Andy and Merja’s latest interactive bouncy sculpture “…Empty Stomach!” premiered at Manchester’s Eurocultured Festival over the May Bank Holiday weekend. Beautiful weather on the Sunday ensured the crowds a great day, and “…Empty Stomach!” enjoyed great success on its first public appearance. Young and old alike were fascinated by the visually striking inflatable which was continuously busy over both days, even during the rain which came late on Monday. The interactive sound system performed well and attracted attention – many of the younger participants asked for it to be turned off as it was too scary! Adults understood the references to Hansel and Gretel and contemporary horror stories, and were interested in the “David Lnych-esque” ambience generated around the installation. Seeing your friends and relatives “eaten” by the monster cottage as they climb inside is visually rather novel! For us it was interesting to observe first-hand the TAZ phenomenon (Temporary Autonomous Zone) created inside the installation. Groups of kids would gang up on adults who tried to get inside, and likewise adult strangers would create a temporary social grouping as they enjoyed the liberating experience within “…Empty Stomach!”’s confines.
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