No pain no gain

I’m a keen rock climber, and since the weather recently has been persisting it down, I’ve been visiting the climbing wall to keep in shape. A new bouldering wall called the Climbing Hangar has opened in Liverpool recently, and along with a multitude of bouldering problems there are several art installations around the building, including this one below, entitled ‘No Pain No Gain’, by Rachel Armstrong, a BA from LJMU (Liverpool John Moores University)

No Pain No Gain art installation

It caught my eye because it parallels closely with my own pedal power project for the National Trust – i.e. that you have to work for your reward, in this case audiovisual feedback through the tv monitor and headphones. The cycle is mounted on a turbo trainer and a light sensor measures the rotation of the rear wheel by sensing when the spokes are passing across it. A laptop is connected to the sensor via a customisable bit of electronics called a Phidget. To begin with the tv and headphones provide a bizarre and inharmonious selection of images and sounds that are gradually replaced by more soothing and pleasant ones, while a progress bar tracks across the screen to tell you how close you are to your goal. It’s an interesting concept and hopefully I will be able to integrate some of these ideas/tech into my own project.

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