The Kid Should See This

The origin of the dancing inflatable tube man

Where did those dancing inflatable men, called AirDancers or “tall boys”, originally come from? Trinidadian Carnival artist Peter Minshall created these long-armed, long-legged, exuberant dancers — plastic, body-shaped tubes set on fans — for the 1996 Summer Olympics. Minshall’s Olympics creative partner Doron Gazit controversially patented the tubes without Minshall, and now we can see them waving wildly from used car lots and cell phone stores.

An additional interesting fact from Slate, where you can listen to a 99% Invisible story on Minshall’s “tall boys”:

Turns out that vertical inflatables also make for good scarecrows. Farmer Gary Long, who helped develop the Air Rangers, says that bird damage in his orchard of honey crisp apples went from 20,000 pounds a year to zero.

There’s more wind art in the archives, including Solar Bell, The Sea Organ, and Theo Jansen’s Strandbeests.

This feature is being tested. Saves will disappear if you clear cookies. Find saved videos here.

🌈 Related videos

Sculpting the Wind: Anthony Howe’s Kinetic Sculptures

Rion Nakaya

Aeolus, an Acoustic Wind Pavilion

Rion Nakaya

Shelter in 24hrs – Emergency Concrete-laced Canvas Tent

Rion Nakaya

Caribbean hermit crab mass migration, U.S. Virgin Islands

Rion Nakaya

Colors of the Wind: A huge red octopus kite flies in the sky

Rion Nakaya

An accidental toy inventor’s shapeshifting designs

Rion Nakaya

The Toy Piano Virtuoso: Margaret Leng Tan

Rion Nakaya

Soft-bodied robot that uses camouflage

Rion Nakaya

Morske Orgulje – The Sea Organ in Zadar, Croatia

Rion Nakaya

 
Browse the TKSST Video Collections

Get 7 smart videos delivered every week.

 

Subscribe