Archive for peformance


Taking as a starting point a festival that took place a while ago in Amsterdam, called the Mobile Music Workshop

(to read an extensive article, visit we-make- money- not-art)

i am writing about some mobile-music pieces, others directly linked to mobiles, others to education and others to geo-tagging and gps.

01_Gamelan Playtime, by Arlete Castelo & Melissa Mongiat, UK (


This installation draws in passers-by as they walk along Hungerford terrace on the South Bank. By moving their hands across an invitingly tactile surface pedestrians trigger sensors that release recordings of the Royal Festival Hall’s Gamelan set being played by a group of Lambeth school children. The sounds are made up of the Gamelan instruments themselves, human voices and song. The installation is a 30m long “wall”, bringing about unexpected interaction not only between each individual and the surface but also amongst the all the different groups of people engaging with the installation at the same time. more…

02_PLAY.orchestra, by Arlete Castelo & Melissa Mongiat


Play orchestra, recreates an empty orchestra pit of 60 seats. Passers-by can take the stage and experience a musical piece
from the player’s perspective. By taking a seat, the public triggers a recording of the correspondent musical instrument. As more people
sit down, the composition is progressively revealed in its whole. They can further engage with the piece through their mobile phones, by receiving ringtones of the experience they just created, or sending
their own sounds. These will then be part of a new composition to take place within the installation, for other passers-by to discover.’

o3_Net derive, by Atau Tanaka and Petra Gemeinboeck



Participants are given a kind of scarf with a mobile phone in each end and off they go to explore the neighborhood. One of the phones takes pictures every 20 secs and collects sounds, the other talks to the GPS (also in the scarf) and to the server inside the gallery space. On a radar they can see themselves pictured as dots but also the images they’re taking. The sounds and pictures collected in the streets are sampled and mapped to a 3D city map in the gallery. As users are walking they can hear some voice instructions through a pair of headphones. Those comments suggest paths to follow or turns to make, they are generated and heard in a musical fashion.

04_Sonic City, Lalya Gaye, developed by a the Viktoria Institute and RE:form in Sweden, 2004

Sonic city, enables people to compose music in real time by walking through the city, through a mobile wearable interface. The system retrieves information about the environment and user action, and maps it to the audio processing of urban sounds, resulting in music heard through headphones.

–how it works–

Wearing a sensor-equiped jacket, the person can create a personal soundscape co-produced by physical movement, local activity, and urban ambiance.

05_Taking Soundings, by Yolande Harris, KHM


‘Taking soundings is a series of pieces that are emerging from the investigation into landscape and navigation. Taking soundings is a traditional technique of determining the shape and depth of the sea or river-bed by means of a lead and line, and I find an obvious continuity in the gathering of information from satellites via a GPS receiver. Taking soundings of ones position relative to satellites orbiting the earth rather than relative to ones immediate environment, strikes me as a kind of blind guidance, which encourages feelings of security or insecurity. Certainly this giving up of something of ones own intentions and perceptions, being taken by the hand as it were, has parallels with an experience of art. My intentions, rather than taking away peoples ability to act, is to encourage an unfolding of experience, a drift.’ More…

06_Talking cities, Hybrid Space Lab in KHM


The four sculpted audio seating areas are traversed by broad bands, each carrying the audio signal of one of the four radio stations. By means of little cable spools in which loudspeakers are integrated, visitors can go to any point along a band and listen to the programme of that particular radio station in German, or in English. More…


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street games-scavenger hunt

Probably the second most popular genre of mobile street games after tag, scavenger hunt fits the idea of unfolding an urban narrative guided through a play that makes use of mobile devices and role playing. You are the detective!!yay

01_Uncle Roy All Around You , Blast Theory, UK 2003

Uncle Roy All Around You is a game played online in a virtual city and on the streets of an actual city. Online Players and Street Players collaborate to find Uncle Roy’s office before being invited to make a year long commitment to a total stranger.Gameplay: Street Players buy a ticket and then are shown to the registration desk. They have their photo taken and hand over all their possessions: phone, purse, bag, loose change, etc. The Street Player receives a unique code, which they enter into their handheld computer thus triggering the 60 minute countdown to begin.Having been told they must meet Uncle Roy within 60 minutes, Street Players take their handheld device out onto the streets. Their device shows a map and the names and positions of Online Players. Once outside, they receive a message from Uncle Roy asking them to meet him in a specific location. Each time they ‘meet’ Uncle Roy, he gives a task and a new location. Once the street players confirm they are standing on a specific location, their avatar appears on the map.Online players, are watching street players avatars appearing on the virtual map. (see also mogi mogi). Selecting a Street Player’s card allows the Online Player to send private messages to the Street Player. The Street Player can record audio replies or ignore these messages. Only the most recent audio message from each Street Player is available: a new message ‘overwrites’ the previous one.Through collaboration of online and street players, street players move towards Uncle Roy’s office. Once they have reachedg the office…Online Players are informed that the Street Player is in the office and are invited to join them. Once in the virtual office, they see the Street Player on a live web cam. The Online player is asked a series of questions culminating in: “Somewhere in the game there is a stranger who is also answering these questions. Are you willing to make a commitment to that person that you will be available for them if they have a crisis? The commitment will last for 12 months and, in return, they will commit to you for the same period.” The street player is asked to move to a phone box outside the office and then answer the same question. If both agree a white limousine is waiting to take the street player to his/hers online match. More…Similar project by blast theory is -àI like Frank in Adelaide , where players at the streets and online collaborate in order to locate Frank.

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street games-stands

Here are some mobile phone projects that use either the flash mob culture, stands and public performance.

01_Mobile Geographies @ Parsons (Hanuman Theater by Diana Baltazar, Lihn Pham and Marcus Pingel), 2006

  Mobile Geographies is a collaboration project that aims to create a platform for the production and dissemination of geo-tagged urban information. Hanuman Theater is an interactive show proposed for the most celebrated and the last surviving tamasha theater in Bombay.   This mobile phone driven intervention allows audience members to influence the performance through text messaging. The rules go as following. Firstly, players are assigned of “housie” number . Whenever their housie number is called by the moderator players have to make a choice through  a content menu they have received via SMS in their mobile phone. The word they choose, will then appear under a projected image, calling the actors  to improvise. The result is a hilarious interactive stand up comedy…


02_Asphalt games by Intel Research, 2003

Asphalt games, is based on techniques for improvisational theater games, game moves (“stunts”). Stunts have three components: an object, an action, and a theme. The stunt generation engine randomly selects these components from a database and sends a combination to the player, who may then “roll again” until an exciting combination presents itself. An object can be any item often found in a city, such as coffee cups, newspapers, and fire hydrants. An action can be any traditional American outdoor game such as hopscotch, hide-and-go-seek, and tag. A theme is an event or situation prevalent in metropolitan life, such as “happy hour”, “vice”, or “hailing a cab.” It is a wild card altering the interpretation of the other components. the gameplay goes as following, each stunt is associated with a node, which is the street corner in New York where the stunt took place. Nodes are marked on the virtual map with their owners’ tags. Stunts are always situated within a specific neighborhood or even street corner, so they must be judged in context. Players document their stunts through digital photographs uploaded to the website. The photographs and accompanying description inspire community ratings. Players may only rate a stunt once, but they can comment as much as they like. Team that has the more ratings wins.

What I find interesting about asphalt games is the fact that players choose their own action, from tag to hiding…In a way they choose their own core mechanic, thus in a way they create their own game within the game.


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