Phobiarama

Theatrical ghost train
Phobiarama

Phobiarama

Theatrical ghost train

A theatrical ghost train erected in the middle of the street, questions the presence of angst-fuelling rhetoric in politics. Taking their seat in a buggy, visitors are whirled away on a tour of today’s media landscape. They experience their own fascination with negativity, and the impact this has on our world. The spaces boom with the words of politicians. The more sensational the warnings, the faster the attraction speeds, and performers start appearing. The demons are brought to life.

  • Dries Verhoeven
  • Athens
  • Amsterdam
  • 's-Hertogenbosch
  • Utrecht
  • Aarhus
  • London
  • Vienna

Theatrical ghost train

A theatrical ghost train erected in the middle of the street, questions the presence of angst-fuelling rhetoric in politics. Taking their seat in a buggy, visitors are whirled away on a tour of today’s media landscape. They experience their own fascination with negativity, and the impact this has on our world. The spaces boom with the words of politicians. The more sensational the warnings, the faster the attraction speeds, and performers start appearing. The demons are brought to life.

I was asked to create a system to automate the entire system for the Phobiarama installation. The installation consists of a mix of live and pre-recorded (security) footage that needed to cross-over unnoticeable to the visitors.

During the creation of the performance the crew had to be able to easily change and test all parts of the performance for which a custom interface was created.

The system syncs all video and audio events with the actors and controls the speed of the cars that run around on a special track.


The system runs a node.js server controlling a dozen custom programmed Raspberry Pi based media-players, a dozen IP-cameras, a video stream server, a remote Ableton Live setup and a custom built Arduino based speed controller for the carts.

Photos: Willem Popelier

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