Ever wanted to play arcade classic ‘Pong’ on the massive Harpa facade? Great, because until August 31st you can–so long as you have a smartphone.
PONG is an interactive multimedia art piece by Atli Bollason and Owen Hindley. If you go to Arnarhóll (the grassy hill overlooking Harpa with a statue of Iceland’s founding father Ingólfur Arnarson at the top) you can log on to a special wireless network, join a queue and then take control of either pong-paddle by tilting your mobile device. The game itself is then rendered in real time on Harpa’s facade using the 714 LED lights installed in the steel frame designed by Icelandic-Danish artist Ólafur Elíasson. This is the first time Ólafur cedes power over the facade.
Simple? Yes. Fun? Extremely.
The piece is also included in the Reykjavík Dance Festival‘s programme. “The festival directors brought Pong up as a missing link in the history of choreography and this original view of the game interested me so we were happy to join the roster. You could describe the game as a minimalistic choreography featuring two paddles and a wandering ball. But it is also interesting to think about how seizing control of the edifice creates a new dynamic between our miniscule bodies and the monumental structures that populate the cityscape,” says Atli.
PONG is playing on Harpa after 9:30 pm every evening until August 31st. For directions on how to play visit www.harpapong.com.