Beat the Living F**k Out of Cancer with a Light-Up Punching Bag

Give cancer a stiff left jab to the cells.

by Beckett Mufson
04 November 2015, 4:40pm

Images courtesy the artist

Some problems can't be taken on with a stiff right jab (e.g. international diplomacy, space travel, and getting tickets to the new Star Wars movie), but now cancer is one that can. Dutch designer Thijs Biersteker created an interactive light-up punching bag for fundraiser hosting group Fight Cancer that both doles out the personal satisfaction of laying into LED cancer cells and also raises research funds for the Dutch Cancer Society.

A punchable LED screen developed by MediaMonks brings The Interactive Punching Bag to life when you step into the motion-sensing laser boxing ring. Cancer cells replicate based on your stated cancer profile, and it's your job to "cure" them with your fists. Biersteker, who also gave us the "book cover that judges you," often brings the metaphor of fighting cancer into the literal realm, but this is one of his most satisfying projects to date. “I’m not a doctor or a scientific genius, so when a loved one becomes ill, I feel like a bystander," he says. "With this interactive punching bag you can really join them in their fight by stepping in the ring and punch cancer in the cells, raising funds for cancer research punch by punch.”

Check out the punching bag in action below.

The Interactive Punching Bag will be touring the Netherlands' gyms over the next year. Book a fundraiser or learn more about the cause on their interactive website. See more of Thijs Biersteker's work on his page.


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light art
interactive installation
Thijs Biersteker
fight cancer
the interactive punching bag