New Landscapes

Blast Theory

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Blast Theory based in Brighton are internationally renowned as one of the most adventurist artist groups using interactive media, creating ground breaking new forms of performance and digital broadcasting .

The group explores the social and political aspects of technology. Drawing on popular culture and games, often pushing the boundaries between the real and the fiction.

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Blast theory was formed in 1991. They got together because of their desire to make something that sat in the middle of what mattered to us in life. They all shared an interest in the thrill of waiting for something unknown, the thrill of new/ unknown locations, clubbing, heavy music and sharing this experience with friends or strangers.

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Blast Theory work collaboratively to combine together different academic disciplines. It requires long periods of development through international showings. Innovation and risk is central to their work and are frequently tackling difficult themes such as violence, pornography and politics.

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The major innovations;

Blast Theory incorporates many forms of technology, projection, lights, gaming, computers and phones. Their working methods are collaborative and they the company is varied in people specialising in different fields and have been collaborating with Nottingham university since 1998.


Their Work

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Blast Theory’s early work was in the field of live art. From 1999 onward the relationship between live art and performance became less apparent. They then shifted towards work that aims to question performativity, site and presence Recent work uses mobile technologies such as text messaging, MMS messaging and 3G phones.

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Gunmen Kill Three is a crime reconstructions and political horror. It is threaded with staging’s, presentations and simulations. the piece was prompted by an article in The Guardian entitled Gunmen Kill Three at Mobile Shop. A member of the audience was handed a paintball gun and offered the opportunity to fire at two performersa in their underwear. If they chose to go ahead they were given three shots to make a hit.

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1997 was a major step forward: a nine month residency at Künstlerhaus Bethanien in Berlin coincided with a proposed performance called Succumbing suddenly shifting to become Kidnap (1998), in which two members of the public were kidnapped as part of a lottery and the resulting event was streamed online.

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Blast Theory are major innovators in Technology. The groups game projects pose questions about the boundaries between games and the real world. Drawing on popular culture and games, the work often blurs the boundaries between the real and the fictional. One of their pieces – Day Of The Figurines (2006) is an SMS game for up to 1000 players set in a decaying English town occupied by an Arabic army.

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Can You See Me Now? Players from anywhere in the world can play online in a virtual city against members of Blast Theory. Tracked by satellites, Blast Theory’s runners appear online next to your player on a map of the city. On the streets, handheld computers showing the positions of online players guide the runners in tracking you down.

Ivy4Evr (2010) –

commissioned by Channel 4 – told the story of Ivy over the course of a week through text messages. And Karen (2015) is a lifecoach on a smartphone. Both projects feature conversations between you and a fictional character


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