A new, swallowable “audiopill” is offering users the chance to ingest their very own 10-hour rave. Created by Czech artist Jan Poope, the super-unsafe device aims to create euphoric pulsations throughout the body – allowing clubbers to experience the music from the inside of their guts. “It’s like standing in the middle of a concert hall with a powerful audio-system,” explains Poope, who launched the project on Indiegogo. “It's fun, but it's not a joke. It's a really functional device.”
The vibrating device, which has been described by Poope as “certainly not” safe, offers users three preset beats, which are selected before swallowing. Once ingested, the pill then causes a “very intensive” pain, before simmering down to a “beating pulse” – which then ultimately leads to feelings of “restlessness, amazement and elation.” It apparently has no shut-off mechanism either, which means that the 10-hour party could end up being a whole lot longer than that.
A dream come true? Or a totally terrifying nightmare? We talk to Poope to find out more. And ...why. Why.
What made you want to create the Audiopill?
Jan Poope: I like to experiment and looking for something new. My father was a food chemist who developed a new cheese and had a lot of patents. I guess it's in my blood. I'm an artist, my duty is to be an explorer and researcher, and to go into the unknown – even if there is no hope that this journey leads somewhere.
I'm guessing you’ve tried this out yourself. Can you talk me through the experience?
Jan Poope: Of course. After 20 minutes, I got vibrations on the left side of my stomach, which felt a bit like I was going to have a heart attack. Two hours and forty minutes in, it became almost unbearably intense. Then three hours and fifty minutes in, my backbone was vibrating up and down. After six hours, I went wild – relentless twitching, paralysing tingling – I couldn’t think of anything else!
It’s like swallowing a vibrating cell phone. Strange vibrations move the innards. One important factor is that it can not turn off, and it is not clear exactly how long it will take. I could restrict it electronically, but the uncertainty is a key element.
It seems like there could be a few potential dangers here. You sure it’s safe?
Jan Poope: Though I Audiopill made carefully, it may disintegrate in the digestive tract, or it may remain for example in the caecum. It's certainly not safe. Like jumping with a parachute, riding in a car, walking down the street, or sex without protection. We all know it and we all do it. Life is a dangerous thing. And always ends in death. Most people do not understand, but there are also those who understood me perfectly. And for such people is Audiopill.
What has the reception been like so far?
Jan Poope: So far, some people seem to hate me. They take this stuff too seriously. This is only a joyful experiment, detecting how far we can go – a way of looking for something new. It's fun, and a risk too. The goal is to make you happy, to discover something new and surprising.
You haven't reached your goal on Indiegogo. Are you hopeful you will?
Jan Poope: I'm a little sorry that people are picking up on the Audiopill now, just as it’s ended (unsuccessfully) on Indiegogo. But that's life. Information about my experiment has got to people, and some are interested in trying it. At the moment, I can’t satisfy them, because prototype production is laborious and expensive. But I am very pleased that such people are in the world.
See more of Jan’s work on his website here
Follow Dominique Sisley on Twitter here @dominiquesisley
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