"Loca: Set To Discoverable is an arts-based group project on grass-roots, pervasive surveillance which seeks to expose the disconnect between people and the trails of digital identities they leave behind. Loca is an exercise in everyday surveillance, tracking digital bodies in physical space. It examines what happens when it is easy for everyone to track everyone, when surveillance can be affected by consumer level technology within peer-to-peer networks without being routed through a central point. Pervasive surveillance is potentially both sinister and positive at the same time, enabling all sorts of context aware interaction, while also introducing yet new ways in which we may be surveilled and ultimately controlled."

Loca: Set To Discoverable
A text on the Loca project by Drew Hemment, John Evans,
Mika Raento, Theo Humphries


"Flock is a new installation inspired by Tchaikovsky's Swan Lake. Set out of doors, after dark, Flock uses the physical presence of participants and passers by to illuminate enchanted ghostly dancers. Following any one of these will take you on a journey where fantasy and reality merge, moving you simultaneously through both the physical space and the dancers' virtual swan world. Each person’s pathway will be intricately connected to the group as a whole - ultimately creating a co-ordinated corps de ballet of pedestrian performers, as engaging to the bystander as the participant."

Martin Rieser, mobileaudience blog

demolishing a wall

"The commonest sort of cinematic place seems to be made of boundaries. Or, at least, the names of cineastes whose work emphasises walls, barriers, doors, thresholds and the like seem to spring almost unbidden to the mind. If Hawks = action and Ford = feature, we may expect Hitchcock = enclosure; and the equation is surely too obvious to warrant exposition here. But the description is equally applicable to Orson Welles's particular exposition of place as bounded infinity, a mansion of echoes, made as much of hearing as of seeing."

William D Rout, senses of cinema

lethal theory

"Like a worm that eats its way forward, emerging at points and then disappearing. We were thus moving from the interior of homes to their exterior in a surprising manner and in places we were not expected, arriving from behind and hitting the enemy that awaited us behind a corner... We took this microtactical practice (of moving through walls) and turned it into a method, and thanks to this method, we were able to interpret the whole space differently!... I said to my troops, "Friends! This is not a matter of your choice! There is no other way of moving! If until now you were used to moving along roads and sidewalks, forget it! From now on we all walk through walls!"

interview with Aviv Kokavi
from Eyal Weizman, Lethal Theory

optional time

"The public space is oftentimes set in motion by activities made for active people. This installation is activated by the moods and emotions playing out around it. It opens up for a new set of activities by introducing a broad range of ‘mood-based activities’. It is a whisper-game of how we invent and reinvent our identity on the stage of public space."

Susann Lekås, optionalTimes

urban interface

Physical and immaterial interfaces
"Today’s city is a porous and dynamic terrain; the physical world constantly interfaces with the immaterial sphere of electronic and digital data which can easily and unobtrusively cross physical borders. At the same time, the complexity of the city and the widely undefined boundaries between private and public space create a variety of urban voids and grey areas calling for occupation and definition."

from oslo.urban-interface.net/conference

pierre huyghe

"In the society of the spectacle, everyone can lay claim to performer status. Huyghe's work takes account of the fact that human activities are no longer inscribed solely on specialised surfaces, but everywhere - because the human city has become a vast recording process, from surveillance cameras to the mass media. As the philosopher Jean-François Lyotard has written, swimming is an inscription, just like painting.... Using the tools of production made available to an audience - events, processes, objects or images - Huyghe suggests structures that enable us to interpret life, rather than simply being subjected to its formatting processes. His art seeks to create a kind of alternative editing suite for social scenarios. It allows us to re-compose the screenplays that define our daily life, to replay "social times" on a different scale.... The last word should go to the Italian novelist and playwright Luigi Pirandello: "The reversibility of appearance and reality is the only means of artistic access to the real."

by Nicolas Bourriaud... a critic living in Paris. He is the author of Relational Aesthetics, published by les Presses du Réel, Dijon.

ambient scapes

"A series of Live Responsive Video Artworks, where the user navigates a journey through an undetermined narrative terrain. The aim of these works was to explores the user's capacity to relate to the 'geographical' narrative discourse with the landscape that they come to inhabit through the 'virtual vista' of the Responsive Video Screen. Multiple video cameras tracked the user's movement using a system that was developed with MAX/MSP/Jitter software."

Sam Jones, ambientscapes

the five obstructions

"An unclassifiable film-school exercise—one part documentary, one part psychodrama, and one part mock manifesto—The Five Obstructions mainly serves to illuminate the game-like nature of Lars von Trier's aesthetic project.... The Five Obstructions is an essay on art as a matter of solving problems posed by a capricious deity—that is, an exposé of von Trier's own method, both of making a movie and directing actors. Von Trier compares this to therapy, although Leth hardly seems convinced. Eventually, he will be punished for his cleverness when von Trier withdraws his rules. Von Trier confesses that his desire is to "banalize" Leth and reduce him to the situation of "a tortoise on his back." But he fails once more when Leth proves resourceful enough to make something in a mode that both men profess to despise."

Tracking Shots
The Five Obstructions
by J. Hoberman


"The city comes to life through the overlapping ambiences it hosts: as a kind of software, in cultural movements, or a kind of hardware, in the physical forms of the architecture of the city itself. The unique nature and identity of any urban location emerges in an irreducible resonance that is produced between that 'software' and 'hardware'. In the case of the contemporary global city, the intensification of this relationship has produced a more radical set of bifurcations, no longer resolved as the outcome of a binary logic ('physical versus virtual'), but rather as a cascading construct of parallel realities, life worlds, and temporalities. Design of the city now has to ask how we can harness globally networked systems of capital, transnational entities, and technologically enabled relationships and use them to energize the city. In truth, design of the city today means more than ever the design and construction of an entire world."

Ed Keller,
Parallel Realities
, Trans-national Archipelagos, New Urban Ambiences

mass participation

“…every use of the media presupposes manipulation. The most elementary processes in media production, from the choice of the medium itself to shooting, cutting, synchronization, dubbing, right up to distribution, are all operations carried out on the raw material. There is no such thing as unmanipulated writing, filming, broadcasting. The question is therefore not whether the media are manipulated, but who manipulates them. A revolutionary plan should not require the manipulators to disappear; on the contrary, it must make everyone a manipulator. All technical manipulations are potentially dangerous; the manipulation of the media cannot be countered, however, by old or new forms of censorship, but only by direct social control, that is to say, by the mass of the people, who will have become productive.”

Enzensberger, Constituents of a Theory of the Media, 1969
(Post Empire Scapes Studio, Ed Keller)

habitable cinema

"Several of the world's most respected filmmakers have spoken against the notion that a film leads to a climax, and tells a single story. When Kubrick spoke of wanting to 'explode the narrative structure of film' in 'Full Metal Jacket,' I think he anticipated the new creative problems implied in the idea of Habitable Cinema. Tarkovsky makes a similar point. Compared to theater, cinema allows artificial and discontinuous environments to be woven into a single, linear experience. Image, sound, and several other cues for understanding are intertwined into one object in time. This multimodal weaving is good, but the singularity in time is something we have exceeded. Habitable cinema dislocates cinema in the same way that navigable music dislocates music. It states that the cinema of the future will be a landscape or matrix or n-dimensional manifold of opportunity. The filmmaker of the future will be a worldmaker. His or her role will be to invent matrices of opportunity which will combine liquid architecture and navigable music and other dislocated and extended media into situations we can inhabit."

by Marcos Novak

mscape project

"This is the home of the mscape project. This is the place where you can download, create and share mobile, location–based media called mediascapes. With a handheld GPS device and the mscape software you can move beyond personal navigation and extend your world with compelling interactive experiences that you control as you move from place to place."

from www.mscapers.com

sonic geographies

"Sonic Geographies takes sound as the entry point for excavating and mapping urban experience and invisible infrastructures of the city. A series of experiments and scenarios are being developed that operate as maps and journeys but also as highly personal renderings of sonic experience – sounds of the personal world in conversation with sounds of the city. The mappings attempt to excavate the layers of sound that make up the city and create strata of difference: from the sound of a city's church bells to the shifting sonic signatures of traffic, music radio and the layers of wireless communications. Sound eludes systems of representation: this process of excavation will entail developing a graphic language and notational system for representing and articulating sonic difference, and the inter-relationships that occur as urban experience. The excavation is designed to open up a new space of enquiry into the experience of the city, and how sound functions as a kind of infrastructure for understandings of place and geography particular to contemporary conditions in the city."

from http://proboscis.org.uk/sonicgeographies/index.html

urban tapestries

"Urban Tapestries aims to enable people to become authors of the environment around them – Mass Observation for the 21st Century. Like the founders of Mass Observation in the 1930s, we are interested creating opportunities for an "anthropology of ourselves" – adopting and adapting new and emerging technologies for creating and sharing everyday knowledge and experience; building up organic, collective memories that trace and embellish different kinds of relationships across places, time and communities."

from urbantapestries.net

stereo reality

Reality is becoming a stereo-reality. Just as with sounds you can make a difference between somber tones and clear tones, so there will be a concrete, actual reality and a virtual reality. From now on, humankind will have to act in two worlds at once. This opens up extraordinary possibilities, but at the same time we face the test of a tearing-up of the being, with awkward consequences. We can rejoice in these new opportunities if and only if we also are conscious of their dangers.

Paul Virilio, interviewed by
Carlos Oliveira

werner herzog

"With a singular vision continually blurring the fine line between reality and fiction, Werner Herzog has become one of cinema's most controversial and enigmatic filmmakers. A strong authorial presence pervades each of his films, whether fictional features or documentaries. For Herzog, there is no distinction between the two styles – they are all just “films” – because real life and fiction feed off each other for mutual poetic inspiration...."

by David Church

locative media

"For the purposes of this brief introductory bibliographic taxonomy, we would suggest that the locative media that is of most immediate concerns is that made by those who create experiences that take into account the geographic locale of interest, typically by elevating that geographic locale beyond its instrumentalized status as a 'latitude longitude coordinated point on earth' to the level of existential, inhabited, experienced and lived place. These locative media experiences may delve "into" the historical surface of a space to reveal past events or stories (whether fictional, confessional or standing on consensus as factual). Locative media experiences may also cross space, connecting experiences across short or long geographic, experiential, or temporal distances. At its core, locative media is about creating a kind of geospatial experience whose aesthetics can be said to rely upon a range of characteristics ranging from the quotidian to the weighty semantics of lived experience, all latent within the ground upon which we traverse."

Julian Bleecker and Jeff Knowlton

yellow arrow

"You post a Yellow Arrow because you have something to say about where it points. You thought is then forever tagged to that place. When someone else finds your arrow and sends the code, they get back the message you left on their mobile phone. Yellow Arrow is a symbol that means "there's more here: a hidden detail, a funny story, a crazy experience." Each arrow links digital content to real locations, creating a new map of what counts. When you post or find a Yellow Arrow, the way you see that spot will change. Get stickers and TXT shirts to join the global community of people, projects, and places."

from the yellowarrow.net


"Jesper Juul describes computer games as a two-layer composition of material and program in which the latter gives a meaningful structure to the game's objects (texts, graphics, sounds, and so forth). This model corresponds to Lev Manovich's description of the database as "a new way to structure our experience of ourselves and our world," and therefore as the contemporary counterpart to the traditional form of narration."

"An attempt to spatialize narration can be found in synchronized multi-stream dramas that offer the viewer two or more corresponding linear programs to jump between. On 1 January 2000, seven Danish TV stations co-broadcasted the D-Dag project set up by the "Dogme 95" initiators Thomas Vinterberg, Lars von Trier, Soren Kragh-Jacobsen and Kristian Levring. On the preceding eve of the new millennium, the four directors shot four connected real-time films that were then shown synchronously on four different channels. The fifth channel showed the first four films in split-screen format, while the sixth and seventh broadcasted the behind-the-scenes communication among directors and actors. The passive viewer became user and with the familiar remote control could edit his own film."


Topological Media Lab

"The Topological Media Lab provides a locus for studying subjectivation, agency and materiality from phenomenological, social and computational perspectives. Investigating such questions, the atelier-studio-laboratory creates material poetry, and speculative, live events in responsive environments. The TML invents novel forms of gestural media, expressive instruments and compositional systems that support these speculative performances and installations."

"The products of the laboratory include scholarly presentations, media artifacts and performances as cultural experiment, opportunities for students and affiliates to refine critical faculties in collective projects."



"Virtual or computational space enables us to explore very new forms of authorship. An expansive distributed set of evocative language-vehicles and computer-based processes become actuated through specified potential interaction or through emergent potentials that arise through use. (See my thesis, where I contrast this notion to Wittgenstein's notion that "the meaning is the use" [Wittgenstein 1958, 20]). Increasingly, one can intentionally reinterpret the potentials of a functionality and thus move outside of the specified programmed probable outcomes of a system and move into the realm of emergent experience through the recombinance of object-based functionalities."

Bill Seaman

context and decision

The Perspectivist Approach

"Earlier we called Giotto a "Perspectivist." This is to say that Giotto had an approach that allowed him to consider the painting's multiple viewers from both an emotional and dimensional perspective. The painting was then composed with that person's specific emotional and dimensional perspectives in mind. These perspectives were not separated, but parts of the same unit. The Perspectivist Approach is the fundamental mindset of any author of interactive narrative. This approach comprises two principles.

First, it bridges foreground to background. It resets the spatial relationships between people and their surroundings. The integration of the imagery with the walls of the church is as good an example of this as any. The place is a part of the experience. This is a way of looking at dimension and image from a holistic point of view. It doesn't necessarily separate the painting from the wall, but considers the totality of the environment as a single mode of communication.

Second, it bridges context to decision. The Perspectivist Approach looks at the environment and its context as being a thing that braces the actions of the occupants of that environment. A fish swims because it is in the water. A bird flies because it is in the air. St. Francis expels the demons because they're inhabiting Arezzo.

If you have foreground, background, context, and decision, you have the bricks of which the plot structures of interactive narrative are built."

Mark S Meadows
Pause & Effect: The Art of Interactive Narrative

simon heijdens


Ripples on a puddle of water, footsteps in the sand and slowly gathering grime. Natural processes are existent though becoming rare in our increasingly planned surrounding. While the trees on the streets are no longer nature but carefully controlled and managed, the wind that is moving its branches still is. An installation that traces and amplifies the leftovers of nature in the urban surrounding. White silhouettes of trees projected 8 meters high onto the facades of several buildings in a city. Its branches and leaves are moving either slightly or intense; directly to the measured wind that passes the facade of the building on which it is projected. Starting full of leaves at dawn, the tree looses one of its leaves each time someone passes it. When the leaf breaks of its branch, it drops down on the ground in an alley nearby. Because the leaves are made of light, they slowly brighten up the alley as they grow in amount over the course of the evening, and form a developping image that reveals the use of the city. The leaves roll out when someone walks through them.


“And we: spectators, always, everywhere,
at everything and never from!

It floods us. We arrange it. It decays.
We arrange it again, and we decay.

Who’s turned us around like this,
so that whatever we do, we always have
the look of someone going away? Just as a man
on the last hill showing him his whole valley
one last time, turns, and stops, and lingers –
so we live, and are forever leaving.”

— Rainer Marie Rilke,
from the Eighth Duino Elegy


non place

Augé: Spaces of Programmed Use as Non-Places

"The French Anthropologist Marc Augé uses the expression non-place to describe the effect on an environment that is caused by programmed use. Where instructions for use determine our engagement with a space, where the complexity of interaction is reduced to symbolic meaning. For Augé main roads no longer take travellers on cultural excursions, they facilitate expedient traversal and cultural detachment. In short they transform occupiable places into transport conduits.In environments where there is a sustained use and inhabitation of a space fixed regional character exists. Group and personal identity are established via association with geographic and cultural sites. Places appear to exist as dynamic and vital entities, with ownership and belonging.Environments that are exclusively defined as being operational tend to lack clearly attributable character or identity. They are spaces that are used for their purpose and act in reference to other places. ATM machines, airports and motorways all function in this way. They are single-minded spaces that illicit simple directed use... Extended choice tends towards homogenous and generic identity."


"TRUCOLD is a video work shot at night on the streets of London and - during a heavy fog - in Karlsruhe in Germany. The work comes out of Blast Theory's interest in physical displacement, amnesia and time travel and ties directly into other urban projects Can You See Me Now? and Uncle Roy All Around You, focusing in on the city at night and the gaps between what is real and what is fictional. The group are interested in the power of the viewer or participant to fictionalise their surroundings and to experience things which are not really there. Lengthy shots with a fixed camera unveil the passage of time on the landscape. By partially erasing the ephemeral passage of traffic and people, the video presents the urban fabric as monolithic, expansive and subject to minute shifts that might otherwise pass unmarked. While superficially absent people are in fact constantly present on the margins: a running man appears as blur, another is briefly reflected in a marble column."

sophie calle

"French conceptual artist Sophie Calle redefines through personal investigation the terms and parameters of subject and object, public and private. In her projects, Calle immerses herself in examinations of voyeurism and identity. Often playing roles or adopting guises, she recasts her own identity to reconstruct or document strangers' lives, examining the relationship between the artist and the objects of her investigations."


"It is tempting to see hypertext as realizing Barthes' utopian dreams of a writing liberated from the Author. The ability for each reader to add to, alter, or simply edit a hypertext opens possibilities of collective authorship that breaks down the idea of writing as originating from a single fixed source. Similarly, the ability to plot out unique patterns of reading, to move through a text in an aleatory, non-linear fashion, serves to highlight the importance of the reader in the "writing" of a text--each reading, even if it does not physically change the words--writes the text anew simply by re-arranging it, by placing different emphases that might subtly inflect its meanings."

"However, the vision of hypertext as the New Jerusalem of the writerly text neglects to consider the very real pleasures that come from surrendering to the discursive seductions of a masterful author. As Max Whitby notes in his article "Is Interactive Dead?," "[s]torytelling and narrative lie at the heart of all successful communication. Crude, explicit, button-pushing interaction breaks the spell of engagement and makes it hard to present complex information that unfolds in careful sequence" (41). The real allure of hypertext, it may turn out, is not its alliance with the writerly text, but with The Book, with its possibilities, through fixed links and narrow path choices, of ever more ingenious ways of directing, controlling and surprising the reader. The Author may be dead, but his ghosts maybe even more eloquent."

from electronic labyrinth: 1993-2000 Christopher Keep, Tim McLaughlin, Robin Parmar.

death in vegas

Death in Vegas: Seduction, Kitsch, and Sacrifice
(excerpts from Stephen Linstead)

"Doesn’t Las Vegas offer the state-of-the-art in hedonism? The last word in every pleasure you can think of? With death just around the corner, down the alley, the drying-out clinic, the desert beyond…. Is it the fascination of the risk of death that makes Las Vegas so sexy?"

" anguish, which lays us open to annihilation and death, is always linked to eroticism; our sexual activity finally rivets us to the distressing image of death, and the knowledge of death deepens the abyss of eroticism. The curse of decay constantly recoils on sexuality, which it tends to eroticize: in sexual anguish there is a sadness of death, an apprehension of death which.. we will never be able to shake off" Georges Bataille The Accursed Share Vol 11 : 84.Just in case you thought there was no distinction between representation and reality, there is death. Just in case you thought experience and the representation of experience melted into one another, death provides a structural principle separating the two. See the difference, death asks, see the way language and vision differ from the actual, the irrevocable, the real?"

Regina Barreca "Writing as Voodoo" p 174.




"The Spectacle is not all there is, and there are representations that pierce the Spectacle by inviting us to have a look at the person (or web of relations) behind the curtain. Each of us can think of images or stories that have powerfully revealed to us a hidden or un-sanctioned truth. Such representations can also take interactive form, and are perhaps more powerful when they do. Just as games can entrain us to enact the Spectacle, they may enable us to enact its converse. Situationists call this sort of reversal a reconstruction. Game designers have it in their power to reconstruct notions of personal awareness, choice, and agency in ways that might seriously disturb the consumerist ethos that has been prepared for us. Now, that could be really fun." ....Brenda Laurel

Piercing the Spectacle: A Situationist Critique of Computer Games

Rules of Play


The Fourth Wall will initially be discussed with reference to the mutating relationship between the audience and the performance. The discussion will likely give weight to the disciplines of architecture, sociology, and cinema with particular interest given to locating a shifting form of narrative. Underlying the discussion one may find references to the works of Giorgio Agamben, Walter Benjamin, Guy Debord, Gilles Delueze, Fredric Jameson, and Paul Virillio, among other writers and theorists. The blog will act as a public reservoir of sorts, sorting and sifting through materials of interest as they pertain to the fourwall project.

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