Friday, 23 January 2015

*Possible* restoration: Expressway

During developing my pinball project I've found it quite interesting just how many people I've spoken to who have had pinball in their lives in some way - mostly memories of playing when younger. So I'm kinda getting used to telling people what I'm up to.

I bumped into Steve Wilkinson from Blink Giant Media and after speaking for a bit we got onto pinball - turns out their family had a machine in their house when he was young, and better yet they still have it - been stored in his Dad's garage for a good few years (will find out how long). 

After finding out a bit more, it's possible I can take it on as a restoration project. This was (secretly) the ideal outcome for me - although I was in no way expecting it to actually happen. Steve's Dad kindly took some photos of it in the garage, these are below.

The machine is an Expressway and was built in 1971 by Bally. Check a video of another one in action. Gameplay looks decent and artwork is on a car theme by Christian Marche.

I am yet to go to see the machine in person to inspect it, especially the inside. This is planned to happen Saturday 31 January. 

As this is a 1970s machine, it runs on many, many relays and switches, and does not use a computer CPU. If there is too much damage, such as rust to the relays and motors then this would not be a good project for me. However if all looks ok, I am enthusiastic to give it a bit of work to get it to a place where it powers up and starts a game, from there I can start to plan to restore the machine. 

Whatever happens I am going to learn so much from this, so thankful the opportunity came up at this time. I may write another post with resources for restoration of these types of machines in preparation for going to visit.

Cabinet: looks OK - bit of wear around flipper buttons - the top right is from the legs. I can see some rust on the metal parts. Can you make out the backbox in the background? It looks worn a bit, and have no idea about the glass - I imagine the paint will be flaking quite bad (at least). Photo by Steve's Dad, Ray
Playfield: Looks in OK condition, all parts seem to be there from what I can tell. Few things I'm not sure about till I see it in person. Photo by Steve's Dad, Ray
Some playfield damage below a ball kickout - a few bits like this from what I can see from these pictures.
So stay tuned, more to come on this!

This post is from my journal on MA Multi-Disciplinary Printmaking.
I am currently working on a project based around games, specifically Pinball (see list of posts about Pinball).   

Thursday, 22 January 2015

Improved Flippers

Over the past week I've been working on designing an improved version of Pinbox (see the first prototype here). One of the things on the to do list is develop the flipper system. On the previous version there's quite a few parts to it, and these are held together with bolts. Also the handles are a bit flimsy and looked a bit like lolly pop sticks.

After some research into toy pinball games, I took some inspiration to make a more robust, yet straight forward flipper system. Scaled to a small version so I don't spend so much time and money on laser cutting a prototype I feel already it's a huge improvement, mechanically and aesthetically.
To add is a spring in between the two moveable flipper paddles this will spring back the paddle when pushed, to make it much more like the real game. It will also allow to flip the ball much further and faster. I'll need to add some way of inserting the spring that also keeps it in place. A cover may need to be added which will also hold down the flipper paddles - but the playfield over the top may solve both of these issues.

The above shows how the flippers just freely sit in place - so they are removable. The idea here is that it's easy to quickly get to the playfield to remove and change it, but also the idea that the whole thing is customisable, they could be replaced with a different flipper shape for example. At this size the flippers are not heavy enough to stay in place. A bigger protoype should be made but I may need to add a clip or stopper at the top to hold the flipper down.

Also will need to do quick test with a rough cardboard playfield - there will need to be an extra 1/4 circle hole cut to allow the pin from the flipper to slot into the paddle below. The pin may need to be extended slightly to allow for that.

My next plan is to finish off the new box drawings - which I'm designing to be collapsible / flat-pack style - and incorporate this new flipper system into the structure of that. Due to a few days of work experience next week, the plan for production of the next prototype may be in a few weeks - I need to keep moving and get these designs completed!

Tuesday, 20 January 2015

Nostalgia Moment & Pinball Toys

Nostalgia Moment
It seems an appropriate time for a moment of nostalgia - my last nostalgia post was trying to extract some more information about a pinball machine I vaguely remember from when I was young. However I hit an ice cream based brick wall in my Facebook research...

This time I had been spending some time looking for some good examples of pinball toys to take some inspiration from the mechanical parts when developing the protoype for my Pinbox project. I came across some good examples by Japanese electronics toy company Tomy, which I will get to later.

In this process of researching Tomy toys, I found images which sparked memories from my childhood, and realised we had quite a few Tomy toys when we were young.

There are YouTube reviews of some of these games. Some strange people are reviewing games years after they were made, and terrible reviews most of them, if they can really be called reviews? 

Pop Up Pirate
Yes! This was my favorite I think. Push the pirate into the barrel and take it in turns to stab the small plastic swords into the slots. One of the slots will make the pirate suddenly pop out of the barrel. I think part of the fun was trying to catch him in mid air. I remember you could actually feel when it engaged so if I was kinda sneaky, I could cheat! (seems it was always in the same place too!)

This guy seems to think playing Pop Up Pirates now is destroying his childhood. Boo Hoo.

Run Yourself Ragged
Not entirely sure if we owned this game or perhaps a friend. By pushing the buttons and pulling levers at the bottom you manoeuvre a small metal ball, much like a pinball, around this obstacle course. The skill being quick to reach the end of the course within the timer. The parts must all work on gears and linkages. It seems like it's quite hard to complete within the time, which is probably what kept most people coming back for more and trying to beat your friend.

This TV advert ran in the 80s - supposedly for around 10 years.

Talking Tutor Robot
As soon as I saw a picture this thing I remembered about it straight away. I must have been really young when we had this. All round the design of this one is kinda creepy, I'm not sure if this helped my learning or not, and it feels kinda strange looking back at it now. I also found another of these weird YouTube reviews  I urge you to watch it from the starting point I linked, just to hear the messed up crackly voice and those crazy spinning eyes... Aaaah! This toy should never have been made. Look at it.

Waterful Ring Toss
A toy which you fill up with water, and use the small push button air pump to fling small plastic rings onto a peg. It's reminiscent of an arcade machine or a fun fair game. I think partly I liked it because I would have to fill it up with water in order to play, that seemed exciting for some reason! It's really so simple - I don't know how long it would have kept me occupied for. Here's a YouTube "review" of it in action.

Rock n Roll Maze
One of the most played out of all of these. It's a maze that you have to get a ball bearing to navigate through within the timer. You do this by tilting the board around. There are lots of puzzles to work out on the way, some of which are motorised, obstruct vision or make use of gravity to make it more difficult. I can't find much more about this one online.

Small moving parts - do not swallow
It's interesting all of these make use of electronics and/or mechanisms in some way. Now I want to go and take them all apart and see how they work. They are actually quite intricate with the parts but seamless in execution. Clearly due to the fabrication of the plastic parts.

My memory is that they were designed to be taken apart / or not designed NOT to be taken apart (Yes you Apple!). And this makes me think of the Maker Movement Manifesto - I believe toy companies have been taking this into consideration to allow their toys to be taken apart and fixed, especially by kids. Check out iFixit for free repair guides for everything for everyone.

I love this - the repair revolution!
Learning Toys
The talking tutor robot is probably an early example of a computerised learning toy. I'd like to hope that they have come a long way, but looking back at this thing now is weird and I question how effective it actually was. Then that makes me question more recent examples of learning toys and the effect they are going to have on children's learning now. Mmmmh that's probably another worry for another day at this point.

Pinball Toys
I have seen a few recent examples of pinball games, but none have been as good as these now retro toys by Tomy. Along with that I have found some good documentation of them online including photos and drawings of the working parts beneath the playfield.

It's hard to call these just toys - they are so intricate and genuinely look not too far away from the real thing. I got so excited that I looked Astro Shooter up on eBay and bought one for £20 - seems reasonable considering it looks in good condition for it's age.

Atomic Pinball

Above: Atomic Pinball game & below the playfield - First available 1979

Astro Shooter Pinball

Above: Astro Shooter game & below the playfield - First available 1985 (?)

There was a few different artwork versions of the game which use the same parts, the rarity of some of these make them quite collectable, but the basic models seem to be readily available and quite cheap.

Gotta post share another great YouTube ;-)
Here's a guy demonstrating his "Three. Tomy. Astro Shooter. Pinball Games"

Sometimes you just have to love the internet it's resources - here some of the original drawings from the Tomy Pinball toy thanks to Jeff's Pinball Pages.

For a start, I'm particularly interested in how the flippers work. I was perhaps over complicating things and can use this system for a new prototype to improve the flippers - which are a bit flimsy right now.

I like how they have used just one small motor on a drive shaft to power all the moving parts, from the kick out's, bumpers and the scores which are on the backbox. The weight of the ball is used to engaged different parts onto the main drive shaft which is always moving when the game is switched on. Perhaps overly complex but very clever!

Pinball Toy Images & Drawings sourced from 

This post is from my journal on MA Multi-Disciplinary Printmaking.
I am currently working on a project based around games, specifically Pinball (see list of posts about Pinball).   

Monday, 19 January 2015

The 12 Hour High Score Shootout

The 12 Hour High Score Shootout
Sunday 18th January 2015
At Didcot, Oxfordshire
This was an epic 12 hour Sunday of pinball, hosted by David Mainwaring. I was originally put off due to the fact it's a high score tournament, and I'm not particularly good at getting high scores, but after hearing of other players traveling from Bristol, I decided to go for it despite the odds...

Looking at the list of players already signed up it's quite daunting - a selection of the UK's top players including the top 1-4! I was way out of my depth considering I'm partly playing for fun, and this is actually quite a serious competition for the high scoring players. 

However the way the competition ran was kinda in my favour...

The day is split into three sections of four hours. Before each section the high scores from each machine is cleared and started from fresh. The aim over each four hours is to put up the best scores on some of the machines in order to score points. On each machine there are usually five high score places. For the competition these are assigned points. The Grand Champion gets 10 points, High Score #1 - 7 Points, High Score #2 - 5 Points,  High Score #3 - 3 Points, High Score #4 - 1 point.

Martin Ayub playing Stern's 24
These points count for World Pinball Player Rankings (WPPR). For comparison, before the competition, Martin Ayub (current UK #1) had 482.77 points, and I had 0.24!

With 9 machines in a very tight space in David's living room, and around 40 players, there was a relaxed queuing system in place. You would just grab the next available machine and play a two player game with the next person in line. For me the great thing about this was getting to play pinball alongside these top ranking players, to observe and learn from their techniques. Over the course of the day I was picking up tips and confidence from advice, watching and playing lots!

A game with UK's #2 ranked pinball player Craig Pullen: 100+ million to my measly 6!
At the start of a session it's very easy to put up a high score, it feels like quite an achievement to put in a high score - but of course as more games are played it pushes my score down and eventually off the top spots. The whole day I managed to get one high score (Attack From Mars - 3.5 Billion giving me High Score #1! Yes!) This gave me a total of 7 points. I'm delighted with this!

Well done to the top four players who won trophies on the day:

1st Craig Pullen
2nd Luke Skywalker
3rd Martin Ayub
4th David Mainwaring

A video posted by Jono Sandilands (@jonosandilands) on
What's this all about?
This post is from my journal on MA Multi-Disciplinary Printmaking.
I am currently developing a project based around arcade games, specifically Pinball (see all posts on pinball).
Part of my research and understanding is to play see the seperate post about the machines I have played recently

Saturday, 17 January 2015

Full Throttle Official Launch

On Friday I attended the Heighway Pinball Full Throttle Launch Party at the Pipeline Bar, which is located in the East End of London - not far from Liverpool Street Station.

Heighway Pinball is the UK's first major pinball machine manufacturer and Full Throttle is their first highly anticipated game, expected to go into production very soon. This is something worth celebrating!
The Pipeline - good music, drinks and games
The crowd downstairs in Pipeline for the Heighway Launch, great turnout - everyone wanted to have a shot
One of the two machines set to free play on the night
The underside of the third machine playfield - showing off the modular system. Romain Fontaine (Technical Director) and Sandor Orosz (Prototype technician) kindly gave me a tour of the different components

Full Throttle High Score Tournament
Revving up, using the left flipper button for the skill shot
Players were queuing up to take a shot in the high score tournament
Janos Kiss of Heighway Pinball watching on during gameplay

Game Over - the high score being recorded
Due to connecting travel back to Bristol I left around 9pm. After this the party and tournament continued along with a performance by the band Redline, who appear on the the soundtrack for the Full Throttle game.

The Pipeline
A bit on the bar itself as this is the first time I have been there; as well as being a great bar there is a number of games, including pinball. As I've found it's so rare to see pinball machines in public, but the Pipeline currently have 6 great machines available to play, a good mix of different games including some of my favorites I've played to date - AC/DC and Twilight Zone. I also managed to get a not bad score on Indy 500, which I'm kinda happy about!

A few of the pinball players attending the party told me about the London league meets, which occasionally happen in Pipeline. I will have to keep a look out for these as really like the bar and games.

Twilight Zone, Fish Tales, Indianapolis 500
Twilight Zone playfield. This is one of the top rated games, so no surprise it's looking a bit dirty - it will be well played!
Pirates of the Caribbean, World Cup Soccer, AC/DC

Wednesday, 14 January 2015

Designing Laser-Cut for Flat Pack: Resources & Tools

This post is from my journal on MA Multi-Disciplinary Printmaking.
I am currently working on a project based around games, specifically Pinball (see list of posts about Pinball).  

Previously I had written I wanted to develop the Pinbox prototype into a flat pack Ikea style kit. I'm not sure if that's totally the correct way to describe what I want to do but, basically for now I'd like to create a new prototype of Pinbox which is collapsible, and not just glued together.

Turn's out what I'm trying to say is Press Fit.
"An interference fit, also known as a press fit or friction fit,[1] is a fastening between two parts which is achieved by friction after the parts are pushed together, rather than by any other means of fastening." wikipedia

I believe having a glue-less/slot-able/flat-pack/knock-down/collapsible version will be beneficial for a few reasons:
  • Time (less time building and waiting - potentially - immediately after laser-cut it is ready)
  • Simplicity (well thought out instead of botched together)
  • Storage & transport (when apart can be stored flat)
  • Save materials (eliminate unnecessary parts)
  • Mess (less glue = less mess)  
Storage & transport is a huge issue for me - and is the main motivation for this. I am planning to build four larger games and have no dedicated space to store or work on them over an extended period of time. Also as a possible selling point, these could be stored away when not in use, could this be beneficial for a buyer who has limited space for games?

Each prototype I have produced so far has raised some sort of issue when I go to put it together after laser-cutting - although frustrating, this has been a good process to help me understand what I need to do next, but now I would like to produce a kit which is ready to slot together and works immediately after laser-cutting. I need to learn and research a little bit more before I jump in again.

Few ideas here for slotting together flat material.

Interlocking T-Bolt Construction
A T-cutout in one piece of stock and a receptacle in another piece. These pieces can then be bolted together making a very secure 90 degree joint. Not exactly what I had in mind but it should be considered as an option.

Slots & nodes

Nodes are little bumps located in the slots or on tabs in your product that are there to help compensate for material thickness variations and the laser kerf. This idea is they compress when a product is assembled providing friction at points rather than along the whole surface of the slot. This means the slot can be fractionally wider at the opening allowing the pieces to be slotted together easily but still create a snug joint perfect for flat pack - perhaps with no glue required.

Press-Fit - Pegged Mortise Tenon Joints

I think this is more like what I had in mind. I prefer it from the T-Bolt - although it is kinda similar. Ideally I was looking at using only the friction of the material and no other fasteners - and yet it is deconstructable to allow for flat storage.

Stacking - with alignment Pegs
These square(ish) pegs allow to stack multiple pieces of wood and glue them. I have had some problems with alignment of glued together pieces especially with the Floating Flippers Protoype.
I'd like to use this idea to create a slot for the playfield - it would slide  in from the top, directly into the walls of the game. This would allow interchangeable play fields, which could benefit when prototyping. This does mean there may be some glue but only for wall parts which needs to be built up anyway to gain enough depth.

Planning to design for laser-cut - means you need to keep in mind the "kerf" of the laser cutter (how much material the laser cutter burns away when cutting specific materials) - The staff in the Laser Space will be able to advise me. Worth a look at this post too.
Online tools
As usual I'm interested in finding efficient ways to produce work that is not restricted to the normal go-to design software packages. I have used these tools in the past for project boxes and they save lots of time. I'd suggest altering the basic box designs it spits out to fit in with your requirements.

Maker Case
This one is the most impressive generator I've found and gives a live preview of your box. Although I have not used it yet, I have played around with the app - the benefits I see over the others is choosing the type of edge joint between flat, finger and T-Slot. Another handy little function here is to alter the dimensions between the outside or inside size. I plan to use this box maker to generate the basic artwork for my flat pack design.

Box Maker
I have used Box Maker in the past and been very happy with the outcome. It gives me that simple finger/notched box design, to the specs I give it, as a PDF, which I can customise. I'l probably always use this app when I need to generate simple project boxes.

Make a Box
Similar to Box Maker with slightly more settings - although I have had issues exporting the design.

Monday, 12 January 2015

Professional Practice Module


This post is from my journal on MA Multi-Disciplinary Printmaking.
I am currently working on projects based around play, specifically Pinball (see previous list of posts about my research into Pinball). 

This post has been an ongoing draft plan and proposal for the module Professional Practice


Placement/Work Experience in Leeds
26 - 28 January 
myPinballs is the alter-ego for Jim Askey, a pinball/arcade collector/restorer/modder/hacker/experimenter/reinventor. Jim has created worldwide tournament systems, built his own pinball games, created his own driver and control hardware and worked within the industry with some of the pinball's greatest designers.

I negotiated a 3 day work experience to visit Jim / MyPinballs at his house in Pudsey, near Leeds.

Scheduled for my visit is a look at some of his many projects:
  • Revenge From Mars rgb saucer kits (pinball machine modification kit)
  • Bally sound board reproduction (custom pinball machine hardware board)
  • Gottlieb 80b cpu board reproduction (custom pinball machine hardware board)
  • Indiana Jones pinball machine software rewrite (python and pyprocgame)
  • Whirlwind pinball machine software rewrite (python and pyprocgame)
  • NBA Fast Break pinball machine (altered to custom control using p-roc control boards)
  • Twilight Zone playfield in for a restoration (electronics & what a restoration requires)
Before I go Jim said it would be to useful to read up on (just a basic understanding)
  • Ardunio controllers (have a bit of knowledge of these)
  • p-roc boards
  • python code
  • pyprocgame ( the custom pinball framework)
  • Also to have a look on for any pinball games that I like and we can talk about
This was a 2-3 day placement with possibilities of more/ongoing work or collaboration.

Read about my work experience with MyPinballs 


Heighway Pinball
Placement/Work Experience + Project Support
7 Days between March - April 2015 - Merthyr Tydfil, Wales 

I negotiated 7 days of work experience with Heighway Pinball at their factory in Merthyr Tydfil Wales.

The proposal was sent as a PDF as well as meeting with Andrew Heighway (Managing Director) in Merthyr Tydfil and at the Full Throttle opening event in London, to discuss how the placement would work.

I am proposing two parts to this project with Heighway Pinball 1) Work Experience and 2) Project Development & Support. These parts may feed into each other for example; what I find during the work experience element is expected to advise the project work.

Work Experience
The main aim here is to help in the manufacture of pinball machines and for me to learn more about the different areas involved in the process by working alongside Heighway Pinball for a set amount of time, with the possibility for future employment.

I propose that time to be from January/February 2015 until May/June 2015, one or two days a week working at the factory in Merthyr Tydfil to relieve pressure during busy times, to shadow different staff members in a structured order to get an overview of their work, help out with different tasks, build on skills and learn about manufacturing pinball machines with Heighway Pinball.

Project Development & Support
For my final MA project I am working towards building a pinball machine that is a follow on from The Art of Ping Pong project. The machine is aiming to be experimental with materials and technology. A huge part of this project is to encourage more people to play Pinball.

The ambition is to create an interactive artwork using pinball as the medium - I’d say every pinball machine is a work of art - so the outcome is likely to develop over the time of the project - it may be an idea or a theme, a technique or material that is utelised in a new way.

With this there could be an interesting cross over with R&D projects at Heighway Pinball allowing testing of future ideas for the company.

The timescale for this project is slightly under a year and a half from January 2015 - Mid 2016.

Read about my work experience with Heighway

On going body of work
A personal/experimental testing ground. Which will develop my practice as an artist.
What I find and learn during the work experience element is expected to advise the project work.

Back up plans / other
Pinball Machine Restoration
TBC: Restoring a 1970s pinball machine
  • Cleaning, recondition, replace and/or reproduce parts
  • Make working order 
Read blog about the pinball restoration

Playfield Restoration - (not going ahead)
TBC: Helping someone restore a damaged pinball machine playfield
  • Photography and photoshop touch ups
  • print decals

I plan to document this module much better than I have been, via:
  • Audio recordings
  • Photography (camera rather than phone)
  • Possibly video
The audio recordings will be of informal conversations/interviews that take place over the time. These are for personal use and will not be published or transcribed - but are used to help me reflect on what I learn.

I feel inclined to release part of my documentation as a body of work in itself. Some ideas how to do this:
  • Create a zine from photos?
  • Create a new media based Tumblr blog (photos, videos, audio snippets)
  • YouTube channel? (probably not really for me)

Time & plans
From this week it is 18 weeks until assessment of this module. I'm starting to see some of that time fill in already so here is a week by week plan - which will be ongoing list.

It would make sense to document each part with a blog post, if plans change I will still aim to post a new update every week. If I make a post about any of this I will link it from here.

A note on league meets/competitions
You will see I still plan to attend competitions, previously I focused on playing as many machines as possible to learn more about how pinball works - but as well as playing and documenting the machines, the main focus here is to continue to meet people from the pinball community and make new connections which may feed into my work.

Colour code:
Heighway Pinball - green
MyPinballs - orange
League Meets/Competitions - purple
Workshop -  red
Other - black

Week 1 // 15 Jan - 21 Jan
Heighway Pinball - Launch in London (Fri 16 Jan) - blog
12 Hour High Score Competition, Didcot, Oxfordshire (Sun 18 Jan) - blog

Week 2 // 22 - 28 Jan
✓ MyPinballs Work Placement (Mon 26 - Wed 28 Jan) - blog

Week 3 // 29 Jan - 4 Feb 
✓ Digital Bristol Games Day - Digital Bristol Week 2015 - link (Tue 2 Feb @ MShed)
✓ Possible restoration project - blog ✓ visiting the pinball in Bath - blog

Week 4 // 5 - 11 Feb
✓ Printed Relief Workshop (9.30am - 3.30pm)

Week 5 // 12 - 18 Feb

Week 6 // 19 - 25 Feb
✓ Special When Lit League, Salisbury (Sat 21 Feb)

Week 7 // 26 Feb - 4 Mar
✓ Presentation - blog

Week 8 // 5 - 11 Mar
✓ Fri 6th - Work experience Heighway pinball - blog
✓ Pinball Madness League, Weston Super-Mare (Sun 8 Mar)

Week 9 // 12 - 18 Mar
✓ Fri 13th - Work experience Heighway pinball - blog

Week 10 // 19 - 25 Mar
✓ Fri 20th - Work experience Heighway pinball - blog

Week 11 // 26 Mar - 1 Apr
✓ Fri 27th - Work experience Heighway pinball - blog

Week 12 // 2 - 8 Apr 
✓  Thurs 2nd - Work experience Heighway pinball (extra data added) - blog
Student Vacation

Week 13 // 9 - 15 Apr
Student Vacation

Week 14 // 16 - 22 Apr
✓ Fri 17th - Work experience Heighway pinball - blog

Week 15 // 23 - 29 Apr 
✓ Fri 24th - Work experience Heighway pinball
✓ Pinball Madness League, Weston Super-Mare (Sun 26 Apr)

Week 16 // 30 Apr - 6 May

Week 17 // 7 - 13 May
Roller Print Workshop (10.30am - 3.30pm)

Week 18 // 14 - 20 May
Final journal, finish up & organise work

Assessment and feedback
Thursday 21 May

Module Outcomes (summary)
Professional Practice Proposal
  • the relevance of the project proposal to student work;
  • the expected outcomes (these may vary from an exhibition, producing a limited edition multiple, evaluation of a professional print/design studio, training workshops or a field trip to gather research information);
  • a statement of what individuals expect and intend to learn from the project;
  • the expectation that all project evaluations will be accompanied by a body of practical work;
  • a statement of the issues that will be addressed during the project.
  1. Body of work & research 80%
  2. Journal (inc report of placement) 20%

Proposed Personal Outcomes
  • To understand more about pinball electronics, mechanisms and systems.
  • Get my hands on, and build using the parts, for restoration, new build and my own work.
  • Develop my process and practice as an artist (rather than a designer).
  • Have fun in the making process (less focus on the end product)
  • Create artwork 'sketches' - to be seen as tests for my next stage of work in year 3
  • Sketches possibly come together to create an exhibitable body of work
  • Make use the facilities, staff and other contacts I have made which are available at uni, placement - to create my own work
  • Better show my work online - as this is where it mainly exists.

Wednesday, 7 January 2015

Ideas: Pinbox

Pinbox is a concept / kind of in progress project / event / exhibition / tournament.

Pinbox is a fun artist led project using simple mechanical, experimental play through the medium of pinball.

A basic kit of a pinball game and balls is provided to the artist (I propose to make a few example machines as proof of concept). The artist is free to alter, add, customise the game in anyway to make their own - more interesting - game.

The parts would be custom made and totally adaptable. The shape and basic working mechanics are the only constant but things can be added, altered etc.

The Protoype Kit
The lasercut MDF prototype
The kit should either be supplied flat pack with Ikea style instructions or be easy to take apart and reassemble. The game is designed with simplicity in mind - ideas that maybe it can just be slotted together (instead of glue) and therefore could be stored/transported flat.

The simplicity continues through gameplay and this is to encourage the artist to add their own alterations to make gameplay more interesting as well as or part of their artwork.

Some more about the prototype itself in the Flippin' Protoypes post.

There would be a minimum of 4 machines as part of this project (the more the better, imagine 20!?). These would be exhibited side by side at a gallery or event space. Each would be totally different / fun / explore an idea in it's own right.

Similar exhibition formats

Used & Abused, Centrespace, Bristol
Skate art exhibition - Art on broken skate boards by 50 Illustrators.

Toys, The Christmas Steps Gallery, Bristol
Interactive exhibition of all things playful and fun. Over 30 contemporary artists and illustrators creating a mixture of printed and three dimensional toys, puzzles, knick knacks, games, whirligigs, mobiles, zim zams, plushies, doodads, fandangles and much more..
More on this to come including some mock ups of possible machines...

What's this all about?
This post is from my journal on MA Multi-Disciplinary Printmaking.
I am currently proposing a project based around arcade games, specifically Pinball (see list of posts about Pinball).