Phones and art

Phones as art? Sounds silly, doesn’t it? Yet, since the 1920’s, phones have played their part in the art world. Today, all you have to do is look at mobile phones of this new millennium to see what kind of artistic expression is being shared with each person that buys a new mobile.

In the future, it is hard to say where the artistic expression side of mobile phones will end up. Personally, I agree with the article at “ezine” that states that it is likely that it will evolve into large, multi-user experiences instead of being limited to the design of the latest gadget.

Although the British group Blast Theory did not initially work with cell phones, their projects foresee new ways mobile communication devices may function in the near future. In conjunction with the Mixed Reality Lab at the University of Nottingham, England, Blast Theory employs handheld computers and wireless devices to mix physical and virtual spaces, transforming the city into a playful multi-user experience. Their work focuses on developing games that occur simultaneously in physical and digital spaces, integrating and forming communities between online players and players who walk on the street. In their games, an action in the physical space might influence a decision in digital space and vice versa. Blast Theory’s first collaboration, *Can You See Me Now?* [11], resembled a traditional Pac-Man video game played in hybrid space. Players from anywhere in the world could play online against the members of Blast Theory. Tracked by satellites, Blast Theory’s runners appeared on a virtual map of the city center next to online players.

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