This project investigates the documentation and archiving of pervasive experiences using Blast Theory’s Rider Spoke as a case study.
Rider Spoke poses a number of challenges that epitomise the difficulties of documenting and archiving work involving digital and physical environments.
Rider Spoke is a location-based game for cyclists developed by Blast Theory and the Mixed Reality Lab at The University of Nottingham. The work encouraged participants to cycle through the streets of a city, equipped with a handheld computer to search for a hiding place to record messages about a personal memory or make a statement about their past, present or future associated with their chosen locations. Participants could also listen to the messages left by preceding players. The piece, which has been experienced by over 2000 participants in the UK, Europe, South America and Australia, shows how games and new communication technologies can create new social spaces in which the private and the public, past and present, fictional and real, are intertwined.
Horizon researchers produced a bespoke documentation of Rider Spoke utilising a variety of media to design trajectories through the user experience. This documentation formed the content of a novel archiving tool, ‘CloudPad’, which facilitates the synchronised playback and annotation of cloud-based media entities such as YouTube videos and audio files. The CloudPad archive was tested at San Francisco Art Institute and Stanford Libraries, and at St Jose State University, in the Autumn of 2011. A separate artist-designed archive of Rider Spoke was developed as an installation by Blast Theory under the title Riders Have Spoken. This was exhibited at British Library as part of their Growing Knowledge Exhibition(2011).
Interest has been received in the deployment of CloudPad in a variety of contexts, for example as an online digital video archive and as a curatorial tool in libraries, museums and galleries.
Commercial partners include: Blast Theory, The British Library and Ludwig Boltzman Institute Media.Art.Research.
Academic partners include: University of Exeter, University of Sheffield, Stanford Libraries and San Francisco Art Institute.
The Riders Have Spoken project is a follow on project funded by the Arts & Humanities Research Council. It is being used to further develop the CloudPad archive following the evaluation of work carried out by the Horizon team at Stanford Libraries, The San Francisco Art Institute and St Jose State University.
Partners: Ludwig Boltzmann Institute for Media Arts, Blast Theory