Experimental gallery shrinks visitors to fit in a hamster tank

In Spišská Nová Ves, kids and grownups can try how it feels to be a hamster or an ant.

Have you ever wondered what it would be like to eat an apple that is twice your size or how much fun hamsters have running inside their wheels?

In Spišská Nová Ves there is an experimental gallery that lets you feel like a hamster for a few moments. The Laborartorium experimental gallery is modest in size. It consists of three rooms where children - and adults - can first see hamsters in their tank, only to enter a room equipped with the same items - this time, to make humans feel as if they are the hamsters in a tank themselves.

The creators of the project, Peter Piroch and Ľuboš Potok, are Spišská Nová Ves locals who wanted to return home from abroad. They have been building children playgrounds for more than ten years now, in Slovakia and abroad. Yet they wanted to find a different use for the material they work with - polyurethane-coated polystyrene.

"We haven't found anything like that anywhere else, so we went for it," Piroch told The Slovak Spectator about the idea of shrinking people to hamster size.

The gallery is part of the office building of their company. They first started with just the hamsters - they made a few big ones, so people could experience how it feels to be inside a tank with them. The hamsters are 17 times larger than life.

"We consider this art, it lets people feel something they cannot experience anywhere else," Piroch said.

Since then, they have also built a huge ant (286 times its lifesize), and now they are preparing an oversized chameleon, and later an interactive robot with printed circuit boards.

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