You may have noticed a [insert alliterative collective noun of choice] of ping pong tables around the centre of Birmingham recently. The 55 tables are all part of Ping!, a nationwide street ping pong project that aims to build community spirit and get more people interested in sport in the run up to the Olympics.
A disused shop on Corporation Street has been converted into a Ping Pong Parlour. Hosted by Fierce, the parlour is a place to chill, listen to music and challenge friendly passers by to a game.
A range of events have been organised by Fierce and Ping England over the next few Fridays. Fierce have worked with a number of local artists in order to give the proceedings a Brummie feel. The events kick off tomorrow with gastronomic adverturers Companis:
Fierce and Companis present: The Piquant Ping PONG Ice Cream Parlour
Friday 22 July 2011: 1pm – 3pm
Companis, the Birmingham-based curatorial food-art practice will refresh sticky table tennis players with a stinky scoop of pungent home-made ice-cream.
Definitely for those players displaying a strong constitution, courage and significant stiff upper lip, the Piquant Ping PONG Ice Cream Parlour will make you want to hurl more than your ball and racket at the opposition…
Let the gastronomic games begin!
Fierce and Juneau Projects present: Sonic Bat Hacking workshop
Friday 29 July 2011: 12pm – 4pm
Like a bat out of hell! Birmingham-based visual artists and musicians Juneau Projects will show you how to convert your ping pong bat into a musical instrument using simple electronics, contact mics and guitar effects pedals. Create a unique soundtrack to your game every time you play, you’ll hear everything from from electronic bleeps to crushing guitars.
Alternatively start from scratch and create your own corrugated cardboard ping pong bat in any shape you can imagine, then test out its abilities on the table both as a bat and an instrument.
Fierce and Search Party present: Search Party vs. Birmingham
Friday 5 August 12pm – 8pm
Search Party are throwing down the gauntlet. They challenge you, the people of Birmingham, to a marathon game of Ping Pong in the city centre.
Join them on the final Friday in the Ping Pong Parlour. Represent Birmingham and support your fellow citizens through thick and thin. Sing, chant, wear your hearts on your sleeves, take your tops off and swing them round your heads… As the tournament develops and fatigue sets in, unexpected narratives will emerge in the commentary that will run throughout the event’s duration.
The Ping Pong Parlour can be found at 37 Corporation Street, B2 4LS. It is open Wednesdays – Saturdays, 12–8pm