INTRIGUE by Silver & Hanne Rivrud

What happens to the social games between people when one person is remotely controlled?

The project questions the role of simulation in our everyday lives, and tries to reverse the simulation back into reality. Computer games are full of expected banality, and their main content is violence. It's always the same; killing the enemy. The player is in a safe position, while the danger action is simulated. The player can by controlling the avatar* simulate violence, without himself getting hurt. By taking the idea from a computer game one step further, we change the avatar into real people who can represent the player in real life.

*) Movable icon representing a person in a computer game

Further inspiration resources:
Invisible Theatre by Augusto Boal
The Glass Wall by Dora Garcia
Teleactor by Ken Goldgerg and the team
Girlfriend Experience by Martin Butler


Hidden in the crowd, the avatar is attending a social event. He is like anyone of us, but connected to him via mobile networks you can control his actions and influence the social game at the event. By using a mobile phone with the Intrigue application, the player can send different commands to the avatar. When the avatar hears these commands, he has to do them, but still act natural. Now a surreal and fun social game is about to begin.

screens interface screenshots

Technical description:

J2ME client software is running on the player's mobile phone. This allows him to send basic commands through an Internet server to the avatar's mobile phone, which is kept hidden. The avatar client software understands the commands and translates them to audio messages. They are played discretely via headset to the avatar's ear. Each player has limited time to enjoy the game.




Production team:
Martin Havnør
Hanne Rivrud
Petr Svarovsky
Johan Sæther
Christian Tviberg

Developed in collaboration with Vodafone GROUP R&D Germany and Atelier Nord, Oslo, Norway

Installation hardware:
Nokia N73 (4 pieces)
Web server

Installation software:
Nokia Symbian v.3, custom made Java MIDlets
Red Hat Linux, Apache Web Server, Perl, custom made scripts

"Paradoxien des Öffentlichen"
Friday 25th of May, 6pm and 8pm
Gebläsehalle, Landschaftspark Duisburg-Nord, Germany

The Intrigue project would be impossible without the help and participation of many people. We would like especially to thank:

Serafine Lindemann for intellectual support and organization
Bernd Wiemann, Martin Richartz and Martin Pamler for technical help
Laura Pöss and David Kilinc for being great avatars
Regine Debatty for inspiring feedback
Kelly Dobson and Martin Butler for sharing their experience related to their work and many inspiring ideas
Erika Dobesova for introduction to the world of discipline
Anja Brinich for help with texts

Year of creation:

Copyright © 2007 Martin Havnor, Hanne Rivrud, Petr Svarovsky, Christian Tviberg. All rights reserved