If SevenStreets media conglomerate HQ had a Christmas Party, we’d be on the Noisy Table. As it is, the three of us will probably eat a TV dinner off our laps, watching 30 Rock boxsets. Alone.

Anyway, moving on. FACT, this week, has a noisy table all its own: a (get this) ping pong table that’s been pimped up to make music and sounds as games are played. Probably the sound of your lunch hour whizzing by while you keep having to retrieve the ball from that patient chap in the box office, as it slams through his slit again.

Created by artist Will Nash, Noisy Table is programmed with a library of digital instruments and samples. The vibrations created when the ball hits the table are turned into sounds, which are then broadcast live back into the game. Buttons at either end of the table allow players to scroll through the library and change the sounds.

Nash describes Noisy Table as “an alter-table-tennis experience” that breaks down traditional barriers of art. Yeah, those traditional barriers of art really do our head in when we’re playing ball games. We hate having to discuss critical aesthetic theorism when we’re taking a free kick inside the box, and we turned down an offer from the Biennial to curate a discussion on the motivational functions of cross-disciplinary art while playing Swingball.

FACT is inviting local makers, musicians and artists to alter the soundscape created by play on the table over the coming weeks, with several planned hackspaces, local bands, creative collectives, artists and technological makers invited to play with the coding which controls the soundscape.

Liverpool artist Ross Dalziel will assist would-be hackers in accessing the software for Noisy Table, which can be patched with open-source software, making the possibilities for customisation endless: Illuminate the front window of FACT as games are played, use the sounds as a trigger for other activity, or simply make the table sing your own song.

Will Nash’s Noisy Table will be available for public play from 12pm to 6pm daily (11am to 6pm on Saturdays). Outside of these times, it can still be used if players bring their own bats and balls.

Noisy Table
December 6 – February 23

(with live music and DJs, and a ‘battle of the bands’ ping pong tournament in association with Bido Lito! on launch night)

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