Click On This Website to Blow Up Real Life Balloons

Pop balloons in a Dutch artist’s studio in real time with your clicks.

by Daniel Oberhaus
Jun 4 2016, 4:00pm

Despite its name, Amsterdam's "Puff Up Club" has nothing to do with cannabis. Rather, it's about blowing up balloons until they pop, and you can help make that happen just by clicking here.

Reminiscent of the infamous Reddit Button or that time when thousands of Twitch players tried to play the same Pokémon game simultaneously, the Puff Up Club invites people from around the globe to collaborate on blowing up a real life balloon just by clicking a button. Visitors can watch the balloon inflate in real time and each time one balloon is popped, it is replaced by another which takes more clicks to inflate.

The project is the brainchild of Moniker, a design studio based in the Netherlands known for its participatory tech projects. It is inspired by the work of artists Alexander Calder, Peter Fischli and David Weiss, who currently have an exhibition at Switzerland's Foundation Beyler. As Moniker writes on its website, this project is supposed to reflect the "fleeting, precarious and exhilarating moment of fragile balance" that is expressed in Calder, Fischli and Weiss' work.

As of this writing nine balloons have already been popped and the current balloon has been being inflated for 33 hours with over 4 million clicks. Two more balloons are scheduled after the current balloon pops, and the next balloon will require approximately 9 million clicks to burst.

As someone who has already spent an unconscionable amount of time doing his part to blow up a balloon on the other side of the world, I feel it is my duty to warn you that this installation is incredibly addictive, but also immensely satisfying for the same inexplicable reason as popping bubble wrap.

So what are you waiting for? These balloons aren't going to pop themselves.