1980-1 – “Teacher” Inflatable Puppet from “The Wall” – Mark Fisher & Jonathan Park (British)

1980-1 – Mark Fisher – Teacher – "The Wall"

The Architects' journal: Volume 196, Issues 14-21 – 1992

The work of mechanical engineer Jonathan Park and architect Mark Fisher, who together form the rock set specialists Fisher Park. This pair met as teachers at the Architectural Association in 1976, a time of radical experimentation. Among their early influences were avant-garde, Situationist-style installations – temporary structures made of cheap materials to  dramatic effect. Inflatables were the most successful and impressive of these.

Cross-overs: art into pop/pop into art by John Albert Walker – 1987 

'Teacher' by Gerald Scarfe and subsequent disillusionment of a rock star – was based on Waters' own experience.  During the performance an enormous wall ( 210 feet wide. 35 feet high) made from 340 cardboard bricks was gradually erected on stage until the Floyd were separated from their audience. A team of eighty men working with the aid of hydraulic lifts was needed to build the wall and seeing it rise was one of the impressive features of the show.

It was designed and constructed by Mark Fisher and his assistants at Britannia Row. (The figures in The Wall contained electric fans so that they inflated rapidly; they were also suspended on wires like puppets so that they moved convincingly.) Two spotlights were inserted as eyes in the teacher's fibreglass head to make his glare a literal one. Other inflatable figures included a mother, an insect- like woman, a victim and a black pig.

See other Pneumatic, Fluidic, and Inflatable robots here.

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One Response to “1980-1 – “Teacher” Inflatable Puppet from “The Wall” – Mark Fisher & Jonathan Park (British)”

  1. G Truelove Says:

    You may be interested to know that I have 3 photos of the trial of the teacher puppet on location at the keighly and worth railway in Yorkshire, I was the engineer who built the control panels for the puppet, (they are shown in the top picture of this article, bottom right.) Regards Graham