Noisy Table, an augmented ping pong table that will make music and sounds as
games are played, will be available for the public to try at FACT from December
It will be the first project and the launch of the FACT Connects programme, which
is committed to reaching out to local artists, musicians, organisations and
independent businesses, allowing their presence to be felt in the FACT building
and, in turn, ensuring FACT has a supportive creative presence in the city.
Created by artist Will Nash, Noisy Table is programmed with a library of digital
instruments and samples. The vibrations created when the ball hits the table are
turned into sounds, which are then broadcast live back into the game. Buttons at
either end of the table allow players to scroll through the library and change the
Nash describes Noisy Table as “an alter-table-tennis experience” that breaks
down traditional barriers of art.
He says: “People can feel intimidated when they are asked to join in by an artist,
but they don’t even think about that with table tennis. They just pick up the bat
and start playing.”
FACT is inviting local makers, musicians and artists to alter the soundscape
created by play on the table at its very source. In several planned hackspaces,
local bands, creative collectives, artists and technological makers will invited to
play with the coding which controls the soundscape, patching in their own audio
samples and encouraging the public to join in with their twist on Nash’s work.
Liverpool artist Ross Dalziel will assist would-be hackers in accessing the
software for Noisy Table, which can be patched with open-source software,
making the possibilities for customisation endless: Illuminate the front window
of FACT as games are played, use the sounds as a trigger for other activity, or
simply make the table sing your own song…
So whether you just want to play a game, hack a work of art, or find out what an
Arduino is and what it does, come get connected with FACT!
Will Nash’s Noisy Table will be available for public play from 12pm to 6pm daily
(11am to 6pm on Saturdays). Outside of these times, it can still be used if players
bring their own bats and balls.
It will launch on December 6 with live music and DJs, and a ‘battle of the bands’
ping pong tournament will run while the table is in situ. In association with Bido
Lito! magazine, eight local bands will take part in customising the table and
competing against each other.
Local technicians and hackers interested in customising the table’s play can
Noisy Table is supported by Dunlop Table Tennis and funded by Arts Council
England. It will remain in the foyer for the duration of the Winter Sparks
exhibition, until February 23 2013. See it in action here.