What if the very thing that made you feel crazy happy also made you smarter? That’s the question underlying the work of the Institute for Centrifugal Research, where scientists believe that spinning people around at a sufficiently high G-force will solve “even the trickiest challenges confronting mankind.”
We follow Dr. Nick Laslowicz, chief engineer, as he strolls through amusement parks, wearing a hard hat and taking notes, and describes the liberating power of spinning and the “mistake” of gravity.
The actor is terrific. Yes, The Centrifuge Brain Project is a joke. Laslowicz is just zany enough to be believable as a scientist whose research began in the 1970s. The sketches on the project’s website are fun too and director Till Nowak’s CGR rendering of the ride concepts are hilarious.
The culminating experiment features a ride that resembles a giant tropical plant. Riders enter a round car that rises slowly up, up, up and then takes off suddenly at incredibly high speed along one of the “branches.”
“Unpredictability is a key part of our work,” says Laslowicz. After the ride, he says, people described experiencing a “readjustment of key goals and life aspirations.” Though he later adds that he wouldn’t put his own children on one of his rides.
“These machines provide total freedom,” Laslowicz says, “cutting all connection to the world we live in: communication responsibility, weight. Everything is on hold when you’re being centrifuged.”
Kate Rix writes about digital media and education. Visit her work at katerixwriter.com.