PingPongProject, 2006

an incredible 3km vacuumed plastic tube system that literally connected a forgotten neighbourhood near Wembley Stadium to the surrounding neighbourhoods. It enabled residents to shoot ping pong balls carrying written messages, thoughts, protests or other musings from post offices, schools and pubs across North Wembley, converging at one collection point. The installation itself ran for a week, but building it took months. During that period, there was a lot of interaction which figuratively put that neighbourhood on the map again.

“it is about connecting different public spaces and getting people to communicate in this "slightly bizarre" method.”

The Ping Pong Project is an ambitious and unusual public arts project taking place in early 2006 in North Wembley (London Borough of Brent). It will use a giant installation – covering an area of approximately one square mile – to create a link between people, and to raise awareness about the public space they share.

In its physical form, it will be a network of narrow plastic tubes covering an area of approximately one square mile and leading from a variety of community buildings (schools, a church, the library, the post office, a pub) to a central collection point in a public space. In most places they will be supported four metres above the street on posts planted in colourful metal barrels. The tubes will be vacuum suctioned, and just the right width to take ping pong balls. They are being provided by Lamson Installatie Techniek, a Dutch company with 45 years of experience and a taste for unusual projects!

In the schools people will be invited to draw or write on ping pong balls, expressing their ideas and opinions about public spaces – or displaying their creativity, and feed them into the ends of the vacuum suctioned tubes. It will be an opportunity for people to meet, re-discover their area, express their creativity, opinions and ideas, and build new connections.

A mini-version of the Ping Pong Project was piloted at the Brent Respect Festival 2005 in Roundwood Park

Event: the ping pong balls will be displayed on a large wire frame, at a fair in which everyone can participate

The Ping Pong Project is designed to be easy to build, disassemble and rebuild. Having been used to help forge local connections in Wembley, it will be repeated in Brussels, using the same set of materials.
The closing event of the project is hopefully the start of people’s involvement in their local area, through new, organised or personal ties.

  • Date: 2006
  • Location: North-London, Wembley
  • Type: Project
  • Status: Completed