What is Blast Theory?
Led by Matt Adams, Ju Row Farr and Nick Tandavanitj, Blast Theory is a pioneering artist group which creates interactive art to explore social and political questions, placing audience members at the centre of their work.
Since 1991, Blast Theory have been using interactive media to create groundbreaking new forms of performance and interactive art that mixes audiences across the internet, live performance and digital broadcasting. The final result blurs the boundaries between the real and fictional world. Moving from virtual to physical spaces, from pubs, canals and abandoned warehouses to libraries, museums and apps, Blast Theory visit unexpected places to make their art accessible to everyone.
Blast Theory has been nominated for a BAFTA award four times, and has won the Golden Nica for Interactive Art at Prix Ars Electronica, an International Mobile Games Award, three Lovie Awards, The Hospital’s Interactive Art Award and the Nam June Paik Art Center Prize. Blast Theory’s work has been shown at a range of festivals and museums, including the Tribeca Film Festival, Venice Biennale, Sundance Film Festival, Walker Arts Center in Minneapolis, the Chicago Museum of Contemporary Art, National Museum in Taiwan.
What are they doing in Aarhus, Denmark?
Blast Theory now comes to Aarhus, Denmark where it forms part of the European Capital of Culture programme. Meanwhile it is also working in Hull, in East Yorkshire, where it is part of the UK City of Culture programme. 2097: We Made Ourselves Over is a new work by Blast Theory which forms part of Aarhus European Capital of Culture 2017 and Hull UK City of Culture 2017.
What is 2097: We Made Ourselves Over?
2097: We Made Ourselves Over is the culmination of a year-long project inviting residents and future experts from Aarhus, Hull and beyond to describe their hopes for the coming century. It’s 2097 and the days of upheaval are over. A new resilience has taken hold. Three young girls must make a decision which will affect their entire city, as well as members of their own families. The future of the city relies on their ability to embrace the unknown, face the future and act.
2097: We Made Ourselves Over takes you on a journey to the cusp of the next century. The audience is invited into a world where consciousness is transferred from the dead to the living. In five short science fiction films – each accompanied by an interactive film for smartphones – and through live events across both Hull and Aarhus, 2097: We Made Ourselves Over explores the belief that everyone has the power to act and influence the future. It uncovers the unnerving and exhilarating idea that anything is possible. The future is coming.
2097: We Made Ourselves Over, will be live from the 30th October – 5th November in Aarhus. Blending audio, installation and interactive experiences, this immersive experience will allow you to explore your vision of the city and your role in shaping its future.
Book your place on a unique 90 minute journey into the future. As scenes, sounds and fragments from the past shift and dissolve in front of your eyes, you’re invited to reimagine your city and witness a world 80 years from now.
What challenges will cities face in the future?
Since the start of 2017, Blast Theory has been releasing filmed interviews with experts from a range of fields. Each share their own views on the challenges cities will face in the future, and their hopes for the world at large.
Margaret Boden is Research Professor of Cognitive Science at the Department of Informatics at The University of Sussex, where in the 1960s she worked to develop the world's first academic programme in cognitive science. She is not a technologist, but her interest and authority on AI comes from understanding the impact and relationship of AI to people. Watch the interview with professor Boden.
According to Kathleen Robinson of East Yorkshire Tarot, it was here that cards first used in present-day tarot readings were created. Originally used for entertainment, tarot cards became popular as a form of divination in the 18th century. Blast Theory spoke to Kathleen, who also gave a reading to learn about 2097. Watch the interview with Kathleen Robinson.
Kristin Birkeland is one of the founders of Sager der Samler, a voluntary organisation based in Aarhus that provides support for 'everyday activists'. Blast Theory asked Kristin about some of the projects she's been involved in, and what an everyday activist is. Watch the interview with Kristen Birkeland.
Dr. Mirko Presser is Head of Research and Innovation at the Alexandra Institute in Aarhus. An expert on the internet of things, Mirko spoke about what kind of tasks await if we 'turn the world into data'. Watch the interview with Dr Mirko Presser.
These films will be officially launched in Hull and in Aarhus on the 1st October, and you can watch the trailer online.