Mixed Reality Laboratory

Rider Spoke (2007)

Developing from works such as Uncle Roy All Around You, Rider Spoke invites the audience to cycle through the streets of the city, equipped with a handheld computer. You search for a hiding place and record a short message there. And then you search for the hiding places of others.

The audience can take part either either on your own bike or borrow one supplied by Blast Theory. Following a short introduction and a safety briefing you head out into the streets with a handheld computer mounted on the handlebars. You are given a question and invited to look for an appropriate hiding place where you will record your answer. The screen of the device acts primarily as a positioning system, showing where you are and whether there are any hiding places nearby. The interface employs imagery drawn from Mexican votive painting, sailor tattoos and heraldry: swallows flutter across the screen to show available hiding places, prefab houses indicate places where others have hidden.

Rider Spoke

In collaboration with Blast Theory, Sony Net Services and the Fraunhofer Institute.

Sponsored by Trek.


Gabriella Giannachi, Duncan Rowland, Steve Benford, Jonathan Foster, Matt Adams, and Alan Chamberlain. 2010. Blast Theory's Rider Spoke, its documentation and the making of its replay archive.  Contemporary Theatre Review 20, no. 3. 353-367. https://doi.org/10.1080/10486801.2010.489047

Leif Oppermann, Martin Flintham, Stuart Reeves, Steve Benford, Chris Greenhalgh, Joe Marshall, Matt Adams, Ju Row Farr, and Nick Tandavanitj. 2011. Lessons from touring a location-based experience. In International Conference on Pervasive Computing. Springer Berlin Heidelberg, 232-249. https://doi.org/10871/17764

Alan Chamberlain, Leif Oppermann, Martin Flintham, Steve Benford, Peter Tolmie, Matt Adams, Ju Row Farr, Nick Tandavanitj, Joe Marshall, and Tom Rodden. 2011. Locating experience: touring a pervasive performancePersonal Ubiquitous Comput. 15, 7 (October 2011), 717-730. https://doi.org/10.1007/s00779-010-0351-3.

Rowan Wilken. 2013. Proximity and Alienation: Narratives of City, Self, and Other in the Locative Games of Blast Theory. In The Mobile Story: Narrative Practices with Locative Technologies. Routledge, New York.



Photo credit: Blast Theory

This page was last updated on 01 May 2020 at 08:26 (GMT)

Mixed Reality Laboratory

University of Nottingham
School of Computer Science
Nottingham, NG8 1BB

email: mrl@cs.nott.ac.uk