of entertainment have been outfitted with traditional stories and customs. The result is a fairground where every ride has been modified, enhanced or completely redesigned: popular culture meets high tech and high art!

With the project The Fair Grounds, DROPSTUFF.nl combines the rich history of fairs with modern day festivals to create a place where once again new insights and discoveries are being presented to a broad audience. The result is a meeting ground where one’s own experience is key: see, touch, hear, taste and experience it for yourself.

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

On Wednesday the 8th of May at 16:30, Dutch minister Ingrid van Engelshoven from the Ministry of Education, Culture and Science paid a visit to Bumper Ballet as part of her visit to the Biennale

Earlier this year, The Fair Grounds won the NICE Award 2019 – a European prize for social innovation. The project is made possible by VSBfonds and the BankGiroLoterij Fonds.

Autonomous Bumping Cars
2019

Concept & design::
René van Engelenburg & Gijs ten Cate

Technical realisation:
Peter de Man & Douwe Hibma

In collaboration with
Eindhoven Museum

The Fair Grounds
Bumper Ballet is part of The Fair Grounds: an artistic project by media design collective DROPSTUFF.nl, consisting of a collection of artworks where amusement rides are presented as art installations. A new narrative has been added to pre-existing attractions and old forms of entertainment have been updated. The result is a fairground where every ride has been modified, enhanced or completely redesigned: popular culture meets high tech and high art!

FeelGood Market Eindhoven 2019 - fotograaf: Barbara Medo