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London artist Stuart Semple has built bought a machine that makes a lighter-than-air foam using glycerin, food dye, and helium, and extrudes cakes of it through a die to create floating foam happy faces, which he releases into the air 2,000 at a time. Check the vid below.

Sean Michael Ragan

Sean Michael Ragan

I am descended from 5,000 generations of tool-using primates. Also, I went to college and stuff. I am a long-time contributor to MAKE magazine and My work has also appeared in ReadyMade, c’t – Magazin für Computertechnik, and The Wall Street Journal.

  • Stunmonkey

    This completely rocks.

    The only thing that could conceivably make this any cooler at all is
    a)for the machine to be some hand-cranked archaic brass and wood contraption,
    b)needs to make cool noises everytime it kicks one loose,
    and c)they already sound edible, so make them scented and flavored!

    I love random cool stuff like this. The world needs more of it.

  • Shakes

    Not to burst your bubble (ha, see what I did there), but this guy didn’t invent or create a thing. He bought a machine, plugged it in and called it art. Flogos popped up several years ago. This “artist” even used one of the stock templates.

    • samsam

      I don’t think he ever said he invented it. Props to him for doing this, certainly cheered me up when he did it in London. World needs more stuff like this.

      Check this video, where he clearly explains that he didn’t invent it:

  • Michael

    He’s got a video on his website where you can see the flogos name on the side of the machine, so it doesn’t look like he’s claiming to have invented or built it. It looks like he may be much better at public relations than art.

  • dokein

    Whoever invented it, it’s a somewhat clever idea. And it’s nice they don’t use anything toxic in the foam recipe. However, the whole “eco-friendly” claim is shameless and inaccurate greenwashing, seeing how helium is a non-renewable resource. Hydrogen can be manufactured, it light, and has the added bonus that the smileys could be lit on fire.

  • Sean Michael Ragan

    Thanks to everyone who caught this error and called me on it. Looks like I dropped the ball on this one.

  • Volkemon


    Flaming smileys…YEAH!!!

  • george

    Didn’t Arthur C Clarke write a story about companies with dueling “flogos” or the like, way back when?

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