2003 – 2004


Pongmechanik, an electromechanical version of the early electronic tennis game Pong, has its roots in two strands of technological history. The first follows the transition from the elaborate machines of computer pioneer Konrad Zuse, which had their inner workings prominently displayed inside glass cabinets, to the black boxes of today’s computers, which generally hide their internal processes from view.
The second follows the shift from Pong’s abstract representation of sport, a generation ago, to the increasingly realistic representations seen in contemporary video games. Pongmechanik contrasts these two trajectories by marrying the earliest manifestations of those threads. A physical version of the Ur-video game, Pongmechanik’s highly visible logic circuit, constructed from telephone relays like Zuse used, responds to joystick-guided cues that maneuver a white plastic square and rectangles (the ball and rackets) across the play field.

[ Pongmechanik webpage ]

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