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Medusae Nilfisk

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The Medusae spheres, made from recycled parachute material, are lit from within, and cycle through the colour spectrum. They are suspended by antique Nilfisk vacuum cleaners. A propane driven flamethrower ignites when people make human contact between two poles on the ground.
The Medusae Nilfisk was originally commissioned by Roskilde Festival in 2007

Three giant spheres are pulsating, lit from within by an ever-changing interplay of the full color spectrum. The wind moves the enormous surfaces of fabric, recycled parachutes suspended by antique Nilfisk vacuum cleaners. At night the floating color cycles reflects in the surrounding buildings, threes and water.

On the ground two metal poles with green diodes attract attention, along with a lit cryptogram. To reach between the poles and activate the Medusae Nilfisk pyrotechnics, you must join hands with at least two more people and form a chain. When the low voltage current connects through the bodies, the three spheres go white for an instance, and…waughhh, a huge burst of flames erupts into the sky, casting an intense fire glow on the whole area. Now the visitors might start to play with creative solutions for igniting the explosions, long chains of people holding hands, couples kissing or acrobatic stretches. Any physical contact between the poles will set off the flamethrower cycle.

The Medusae installation consist of three large constructs, each 8 meters high and made primarily from recycled materials. The main structures are steel pipes salvaged from a scrap yard. The spheres are made from surplus parachutes treated with a sealing compound and anti flammables, four old vacuum cleaner engines set in the baseplate of each sphere. A propane driven flamethrower system is mounted on the top pole, made from old water pipes, magnetic piston valves and custom made nozzles. The ignition system is made from parts of the high-voltage system found in old central-heating boilers.

Inside the spheres is a system of lamps in the primary RGB colours and white, enabling the individual Medusae to attain almost any color; and the three Medusae to transform in any color combination.

The public interacts with the Medusae Nilfisk light cycles and flamethrowers through a collaborative effort, creating contact between the two poles. When people join hand or establish another physical connection, it is registered by the control systems and ignites the gas explosions. A build in timer set a limit to the amount of explosions in succession.

The Medusae Nilfisk is created by Thomas Joergensen, Nicolas Padfield, Mads Hoebye and Schack Lindemann. Interaction idea and parachute input by Pipaluk Supernova, software design by Dzl, pyrotechnical consultancy by Harald Viuff and Bo Boye. The Medusae Nilfisk was originally commissioned by Roskilde Music Festival (largest music festival in Northern Europe) in 2007.