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Harrison Bergeron party from back in the day

OK, that allusion is a little unfair, since there’s really only, er, augmentation going on here, rather than deliberate handicapping.

So waaaaay back in 1997, German artist Hans Hemmert (who since has done some interesting things with balloons) threw a party at which each guest was outfitted with a pair of shoe-stilts chosen to bring his or her height up to 2.0 meters, so that all the guests could interact, literally, on the same level. I’m guessing, however, that there was no dancing. [via Core77]

8 thoughts on “Harrison Bergeron party from back in the day

  1. Political correctness–both promulgating and reacting to it–was much on everyone’s mind, as I recall.

    It would have been 1999 or so that I saw a reading of a play by a favorite author of mine named Frederick Turner, who’s a Prof at the University of Texas at Dallas. The play was called “Height,” and it was a spoof on the then-current PC-vogue, expertly written, about a future society that becomes concerned about “the hermeneutics of tallness” and such gobbledygook and decides they’re going to shorten tall people to bring everyone down to the same level. A machine called the “shortener” is devised for this purpose which, like a guillotine, chops lanky folks down to fit Procrustes’ bed. If you’re tall and the state likes you, you get shortened from the feet up; if not, you get it from the head down. I vividly recall the circle of readers shouting “KA-CHUNK!” in unison to signify the operation of the machine.

  2. I think I’d only need to wear my Doc Martens and I’d just barely hit the 2m mark. It would be quite a shock for me though, I’m used to everyone being shorter than I am!

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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.

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