16 July 1999

Assocreation / 1999 / Austria A tactile, telematic, multi-locular installation

Bump consists of two 1.5-meter wide and 20-meter long wooden catwalks, installed publicly in two different sites. When someone steps onto one of these platforms, his/her body weight triggers an impulse, which is sent via Internet to the other site. There, a pneumatic piston raises the corresponding plank by a couple of centimetres.

Bump is a tactile interface that challenges the disembodiedness of network worlds. Every pressure exerted comes through on the other side. There is a knock from underneath, the slats rise, power is transmitted via the network. Bump is sensation on the move.

Bump also produces a gap in the urban interface. It is a site at which one no longer has firm ground under one’s feet. The wooden grating on the asphalt suggests an excavation. But there is knocking from below and the boards rise up. Below is another space, reflecting the same irregularity, linked via the data transmission line. We sense the illusion of proximity. But there is only the apparatus, the pneumatic piston, the control valve, the sensor. How close together can we get?