JOAN MORA & CHEMA BLANCO (Based in Madrid)

The Puppet Master is an artistic digital interactive installation for public collective spaces. It enables a user, called the Master and located in a private hidden space, to communicate with citizens (Puppets) in public spaces. This communication is established through the use of a camera and a digital facade. The artistic installation is designed to promote a game-like communication between the Master and the Puppets. The Master uses a complete set of creative visual tools and effects to playfully interact and collaborate with the people on the street. According to the reaction of the Puppets, the Master can adapt the communication to empathize and create unique personalized experiences.

Media facades and digital billboards are becoming ubiquitous around the world. Unfortunately most of them are passive in the sense that they only show non-interactive content. Even worse, these devices tend to be controlled, if possible, from hundreds of kilometers away in a silent manner. Content change is always done without the public even noticing it. Mora and Blanco’s approach is radically different: they explore novel communication dynamics in public spaces by using these enormous digital devices and take advantage of digital media capabilities by making the viewers active individuals in the generation of their own experiences.
The Puppet Master aims to create a novel communication system between public and private space. It defines two roles, one for the people who are located in front of the media facade, and the other one for the people who can control and modify the digital world using an array of tools to foster the interaction between both worlds using their mobile phones or tablets.
Indoor and outdoor users can manipulate the digital facades in many different ways thanks to their handheld devices. By using text messages, drawing canvases, overlaying images etc., the users can augment reality and the other users around them, by cloning, erasing, or moving individuals, amongst many other fun and engaging interactive elements.

Partners: Produced by Medialab-Prado in Madrid and adapted by Videospread in Marseille and Amber Platform in Istanbul

The Puppet Master by Joan Mora & Chema Blanco during the Connecting Cities Event at Madrid 2013 © Medialab-Prado


Artist biography

Joan Mora and Chema Blanco have been specially inspired by the impact of ubiquitous computing in open spaces and how technology can provide new ways of human-to-human interaction. Social concerns are definitively present in the artists’ designs and ideas to make an inclusive effort to create human technologies and tools that enable new communication capabilities to anyone. Therefore they love the use of public space as a platform of continuous learning, experimentation and inspiration for new technologies that give voice to the people.

Website: Joan Mora, Chema Blanco:

Tech info

Materials: Media facade, Internet ready computers, camera which can be accessed in real-time


7.9.2013 MADRID @ Medialab-Prado, 10pm-11pm
2.11.2013 ISTANBUL @ Besiktas Square, 6pm-9pm
2.11.2013 ISTANBUL @ MSGSU Findikli Campus, 6pm-9pm
2.11.2013 MARSEILLE @ Villa Mediterranée, 7pm-7.30pm
7.11.2013 ISTANBUL @ MSGSU Findikli Campus, 7pm-10pm
7.11.2013 MARSEILLE @ La Friche la Belle de Mai, 6pm-9pm