Institute for Experimental Table Tennis Research

We’ve been thinking about how much we love table tennis and (as you may have noticed) our way of showing love is to make experimental messed up versions of things. So we’re happy to announce that we are planning to spend April investigating how to take a perfectly good thing and break it in a fun way.

If you’d like to help us build/test/engineer/play email m@machineproject.com with the subject line [PADDLE MANIA].

We’re also collecting examples of artist/experimental table tennis projects for a potential publication entitled The Journal of Experimental Table Tennis Research. If you have suggestions for that please email m@machineproject.com with the subject line [SOMEBODY ALREADY DID THAT COOL THING].

Some Initial ideas include…

Song Pong, Auto Poem Pong, Puddles of Honey Pong, Bell pong, Gladiator Pong, Really Heavy Paddle Pong (RHPP), Illusion Pong, Fishing Pong, putting the table on a giant lazy susan, completely irrational sports announcing, a video camera in each paddle with split-screen video projecting huge, orange balls zooming towards screen alternately, etc, paddles with oscillating weight inside, paddles that buzz when the opponent hits the ball, paddles that self destruct after a random number of returns, paddles that explode, paddle sensor triggers a bright-ass strobe light, trigger switches in paddles activate jets of flame, shooting water, sounds, flashing lights, etc, to make the game feel like a crazy action movie, sensors in paddles control actual vintage Pong console, so two games are played atonce, real and video, paddles have integrated heating coils/skillet surface, dual competition to cook on paddles, then play game, paddles are surfaced with solar cells; game played in daylight, winner must win on points and generate more electricity (measured with real-time voltmeters) than opponent, drone ping pong: crude mannequins are outfitted with motors and a simple control panel, paddle has spinning motor and other features (lights, sound, vibrate, liquid spray) that is controlled by viewers of the match, Haptic Ping Pong: paddles have sonar sensors and vibrating handles to help guide blindfolded players to the ball, Space Ping Pong: using bungie cords, special suits, and possibly a large tank filled with mineral oil, an attempt is made to replicate the experience of playing ping pong in 0g, Superball Arena Ping Pong: played in a small plexiglass box, with a superball instead of a ping pong ball, Meatball Ping Pong: either for the mess it’ll make or can be combined with the hotplate paddles to try and cook the meatballs as the game is played.