clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

An analog pinball cabinet is being transformed into a digital art machine

Inside of The Lab at Panorama, the music festival and accompanying art show debuting in New York City next month, there'll be light projectionsa trippy tunnel of mirrors, and other interactive artworks. There will also be people playing pinball.

That'll be the doing of Red Paper Heart, a small studio in Brooklyn that's transforming a 1970s pinball machine into a tool for creating digital art. "Things like pinball get people over the seriousness of artwork," says Zander Brimijoin, the company's creative director. "People love pinball, so they instantly have an emotional attachment to it, and we can use that to create this amazing experience."

pinball performance-news-Amelia Krales/The Verge Amelia Krales/The Verge

"They're gonna be sort of like a concert pianist, but for pinball."

When we visit Red Paper Heart's office in mid-June, the project, is still under construction. So far, the studio has packed its pinball machine with sensors that detect when the ball triggers different reactions throughout the cabinet. Their next step is to connect those sensors to eight monitors surrounding the machine, which will display bouncing, colorful animations that react to every action.

"As [people] play they're gonna be creating these kind of larger than life animations," Brimijoin says. "And by doing so, they're gonna be sort of like a concert pianist, but for pinball."

Red Paper Heart's project is called Pinball Performance, and it'll be one of seven works shown in The Lab, a 70-foot dome that's part VR theater / part art gallery, part presented by The Verge. You can read more about The Lab here, and you'll be able to see it when Panorama kicks off on July 22nd.

Video by Max Jeffrey and Phil Esposito.

pinball performance-news-Amelia Krales/The Verge	Amelia Krales/The Verge