Even more Enhanced Duelling Artefact, 2003
The first version of PainStation was basically build from crap and other stuff we found in our apartment and cellar. The housing was made of metal shelve boards, wood and plastic. The mechanics were also very rudimentary (we used yoghourt containers for the whips for example) and possibilities of the IO-interface were very limited.
With a growing community of fans in the back and the help of so many enthusiastic friends, we decided to build a successor. We wanted to improve upon all the “children’s diseases” of the first machine and give it a redesigned look to avoid further comparisons with certain kitchen devices.
The development started in Summer 2002 with the help of several people: Lars Wichmann and Markus Wesselt from treibwerk redesigned the housing. Thomas Willms und Holger Schebek offered to reprogram the software in C++ and develop a custom interface board. Thorsten Schreiter from f-punkt maschinenbau was hired to build industry-strength PainExecutionUnits. We started redesigning and -developing everything else like pc-hardware, electronics, gameplay, sounds, screendesign, etc.
PainStation 2.0 was finally working in June 2003 when the machine had it’s debut in the Harald Schmidt Show, Germany’s most famous late night tv show.
We were very satisfied and proud, but the machine was only partially meeting the expectations we had. The interface board didn’t get done in time for the show so we used a premanufactured version (with limited possibilites), motors and flashlights were too weak and the software wasn’t fully implemented yet.
So in late 2003 we once again decided to build another successor and make it perfect this time. Moreover, we decided not to build only one but five machines. We wanted the installation to be experienceable for years to come – instead of being remembered from “documentation only” like so many other media art pieces. So we went for Version 2.5