Heartland ('Ere Be Dragons) mobile phone game 2005

Active Ingredient

Active Ingredient is an award winning artist-led collective founded by Rachel Jacobs, Matt Watkins, Gareth Howell and Zini Pandya in 1996, later joined by Robin Shackford (no one can remember quite when).

Active Ingredient created interactive artworks that toured nationally and internationally between 1996 and 2013. They were pioneers of digital and web art in the early days of the internet, creating a precursor to YouTube through their live streaming video channels developed between 1999-2007 and their early locative mobile phone games, developed with the Mixed Reality Lab and Hewlett Packard from 2005-2007.

They collaborated regularly with other artists, musicians, researchers, workshop facilitators, galleries, curators, scientists, technologists and designers.

Active Ingredient is no longer active although the ethos and vision continues as the members of the collective continue make to work, cook, write, lecture, be part of communities and engage communities, fight with and create with technology, together and apart.

Inflatibles at Barracao Maravilha



Exploring energy and climate change through artists residencies, workshops, a schools exchange an exhibition and developing an online platform for capturing and interpreting environmental data. https://www.flickr.com

Person playing Exploding Places game on a mobile phone

Exploding Places


An urban mobile phone game looking at communities, place and history, presented at a community centre in Woolwich, London.



A Conversation Between Trees in Rufford Park - the climate machine with a projected visualisation of data captured in an oak tree in Sherwood Forest

A Conversation Between Trees


A touring interactive artwork and schools exchange in the UK and Brazil visualising environmental and climate data in forests in the UK and Brazil.



two people dressed up in costume with the logo for Fantasy A-List in the right hand corner and a question on a ticker below 'You also spend time with the Governor of California, is thFantasy A-List Generator


An interactive video booth and public projection, using live web video streaming. Exhibited at Hatton Gallery, commissioned as part of the AV Festival 08.

A girl looking at her phone and a screen shot of a phone game screen wth a list of playersLove City


A mobile phone game designed to send text messages of love to players across the three cities of Nottingham, Leicester and Derby.




vines growing in St John's Church, ChathamChatham Vines


A collaboration with internationally renowned artist John Newling, creating an interactive website and installing 360 degree cameras into St John’s Church in Chatham where people could view the vines growing in the derlict church. Resulting in a book and winning the Rouse Kent Public Art Award 2006.

a PDA phone with a heart graphic on the screen held in someone's hand with the street behindHeartlands/’Ere Be Dragons


An interactive artwork/mobile phone game controlled by heart rate, exploring health and the environment. Toured to Paris, Japan, Singapore, Berlin, Nottingham, San Francisco, Bristol, Cambridge, Brazil and Finland.

multicoloured salt crystal trees and a telly in the distanceChemical Garden


A modular interactive installation of a forest of thousands of salt crystal trees, lego spider robots seeking each other our along the pathways, TV’s littered about flickering to life with messages and live images from around the world. Everyday a nuclear explosion appears behind Mount Fuji, projected behind the garden. A robot arm watches from above controlled by viewers online.



people watching other people on a screenThem & Us


An interactive performance and pervasive game that aimed to play how much them and us through social interactions the participants were involved in, using locative tracking technology.