LondonGreater LondonUnited Kingdom


$2.4 Million



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The Antirom collective was formed in 1994 by a group of Londoners as a protest against "ill-conceived point-and-click 3D interfaces" grafted onto re-purposed old content - video, text, images, audio and so on - and repackaged as multimedia. The members of Antirom felt they could do better than this multi-mediocrity, or at least no worse. The idea was to explore interactivity and try to understand what made an interactive experience engaging, a simple question but one that proved difficult to resolve. Inspired by Gerald Van Der Kaap's BlindRom, Antirom's eponymous first CD-ROM was a collection of small interactive pieces that were playful, fun, often silly and usually explored only one interactive idea at a time. The group developed hundreds of small interactive pieces or so-called 'toys'. Each toy was highly playful, without the complexity or competitiveness of a game, and in which the pleasure comes from the playing, not the winning a very English approach. Crucially, many of these toys were produced rapidly, with prototypes passed around the studio and each member of Antirom adding or changing their version. This iterative design process produced a plethora of versions, many of which were blind alleys, but some of which survived to evolve into finished versions. The original Antirom CD-ROM was self-published and funded by a grant from the Arts Council of Great Britain. 1,000 CDs were pressed and given away free. Tomato contributed graphically to the Antirom CD-ROM and the then underground trance dance trio, Underworld, let them use some of their music. Long before Nike and Sony created their online experimental galleries of Nikelab and The Third Place.

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