The Blast Theory

Background of the Blast Theory:

Blast Theory is renowned internationally as one of the most adventurous artists’ groups using interactive media, creating groundbreaking new forms of performance and interactive art that mixes audiences across the internet, live performance and digital broadcasting. Led by Matt Adams, Ju Row Farr and Nick Tandavanitj, the group’s work explores interactivity and the social and political aspects of technology. It confronts a media saturated world in which popular culture rules, using performance, installation, video, mobile and online technologies to ask questions about the ideologies present in the information that envelops the public.

Blast Theory’s best works from different moments :

CAN YOU SEE ME NOW?(2001)
– a chase game played online and on the streets

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“It is a game that happens simultaneously online and on the streets. Players from anywhere in the world can play online in a virtual city against members of Blast Theory. Tracked by satellites, Blast Theory’s runners appear online next to the player on a map of the city. On the streets, handheld computers showing the positions of online players guide the runners in tracking others down.

With up to 20 people playing online at a time, players can exchange tactics and send messages to Blast Theory. An audio stream from Blast Theory’s walkie talkies allowed you to eavesdrop on your pursuers: getting lost, cold and out of breath on the streets of the city.” quoted from http://www.blasttheory.co.uk/bt/work_cysmn.html

“Can you see me now?” does not like the other 2 mentioned projects, not an individual-involved game. Also, players need to play it online with other participants to against the Blast Theory members.

Awards

Winner of the Golden Nica for Interactive Art at Prix Ars Electronica, Linz, Austria, 2003

Nominated for an Interactive Arts BAFTA Award, UK, 2002

DAY OF THE FIGURINES(2006):
– an SMS game for up to 1000 players set in a decaying English town occupied by an Arabic army

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Players roam the streets, defining themselves through their interactions.

“Day Of The Figurines continues Blast Theory’s enquiry into the nature of public participation within artworks and within electronic spaces (here, through SMS). It uses emergent behaviour and social dynamics as a means of structuring a live event. It invites players to establish their own codes of behaviour and morality within a parallel world. It plays on the tension between the intimacy and anonymity of text messages, building on previous projects such as Uncle Roy All Around You, I Like Frank and the award-winning Can You See Me Now?” quoted from http://www.blasttheory.co.uk/bt/work_day_of_figurines.html

In my opinion, the main objective of this project is to find out how players respond to these events and to each other creates and sustains a community during the course of a single day in the town.

Awards

Honorary mention for Interactive Art at Prix Ars Electronica, Linz, Austria, 2007

ULRIKE AND EAMON COMPLIANT(2009):
– marked a return to the explicit political questions of works such as Stampede and Desert Rain. Shown at the Venice Biennale the work invites participants to become Ulrike Meinhof or Eamon Collins as they walk through the city.

It is an ambulatory work commissioned by the De La Warr Pavilion for the Venice Biennale.

For the first time since Desert Rain (1999), this project is based on real world events and is an explicit engagement with political questions. Participants are invited to assume the role of Ulrike or Eamon and make a walk through the city while receiving phone calls. The experience culminates with an interview in a hidden room.” quoted from http://www.blasttheory.co.uk/bt/work_ulrikeandeamoncompliant.html

Some of the tasks in the project:
– Invites participants to nod their head and to say whether they are a decisive or a hesitant person.
– Instructed to do so participants raise their hand to their head; then choose a passing stranger and give them a name.
– Participants are guided from the second bridge, alongside the canal to the tatty grass area in front of the barracks.
– Asks participants what they can do for the people around them….

Participants may end their journey as whenever they like. However, they might not start the game freely as they have to join the event in a specific period .At the end of the project they could go to a hidden room after they have the interview room and watch as the next person comes in and sits down to be interviewed.

Project photo on streetScreen Shot 2012-12-17 at 1.07.38 PMScreen Shot 2012-12-17 at 1.07.53 PM

Awards

Nominated for Innovation Award, Sheffield Doc/Fest 2011

Winner Best Real World Game, International Mobile Gaming Awards, Barcelona, Spain, 2010

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