Tuesday, 19 January 2010

Martin Rieser Keynote at Mobile and Ubiquitous Media 09 Cambridge

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Interview with Martin Rieser

Nataša Milić-Frayling, Martin Rieser

The Art of Mobility
author: Martin Rieser, Faculty of Art and Design, De Montfort University


Screen cultures today are dominated by narrative and its modes of framing. The advent of “Pervasive” or “Ubiquitous” media such as mobile smartphones with GPS sensing means that new dispersed forms of narrative interaction are now possible for the public. The convergence of mobile technologies and ubiquitous computing are creating a world where information-rich environments may be mapped directly onto urban topologies. Dispersed forms of interaction raise intriguing new questions about the nature of narrative and communication, particularly in relation to modes of audience’s participation and reception.

This new and experimental work, so far undertaken in the arena of interactive public art or spatialised interaction through mobile technologies, is in pressing need of exploration, definition, and documentation. Emergent technologies of interaction and the changing nature of public interactive engagement present a radical challenge to Western narrative and its vehicles and traditions. Boundaries between established forms (i.e., games and cinema) are thrown into question and the very concept of creative authorship becomes problematic. Whilst other emerging technologies are already redefining existing forms of screen‐based exhibition and reception (interactive television and digital cinema), they still tie down the audience in relation to the screen. Locative technology blurs the borders between physical and virtual space, leading to the redefinition of the concept of the virtual from that of simulation to that of augmentation.

This poses a series of questions around changing concepts of space and place for a wide range of traditional disciplines, ranging from Anthropology, Art and Architecture, Computer Studies, Cultural and Media Studies, Fashion to Graphic design. The talk will be illustrated by examples from Rieser's recent practice, including The Third Woman interactive mobile film.

Use mum09 as name and password to view lecture at http://videolectures.net/mum09_rieser_aofm/

WANTED!!!! New Media Project Co-ordinator

Circa £20k (according to qualifications and experience) 18 months fixed term contract.

We are looking for someone with a degree in either Multimedia Design, Design Management or Media Studies (min. 2:1) who will drive this exciting social media marketing project forward. The successful candidate will investigate, design and implement new media strategies to increase awareness and support income generation activities at Rainbows Hospice for Children and Young People. The project will also involve embedding new media within the Trust’s services.

For more information and application pack at http://bit.ly/5kMQDw.

Deadline for applications is 5 February 2010.

Sunday, 17 January 2010

Grand Theft Bicycle

By Steve Gibson, Justin Love and Jim Olson

Note: Grand Theft Bicycle is currently installed in the IOCT lab. If anyone would like to take a spin please mail me on sgibson@dmu.ac.uk

Grand Theft Bicycle is a "game art" installation that uses the kinetic interface of a bike – modified with sensors – to allow users to ride through a 3D “mod” of a video game (Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas). Set in a desert environment, Grand Theft Bicycle immerses the user into a chaotic battlefield. The original GTA game has been modified to include political leaders of various stripes. The user can choose to side with one group of politicians (or not).

Grand Theft Bicycle (GTB) is part of a growing genre of game art, that includes artists such as Wafaa Bilal. In short, game art uses the forms and techniques of commercial gaming, but inverts normally banal or uncritical gaming content to include critical, ironic reflections on issues such as the nature of violence in media culture.

Our view of game art is that it should also function extremely well as a game. In direct contrast to some other previous game art attempts, the piece is intended to work (on the surface at least) as a traditional shooter game, with all the violence and mayhem that shooter games generally employ. The use of the traditional first-person shooter model gives the piece an “in” with gamers. Given the familiar shooter format, subversive elements are more easy to sneak into the game.

Another concern that I wanted to address in GTB was the generally sedentary nature of gaming culture. This has changed somewhat in recent years with the advent of the Wii, but in general most game culture remains profoundly “unphysical.” (even Wii usage is dominated by bowling and golf, both unlikely to get a good heart-rate going). To play GTB you need to ride our sensor-modified bike. Inaction will produce very few results. What is interesting to observe is that people of all sizes and shapes will play the game for extended periods (often up to 45 minutes), whereas normally it would be extremely unlikely for most of the gaming public to get on an exercise bike for similar periods of time.

In short, GTB is an odd mix of tactical media, first-person shooter and aerobics. There is an element of absurdism to the mix, but from my observations of literally hundreds of riders the mix works extremely well for most users.

For further information please see: