Playing Laundry Badminton, for Art's Sake

New York City
by Benita Hussain Jul 27, 2010
Tom Russotti and his Institute of Aesthletics mix art with sport.

Along with his institute, Russotti, a New York-based performance artist, has helped create over ten new types of sports, with the hopes of promoting a “more creative and widespread culture of socio-physical acivity” through the ritual of team and spectator sports.

Among his inventions are games like “Megasoccer,” “Bosch on Ice,” and “Straitjacket Softball.”

On July 28, residents of Lancashire, UK, will be able to witness one of the institute’s grandest events yet: The Big Game. Co-produced with Blaze, an initiative by the UK Art Council to ramp up public pride for the 2012 London Olympic and Paralympic Games, the Nelson Institute of Sport, and Fusion Arts Community Group, the mission of The Big Game is to debut and play unique new sports to build up cultural and community pride among the youth of Fylde Coast.

Wiffle Hurling #1 from Aesthletics on Vimeo.

This year’s Big Game will host seven new sports that involve props from beach balls to oven mitts and have names like “Space Race,” “Domestic Dash,” and “Laundry Badminton.”  Promoters hope to draw hundreds of participants, including the Nelson Institute’s own Goth-inspired team, the Bunny Huggers.  

I don’t know about you, but the idea of watching cape-clad Brits playing lawnmower hockey would be enough to get me to buy a transatlantic ticket to attend.

Community Connection

Read about other ways sports can invoke political conversations in  Soccer is a Republican Sport.

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