Airtime (2016) is a hybrid participatory and kinetic installation which fuses elements of gut-oriented architecture with elements of an anti-gravitational machine and amusement ride. Lurking beneath a floor, a custom-built hydraulic lift is installed. Waiting to detect members of the unsuspecting public standing on it, it drops abruptly by half a metre causing them to experience episodic sensations of weightlessness, before slowly resetting upwards, repeating the process in a rhythmic manner.

 

In the technical vocabulary of amusement ride design, the term “air-time” refers to the feeling of weightlessness experienced on a roller coaster or other amusement rides. This effect is achieved either by harnessing upward inertia or free-fall.The project “Airtime” is based on the latter method. Despite lasting just a fraction of a second, the sensation is met with screams and the need suddenly for some more air.

Installation "Airtime" in Lithuanian pavilion at Milano Triennale 2016
A prototype of Airtime

Idea, design: Julijonas Urbonas
Mechanical engineering: Marius Pališaitis, Julijonas Urbonas, Aurimas Česnulevičius, Dainius Vaičiulis
Hydraulics engineering: Julijonas Urbonas
Electronics: Dmitrij Snegin
Photography: Aistė Valiūtė and Daumantas Plechavičius
Video: Aistė Valiūtė and Daumantas Plechavičius
Team: Ignas Pavliukevičius, Paulius Vitkauskas