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Airground Mattress

1970 London, England

Production: Eventstructure Research Group, Amsterdam

Airgrounds were a new genre of air structures comprising soft, responsive ‘event structures’ that the public could physically interact with. They represented an artistic research into the possibilities of an expanded, interactive and responsive architecture, which was also lightweight and modular.

The Airground Mattress took the shape of a very large mattress, a rectangular envelope made from reinforced PVC fabric that was tightly inflated with air and held together with internal ties. This design prefigured the now ubiquitous inflatable ‘jumping castles’.

An important characteristic of the Airground was that each person's movements would affect the behaviour of the structure as a whole, and thereby the dynamics of other participants’ experience. It was the invention of a sculptural medium that could physically stimulate, embody and express human interactions and interrelations.

Exhibition Record

1973/9/7 - 9/30:  Tomorrow's World, BBC TV, London, England

1975/3/15 - 5/11:  Speelruimte, Dordrechts Museum, Dordrecht, Netherlands

1983/4/7 - 4/23:  Indische Buurt Cultural Week, Amsterdam, Netherlands

1986/6/7 - 6/14:  Tabarka festival, Tabarka, Tunesia

2016/8/3 - 10/5:  Context is Half the Work. A Partial History of the Artist Placement Group, Summerhall, Edinburgh, UK