Untitled Document

Come Closer - Bob Cotton/Jim Campbell + Squidsoup

Date: 2 April – 4 May 2007


The exhibition Come Closer consists of two interactive artworks: Come Closer and Ghosts.

Come Closer is the main digital installation piece in the exhibition. It combines wearable technology and collaborative interaction in an immersive audiovisual experience.

Essentially an exploration of the boundaries of personal space, the piece allows visitors to collaborate through their movement and relative position.

The nearer participants get to each other, the more acutely aware of each other’s presence they become. This may be playful, comforting or disquieting. With more people in a room, complex relationships and harmonies can begin to form and disappear, allowing scope for cooperation and confrontation, intimacy and rejection.

As people discover these relationships, they begin to probe them, and question these boundaries. They begin to ‘play the space’, like an instrument, in collaborative and creative ways.


Squidsoup’s work combines sound, physical space and virtual worlds to produce immersive and emotive headspaces. They aim to allow participants to take active control of their experience. They explore the modes and effects of interactivity, looking to make digital experiences where meaningful and creative interaction can occur.

Squidsoup's work has been shown at several dozen festivals, seminars and galleries around the world, including Tate Britain (Late at Tate Britain, 2006), Cybersonica (Dana Centre, 2006), Festival du Nouveau Cinema (Montreal, 2004), Futuresonic (Manchester, 2004), Lab3D (Cornerhouse, Manchester, 2003), ISEA (Nagoya, Japan, 2002), Sonar (Barcelona, 2001) and Siggraph (LA, 2001), as well as several online exhibitions. Recognition includes an International EMMA award (Best On-line Art 2000) and a BAFTA nomination (Interactive Arts 2002).

Grants and project commissions from (among others): Cybersonica (2006), The Arts Institute at Bournemouth (2006), Arts Council England (2005), NESTA Futurelab (2002-5), Folly (2004), Clark Digital Bursary (2002,4), Cornerhouse (2003), Watershed Media Centre (2002,4,5), Mobile Bristol (2004), Storey Institute (2003), Surrey Institute of Art and Design (2003), London Arts (2002).

Squidsoup’s work can be experienced online at www.squidsoup.org, and in shared spaces, physical and virtual installations, games and software tools.

The Project

Come Closer is a squidsoup project, developed with funds from Arts Council England (Grants for the Arts), the Clark Digital Bursary and Watershed Media Centre. Initial development supported by Watershed Media Centre, Mobile Bristol, JA Clark Charitable Trust, Arts Council England and The University of the West of England.

Come Closer piece was created by Gaz Bushell and Anthony Rowe. Positioning technologies developed by Cliff Randell, University of Bristol.

The piece is the subject of a research paper, “Come Closer: Encouraging Collaborative Behaviour in a Multimedia Environment”, awarded Best Paper at VSMM 2006 (Xian, China, October 2006).

The development of Ghosts was part funded by the Clark Digital Bursary, and commissioned by Watershed Media Centre, Bristol. Ghosts is created by Gaz Bushell, James Lane, and Anthony Rowe.

The text+work - Come Closer Publication was supported by Research Committee, The Arts Institute at Bournemouth.


The Arts Institute Research & Scholarship

Squidsoup (experimental and interactive art)

Squidsoup (commercial and educational)

Come Closer: Encouraging Collaborative Behaviour in a Multimedia Environment

Come Closer project

(Download PDF for full essay / text)