Hey, remember when you were a kid, and you were fascinated by the pneumatic tube thing at the bank, and you wondered what it would look like if you put toys and stuff in it, and they went WHOOSH into the sky, but then your mom yelled at you to stop screwing around?
Well, mom can’t tell you what to do anymore. If you want to build your own giant pneumatic tube thingy, fill it with 1,000 foam balls, and put it in a park in The Netherlands, you can! Except don’t do that, because someone already did.
Said installation, which allows park-goers to control the flow of the balls through almost 500 feet of plastic tubing, was created by artist Niklas Roy, who was inspired by particle accelerators like the Large Hadron Collider. The “Pneumatic Sponge Ball Accelerator” was designed to be a more accessible, less world-ending, foamier version of those famous devices. The entire thing is powered by a single vacuum cleaner, as Roy details in his extensive notes on the project, and gleefully exists without any real point, beyond “It’s cool to make giant machines that serve no obvious purpose.”
Roy has also uploaded footage of a small camera that he sent through the tubes, in case you’ve ever wondered what it would be like to be blown very quickly through a massive series of pneumatic tubes. It turns out that it would be disorienting, and surprisingly unpleasant to watch.
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