Rieser, M (2006) Hosts. Bath Abbey.

Item Type: Exhibition
Creators: Rieser, M
Official URL:
Date: 9 February 2006
Event Location: Bath Abbey
Number of Pieces: 1

Opening Date: 2006-Feb-09
Closing Date: 2006-Feb-27
Hosts, was a two stage public art initiative in Bath, designed to gather first-hand evidence of audience engagement in projects using situated and ubiquitous techniques of audience interaction. The research was funded by the AHRC, the Arts Council and Research Enhancement money. It has been presented at many conferences including: Urban Screens 07, Altered States 04, Siggraph 05, Refresh 05, Plan ICA 05 and Lovebytes 05

A large site-specific installation, five Giant screens were hung in the Abbey. A visitor triggered the presence of a variety of blurred video characters through the use of new ultrasound positional detection devices and interpretative software. Eventually huge video characters resolved on each screen. These "Hosts" always singled out an individual participant and followed them from screen to screen.

The video figures spoke in aphorisms, reflecting on the human condition (received through wireless headphones, the words also seen as animated text on the screen.). On a lateral screen evanescent figures were continually climbing up and down two ladders mirroring the motif carved on the Abbey frontage.

A 3D audio landscape of changing tonal voices accompanied the visitor between the screens on wireless headphones. The artist worked with composer Richard Barnard and singers, musicians and sound designers in Bristol/Bath on this aspect of the piece.


The project utilised specially commissioned ultrasound tracking software (Bristol University Wearables Group) to detect human presence and location. Information was passed to control computers, which co-ordinated the video feed to individual projectors from networked machines. The presences were filmed on high definition digital video and transferred as QuickTime files to server hard drives.

Collaborators: The Bristol Wearables Group (Pyxys Design), Bath Film Festival, Business West

Funding: AHRB , Bath Spa University, Arts Council of England, Roper Rhodes

Divisions: School of Writing, Publishing and the Humanities
Date Deposited: 18 Nov 2012 04:45
Last Modified: 31 Aug 2023 14:18
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