Pneumatic Sponge Ball Accelerator at the Tschumi Pavilion

Created by Niklas Roy and located at the Tschumi Pavilion in Groningen / The Netherlands, the installation contains 1000 black sponge balls, which are sucked through 150m of transparent pneumatic tubes at high speed. Visitors are invited to operate the machine with a touch sensor mounted on the pavilion's front glass: They can change the direction of the airflow and watch the balls speed up, slow down and reverse.

Inspired by the particle accelerators such as CERN's well known "Large Hadron Collider" (LHC), the installation attempts to uncover the incomprehensible nature of these gigantic machines. Some 27km in length, they are designed for observation and there is not much to see since of course particles are too tiny to be seen with the bare eye. When Niklas was approached to construct a machine inside the pavilion, he wanted to create something that general public could enjoy – a particle accelerator for the masses.

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