Professor Martin Rieser

Job: Professor of Digital Creativity

Faculty: Arts, Design and Humanities

School/department: Institute of Creative Technologies

Research group(s): Institute of Creative Technologies (IOCT), Pervasive Media

Address: De Montfort University, The Gateway, Leicester, UK, LE1 9BH

T: +44 (0)116 250 6578




Personal profile

Martin Rieser’s art practice in internet art and interactive narrative installations has been seen around the world including Milia in Cannes; Paris; The ICA London and in Germany, Montreal, Nagoya in Japan and New York, Melbourne, Australia.  He as delivered papers on interactive narrative and exhibited at many major conferences in the field including ISEA: Montreal 1995, Rotterdam 1996, Chicago 1997, Nagoya 2002, Belfast 2009, University of Oslo 2004, Siggraph, 2005, Refresh Banff Arts Centre 2005, Digital Matchmakers Trondheim 2005 Plan ICA 2005, NAI Rotterdam 2008, Intelligent Environments Seattle 2008,Barcelona 2009, Locunet University of Athens 2008, ISEA 2009, ICIDS 2009  and at many other conference venues across the UK and Europe.

His interactive installations include Understanding Echo shown in Japan 2002, Hosts Bath Abbey 2006 and Secret Door Invideo Milan 2006, The Street RMIT Gallery Melbourne 2008.  Mobile artwork Third Woman set in Vienna, Riverains in London and Manchester and Secret Garden and Songlines for the Phoenix DMC in Leicester.  He has published numerous essays and books on digital art including New Screen Media: Cinema/ Art/Narrative (BFI/ZKM, 2002), which combines a DVD of current research and practice in this area together with critical essays.  And has recently edited The Mobile Audience, a book on locative technology and art out this year from Rodopi, also logged in a blog:  He has also acted as consultant to bodies such as Cardiff Bay Arts Trust and the Photographer’s Gallery London, Arkive in Bristol, The Soros Media Institute in Prague and UIAH in Helsinki.

Research group affiliations

A&D Media and Imaging / Centre for Adaptations

Publications and outputs

  • Secret Garden
    dc.title: Secret Garden Rieser, Martin; Hugill, Andrew
  • Locative voices and cities in crisis
    dc.title: Locative voices and cities in crisis Rieser, Martin
  • Are people the problem or the solution? A critical look at the rise of the smart/intelligent building and the role of ICT enabled engagement.
    dc.title: Are people the problem or the solution? A critical look at the rise of the smart/intelligent building and the role of ICT enabled engagement. Bull, R.; Irvine, K. N.; Rieser, Martin; Fleming, P. D. dc.description.abstract: Almost 20% of the UK’s energy consumption and CO2 emissions arise from non-domestic buildings. Behaviour change initiatives could have a significant impact given current estimates that around 30% of energy in buildings is currently wasted. Most recently, the role of ICT and the digital economy has been championed as offering significant potential to contribute to carbon reduction targets within buildings. The creation of smart or intelligent buildings and increasingly sophisticated (and expensive) building energy management systems (BEMS) are viewed as step forward in cutting energy use by limiting the role of the building user. This paper takes a reflective stance in seeking to question the faith being placed in smart or intelligent buildings through asking, what role then for the building-user? The smart building approach appears to view the behaviour of users as a hurdle to overcome, rather than a resource to be utilized. At times it has had a narrow view of how technology and user-engagement can sit together. This paper suggests lessons can be learnt from other disciplines that champion the role of citizens and the benefits for user-engagement, participation and, increasingly, using digital technologies (such as smartphones and social media) to harness the co-creation of knowledge, collaboration and empowerment. A critical review of recent thinking in this area is presented before discussing the possible options available for organisations seeking to reduce the energy demand. Reflections are offered from a range of academic disciplines that shed light on the wider possibilities and opportunities digital technologies can offer for behaviour change and energy demand reduction in the non-domestic setting. For example, through enabling building users to both understand the environmental impact of their activities and to act in networks through social media applications of the digital technology.
  • The Mobile Audience
    dc.title: The Mobile Audience Rieser, Martin dc.description.abstract: The convergence of mobile technologies and ubiquitous computing is creating a world where information-rich environments may be mapped directly onto urban topologies. This book tracks the history and genesis of locative and wearable media and the ground-breaking work of pioneer artists in the field. It examines changing concepts of space and place for a wide range of traditional disciplines ranging from Anthropology, Sociology, Fine Art and Architecture to Cultural and Media Studies, Fashion and Graphic design. Mobile and Pervasive media are beginning to proliferate in the landscape of computer mediated interaction in public space through the emergence of smartphone technologies such as the iPhone, cloud computing extended wifi services and the semantic web in cities. These dispersed forms of interaction raise a whole series of questions on the nature of narrative and communication, particularly in relation to an audience's new modes of mobile participation and reception. These issues are explored through a series of focused essays by leading theorists, seminal case studies and practitioner interviews with artists at the cutting edge of these technologies, who are extending the potential of the medium to enhance and critique technological culture. By emphasizing the role of the audience in this nomadic environment, the collection traces the history and development of ambulant artistic practice in this new domain, creating an essential handbook for those wishing to understand the dominant global technology of the 21st Century and its implications for Art, Culture and Audience. Contents, including contributed chapters Howard Rheingold: Introduction Martin Rieser: Overview Section 1: Towards Hybridity. A History of Audience Mobility Erkki Huhtamo: Pockets of Plenty: An Archaeology of Mobile Media Susanne Jaschko: The Temporal and Spatial Design of Video and Film-based Installation Art in the 60s and 70s: Their Inherent Perception Processes and Effects on the Perceiver's Actions Martin Rieser: Forgotten Histories of Interactive Space Adriana de Souza e Silva: Art by Telephone: From Static to Mobile Interfaces Section 2: Critical Issues in Mobile Art Critical Contexts and Definitions Mary Griffiths and Sean Cubitt: Mobile/Audience: Thinking the Contradictions Jon Dovey and Constance Fleuriot: Towards a Language of Mobile Media Beryl Graham: Snapshots from Curating Mobility Understanding Public Spatialisation Martin Rieser: Beyond Mapping: New Strategies for Meaning in Locative Artworks Anke Jacob: Digital Media and Architecture An Observation Mirjam Struppek: Urban Screens as the Visualization Zone of the City's Invisible Communication Sphere The Creative User Debbi Lander: Future Physical: The Creative User and theme of response-ABILITY Andrea Zapp: A Fracture in Reality: Networked Narratives as Imaginary Fields of Action and Dislocation Section 3: Case Studies Locative Art Josephine Reid and Richard Hull: What Makes Mediascapes Compelling? Valentina Nisi, Glorianna Davenport/Valentina Nisi, Mads Haahr and Glorianna Davenport: Hopstory/Media Tales of the Liberties Drew Hemment, John Evans, Mika Raento and Theo Humphries: Loca: Location Oriented Critical Arts Usman Haque: Invisible Topographies Jonah Brucker-Cohen: Wifi-Hog: The Battle for Ownership in Public Wireless Space The Creative User: The User as Co-creator Paul Sermon: Puppeteers, Performers or Avatars: A Perceptual Difference in Telematic Space Christa Sommerer and Laurent Mignonneau: Mobile Feelings: Wireless Communication of Heartbeat and Breath for Mobile Art Victoria Fang: The Living Room Arianna Bassoli: tunA and the Power of Proximity Margot Jacobs: Engagement with the Everyday Cati Vaucelle: Between Improvisation and Publication: Supporting the Creative Metamorphosis with Technology Anthony Rowe: Developing Creative Audience Interaction: Four Projects by Squidsoup Wearable Computing Lisa Stead, Petar Goulev, Caroline Evans and Ebrahim Mamdani: The Emotional Wardrobe Katherine Moriwaki: Social Fashioning and Active Conduits Laura Beloff: Wunderkammer: Wearables as an Artistic Strategy Section 4: Artist Interviews Locative Fiona Raby: Flirt and Mset Teri Rueb: Trace, The Choreography of Everyday Movement and Drift Matt Adams: Blast Theory Steve Benford: Mixed Reality Lab Drew Hemment: The Politics of Mobility Wearables Joey Berzowska: Memory-Rich Garments and Social Interaction dc.description: Introduction by Howard Rheingold
  • Mobility, liminality and digital materiality
    dc.title: Mobility, liminality and digital materiality Rieser, Martin dc.description.abstract: Digital Media and Technologies for Virtual Artistic Spaces brings together a variety of artistic practices in virtual spaces and the interest in variable media and online platforms for creative interplay. Presenting frameworks and examples of current practices, this book is useful for artists, theorists, curators as well as researchers working with new technologies, social media platforms and digital culture. Emerging new technologies such as digital media have helped artists to position art into the everyday lives and activities of the public. These new virtual spaces allow artists to utilize a more participatory experience with their audience. dc.description: Chapters and contributors: 1. The Re-Materialisation of the Art Object (pages 1-13) Dew Harrison (University of Wolverhampton, UK) 2. Data-Objects: Sharing the Attributes and Properties of Digital and Material Culture to Creatively Interpret Complex Information (pages 14-26) Ian Gwilt (Sheffield Hallam University, UK) 3. Mobility, Liminality, and Digital Materiality (pages 27-45) Martin Rieser (De Montfort University, UK) 4. Site-Specific Performance, Narrative, and Social Presence in Multi-User Virtual Environments and the Urban Landscape (pages 46-58) Paul Sermon (University of Salford, UK), Charlotte Gould (University of Salford, UK) 5. Living between Worlds: Imagination, Liminality, and Avatar-Mediated Presence (pages 59-74) Denise Doyle (University of Wolverhampton, UK) 6. LPDT2 La Plissure du Texte 2 (pages 75-90) Elif Ayiter (Sabanci University, Istanbul), Stefan Glasauer (Ludwig-Maximilian University, Munich), Max Moswitzer (University of Fine Arts, Zürich) 7. Can Duchampian and Darwinian Virtual Objects Ever Behave Themselves? (pages 91-104) Dew Harrison (University of Wolverhampton, UK), Eugene Ch’ng (University of Birmingham, UK) 8. The Virtual and Interdisciplinarity (pages 105-116) Alistair Payne (Glasgow School of Art, UK) 9. Behind the Sonic Veil: Considering Sound as the Mediator of Illusory Life in Variable and Screen-Based Media (pages 117-134) Ross Winning (University of Wolverhampton, UK) 10. Para-Formalistic Discourse and Virtual Space in Film (pages 135-149) Ian P. Stone (Independent, UK) 11. Database Narrative, Spatial Montage, and the Cultural Transmission of Memory: An Anthropological Perspective (pages 150-158) Judith Aston (University of the West of England, UK) 12. Exploring Liminality from an Anthropological Perspective (pages 159-165) Rina Arya (University of Wolverhampton, UK) The transition from the real to the digital requires a shift of consciousness that can be theorised with recourse to the concept of liminality, which has multidiscip... Sample PDF | More details... 13. The Mirror between Two Worlds: 3D Surface Computing for Objects and Environments (pages 166-185) Eugene Ch’ng (University of Birmingham, UK) 14. The Earth Sciences and Creative Practice: Exploring Boundaries between Digital and Material Culture (pages 186-204) Suzette Worden (Curtin University, Australia) 15. The Metaplastic Cyber Opencode Art (pages 205-217) Gianluca Mura (Politecnico di Milano University, Italy) 16. Virtual Communitas, “Digital Place-Making,” and the Process of “Becoming” (pages 218-236) Anita McKeown (University College Dublin, Ireland)
  • Animating the Archive
    dc.title: Animating the Archive Rieser, Martin dc.description.abstract: This chapter examines the potential to access and augment scholarly archives through a combination of intelligent semantic tagging and mobile phone technologies. It draws on the experience gained in developing a number of experimental projects around the creation and consumption of mobile-accessible archives, through spatially related triggers in real world environments. A number of case studies are cited, to support conclusions on possible strategies for future archive development and access by the public. The projects examined include automated and durable metat-agging of video at the point of creation EMMA. It will also describe the Crow Road , (a mobile GPS - driven experiment in the West of Scotland, relating the real landscapes to the fictional landscapes developed by Iain Banks in the novel of that name) and The Blue Line Trail : a new pervasive media literary trail in the East Midlands landscape, based on interpreting the sites of DH Lawrence’s early novels, which works on mobile smartphones and draws heavily on Museum and University archives using rich mobile media; and finally Riverains – a decoding of local history through re-imagined historical characters, located and triggered in specific urban locations, who emerge to inhabit user’s phones in a dramatic recreation of seminal events, drawing on a variety of archival sources. dc.description: This handbook sets out the processes and products of 'digital' research. It is a theoretical and practical guide on how to undertake and navigate advanced research in the arts, humanities and social sciences. Topics covered include: - how to make research more accessible - the use of search engines and other sources to determine the scope of work - research training for students - what will theses, dissertations and research reports look like in ten years' time? - the storing and archiving of such research - ethics and methodologies in the field - intercultural issues The editors focus on advances in arts and practice-based doctorates, and their application in other fields and disciplines. The contributions chart new territory for universities, research project directors, supervisors and research students regarding the nature and format of Masters and doctoral work, as well as research projects. This handbook is an essential reference for researchers, supervisors and administrators on how to conduct and evaluate research projects in a digital and multimodal age. Richard Andrews is Professor in English, Faculty of Children and Learning, Institute of Education. Erik Borg is a Senior Lecturer at Coventry University's Centre for Academic Writing. Stephen Boyd Davis is Research Leader in the School of Design, Royal College of Art. Myrrh Domingo is Visiting Assistant Professor in English Education and Literacy Education at New York University. Jude England is Head of Social Sciences at the British Library.
  • The Gorilla in the Library: lessons in using ICT to engage building users in energy reduction
    dc.title: The Gorilla in the Library: lessons in using ICT to engage building users in energy reduction Bull, R.; Everitt, Dave; Stuart, Graeme; Rieser, Martin dc.description.abstract: This paper is concerned with the role of the digital economy as an enabler of behaviour change in the built environment. The Greenview research project at De Montfort University (DMU), funded by JISC’s Greening ICT fund , has undertaken innovative work to explore novel and interesting ways to engage building users in energy reduction. Findings are presented around both the methodological challenges of capturing and presenting live electrical data for iPhone applications and the wider opportunities and barriers to ICT enabled behaviour change. From a technical perspective Greenview has shown the need to conduct detailed and thorough technical work to ensure the visualisations correlate to actual building performance and from the behaviour change perspective both Greenview and its predecessor (DUALL ) have explored moving beyond quantitative approaches to presenting information on energy and sustainability that is fun, creative and [hopefully] engaging. Finally, it is clear that without senior commitment and sincere staff engagement and collaboration mere information provision in the form of dashboards are impotent.
  • Enhancing Environmental Citizenship and Reducing Energy Consumption through Creative Engagement with Building Users
    dc.title: Enhancing Environmental Citizenship and Reducing Energy Consumption through Creative Engagement with Building Users Pianosi, M.; Bull, R.; Rieser, Martin dc.description.abstract: This paper reports on research which focuses on the impact that users` behaviour has on the energy consumption of buildings and how to effectively engage users in energy reduction strategies. The research seeks to understand how work-based communities engage with energy and evaluates the impact that building-users can have on workplace energy reduction. The work is being conducted in De Montfort University, UK, and it addresses the need to lower UK Higher Education sector emissions. The awareness that our life-styles are damaging the environment has raised questions about who should take responsibility for preventative action. Many attempts at `pro-environmental change` rely upon individualistic and rationalist assumptions. Alternatively, public participation is increasingly considered to be an important aspect in the success of behaviour-change processes. It is widely accepted that if people have the opportunity to participate in decision-making processes, they will be more likely to adopt the outcome of the decisions. This principle has been successfully applied in the context of waste management and landscape planning, but has less of a track record of application in the context of energy use. Using an action research methodology, the aim is to evaluate the use of social media as a tool to engage users in the workplace environment and then to monitor subsequent behaviours. The research, currently in its initial stages, will provide insights into how social media can be used in large organisations for facilitating communication, the exchange of pro-environmental information and the impact on behavioural change.
  • The city as projection space.
    dc.title: The city as projection space. Rieser, Martin; Kekou, Eva; Venetsianou, Olga
  • NeMe: Locative media and spatial narratives.
    dc.title: NeMe: Locative media and spatial narratives. Rieser, Martin

View a full listing of Martin Rieser‘s publications and outputs.

Key research outputs

Rieser, Martin (ED/author) (2011) The Mobile Audience, Rodopi  NY/Amsterdam (Book and website)

Rieser, Martin (2009-11) The Third Woman, Interactive mobile film and Performance/ installations, and articles in Leonardo and other publications, emobilart European project

Rieser, Martin Inside Out: Sculpture in the Digital Age (2010-11), International Exhibition, catalogue and website

Rieser Martin (2012) Locative Media and Situated Learning in Digital Creativity special issue on Transdisciplinary Learning for Digital Creativity

Research interests/expertise

Interactive Narratives, Mobile Locative and Pervasive Media, Interface design, Digital Arts.

Areas of teaching

Interactive Art and Design, Interaction Design, Video, Photography, Graphic Design, Printmaking.


BA, PGCE, A Dip AD, MA, PhD(sus)

Courses taught

Creative Technologies MA/MSc

Honours and awards

Artist Commissions

2011 Urban Digital Narratives, British Council

2011 Codes of Disobedience, Locative walk, Athens, Global Gateway

2011 Secret Garden, Phoenix Square Media Centre, Leicester

2009-11 The Third Woman, emobilart/ArteK/Galapagos

2009 Riverains, B’Tween Festival Manchester Locative commission

2009 Songlines, Phoenix Square Media Centre and Leicester City Council

2007 The Street, Honorary research fellowship and residency at La Trobe University in Melbourne

2006 Hosts, Bath Abbey, ACE

2006 Secret Door, Invideo Milan

2005 Starshed, Electric Pavilion/ACE

2001-2 Electric December Watershed/Guardian Newspapers

2000 Six Small Screens, Hewlett Packard European Research Labs, Watershed

2000 Understanding Echo, Open Commission Digital Arts Development Agency (DA2)

1999 Squares, CUSP commission. Public interactive film examining     Millennium Square and Queen Square in Bristol 

1997 Light Parades, Changing Places, Southville Centre, Bristol

1997 Here be Unicorns, Open City-Installation piece College Green Bristol

1996 Orbit Project, Lottery proposal and pilot installation, Bristol  Harbourside and Exploratory Science Centre


2004 United Artists, Senior Research Fellowship Coventry University 

2004 Hosts and Mobile Audience, AHRB Research Study Leave   

2002 Triple Echo, AHRB Research Study grant

2000 Carnegie Trust Research Travel award

2000 Southern Arts Exhibition grant

Membership of external committees

2011-12 Augmented Human Conference Committee

2010-12 Intelligent Environments Committee

2005-7  Trace, Editorial Board

2005-7  Science City Bristol, Board

1996 Judge Arcade 2, Digital printmaking  

1996 Judge British Third International Miniature Print Exhibition

1994 Judge British Second International Miniature Print Exhibition

Forthcoming events

2012 Panel and presentation Mix Conference, Bath Spa University

2012 Presentation eliterature Symposium Arnolfini Gallery Bristol 

2012 Talk at Tate Britain - Designing for community powered Digital Transformations

2012 Talk at Bournmoth University of Locative Media

Conference attendance

Rieser, Martin 2012  idocs conference Bristol, Presentation on augmented reality and Heritage

Rieser Martin:  ISEA 2011 Istanbul Panel on Materiality of the Digital and Panel on Locative Media

Rieser, Martin 2011  Greenview workshop  Digital hubs, Newcastle

Rieser, Martin 2011 Greenview JISC Green ICT, Bristol

Rieser , Martin Keynote: The Art of Mobility, Hybrid Cities , University of Athens 2011

Rieser, Martin Locative Media and the City Wireless City Central Theatre Amsterdam 2011

Rieser, Martin Landscapes as Documentary i-docs Bristol 2011

Rieser, Martin 2010 Third Woman Digital Art Weeks Xian Academy of Fine Arts Xian China

Rieser, Martin Intelligent Environments Nottingham July 2011 Joint chair Art and Design section

Rieser, Martin The Future of Mobile Media Vision 2020 October 2010

Rieser, Martin and Bull, Richard Elephant in the Room, Science Communication Conference, Welcome Institute, London May 2010 (Duall)

Rieser, Martin A Language of Digital Narrative, ICIDS Workshop Edinburgh

Rieser, Martin Digital Narratives Kingston University Roundtable July 2010

Rieser, Martin; Kekou, Eva; Innovation, Technology and Expression- Audience and Media Art Practices, 5th European Conference on Innovation and Entrepreneurship Athens2010

Rieser, Martin EMUA Workshop: The Materiality of the Digital The transformative qualities of transitioning between “virtual” and “real” (Realising the Holodeck), June 2010

Rieser, Martin, The Third Woman e-­‐MOBILART Symposium 2009, Thessaloniki, Greece May 2009

Hosted by the State Museum of Contemporary Art

Rieser, Martin; Kekou, Eva; Audience and Media Art Practices, Innovation, Technology and Expression- 5th European Conference on Innovation and Entrepreneurship Athens 2010

Songlines, Amplified Leicester Phoenix Square, Talk June 16th 2010

Keynote Speaker The Art of Mobility The 8th International Conference on Mobile and Ubiquitous Multimedia (MUM 2009) Cambridge 24th November

ISEA09 Belfast Chair of Panel on Contested Spaces

Paper: The Art of Mobility

MEDIA ART HISTORY 09 Re:Live Third International Conference on the Histories of Media Art, Science and Technology Melbourne 26-29 November 2009 The City as a projection space

Rieser, Martin The Art of Mobility: How transdiciplinary artists’ projects are testing the boundaries of mobile media design  Ubiquitous Computing at a Crossroads: Art, Science, Politics and Design January 6th and 7th 2009 Imperial College London <>

ICIDS 2009 Paper and demonstration The Third Woman
Second International Conference on Interactive Digital Storytelling
09 - 11 December 2009, Guimarães, Portugal 

2008 Rieser, Martin, Starshed and The Crow Road Locative media experiments ,The Mobile City 08 locative and mobile media and the city. February 27 & 28 2008 , Netherlands Architecture Institute  in Rotterdam

Consultancy work

2011 Consultant Media Art Sandberg Institute Amsterdam
2010 Invited Speaker University of Glamorgan December
2010 Consultant Mubu: D H Lawrence Blueline Trail Durban House Eastwood
2008 Consultant Cotswold Water Park, Locative signage and interactive tour consultant
2010 Invited Speaker The Art of Mobility Camberwell College London Institute
2009 Invited Faculty Talk The Art of Mobility University of Ulm October 26th
2009 Invited Speaker The Art of Mobility Open University Research Group May

Current research students

Sean Clark 1st
Jackie Calderwood 1st
Hana Almaky 1st
Pearl John  2nd
Sandra Oliveira Dias 2nd
Monica  Pianosi 2nd
Keith Bound (pending) 1st
Sukai Mbye Bojang 2nd

Externally funded research grants information

2011 CI Greenview JISC Green energy Joint bid with IESD £40,000

2010 PI SKTP Cuttlefish Multimedia £60,000

2010 PI DH Lawrence Heritage Trails-MUBU/Durban House Museum £10,000

2010 PI Launch at Phoenix Square external Projection Commission  £3,500

2009 CI Ocean of Light TSB Proof of Concept Anthony Rowe/Martin Rieser: Large  scale LED volumatic displays £60,000

2009 PI Inside Out Rapid Prototyping exhibition £3,600

2008 CI, Ocean of Light TSB grants- £16,000

2008 PI East Midlands Innovation Fellowship: Electronic Media Metadata Acquisition £16,000

2008 PI Third Woman emobilArt EU network Project/ Vienna Arts Council £8000/ Finland Film Council AVEK £24,000

Internally funded research project information

Songlines Transport Committee Grant DMU £6,000 

Professional esteem indicators

Intelligent Environments 09,11


Case studies

Web Site References

Ship of Fools

Mobile Audience Weblog

ISEA Archives

Tate Seminar

The Future of Mobile Media

The Third Woman:

Pervasive Media Research Group


Martin Reiser