Hudson-Powell and Joel Gethin Lewis created a new site-specific play experience for a big screen in the center of Edinburgh entitled Hungry Hungry Eat Head. The greatest thing about the project is that there’s no specific goal or reason, apart from the fact that it is fun. Passers-by are given the opportunity to perform in a live broadcasted comic. Here’s some explanation about the project:
“Using video-tracking technology that exchanges pattern markers for augmented 3D animations, Hungry Hungry Eat Head is a fun and playful experience for the wider public to engage with – and the first time this technology had been used at any of the UK towns and cities in the expanding Big Screen network. By relaying a live overhead camera feed of the public space upon the 25-metre square LED monitor, the effect is that of a ‘magic mirror’ where the viewer’s own reflection shifts and changes before their eyes. Markers were distributed on site during the event and by holding these up facing outwards, the heads of participants were replaced by grinning monsters, spotted frogs and a strange array of abstract creatures.”
In 1938, Johan Huizinga published the book ‘Homo Ludens‘ about ‘the playing man’. The book by the Dutch historian discusses the importance of the play element in culture and society. The theory of situationists such as Huizinga and Constant Nieuwenhuys are often used in predictions of a future in which man will be able to spend all energy and time in creativity and fun within a societal context of a complete mechanical production process where no time and effort of labor are needed. Related to these predictions we often reported about ‘Age of Experience’, as a speculation for the future city beyond the Creative Age. This rather decadent concept quietly seems to become a huge discourse in contemporary urban practice, which leads to a stream of projects to improve urban space. Additionally, Volkswagen launched the Fun Theory, a series of great projects with the purpose to use the fun element in getting people to do things better. Huizinga was quite right in his observation. Will we become Homo Ludens?