Andy Best, Merja Puustinen: Empty Stomach

  • ©, Andy Best and Merja Puustinen, Empty Stomach
  • ©, Andy Best and Merja Puustinen, Empty Stomach
  • ©, Andy Best and Merja Puustinen, Empty Stomach


    Empty Stomach

Artist(s) and People Involved:




    Inflatable sculpture

Artist Statement:

    Empty Stomach! is a large inflatable interactive bouncy sculpture by Andy and Merja. Empty Stomach! incorporates embedded sensor technology to create a playable and intuitively understandable physical interface, an allencompassing multi-sensorial experience of sound, touch, balance and social interaction. Data from the physical activity of the participants is sent via custom electronics to controlling software creating a real-time interactive soundscape of sounds, music and voice.

    Empty Stomach! is a surreal ‘Day of the Dead’ version of the witch’s gingerbread house from the fairy tale, Hansel and Gretel. Popular cultural references to the power of fantasma of toys, magic rituals, circus, and amusement parks are insinuated through the visual design of the artwork. This surrealistic world of imagination is juxtaposed with the sombre realities of everyday surroundings and conventional habits of action as the work invades the public space as an invitation for other, more political layers of interpretation

    People are eaten by the monster house as they crawl in through its three gaping mouths. The space inside – its stomach – is entirely red in colour, providing an immersive dive into a psychedelic sensuous experience. Besides its conceptual qualities the piece employs a variety of sensory realms like vision, hearing, sense of balance, and tactility in engaging the full body experience. Some people have even licked the surface! By shaking up some of the most profound ways of experiencing our physical surroundings the artwork spontaneously creates a strong sense of shared ownership and social interaction amongst its users.


    Andy Best and Merja Puustinen are supported by
    the Finnish Institute London.