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Meet Visual System And The Mysterious TRON-esque Blue Rider

Visual System is an art and design collective out of Paris whose works revolve around the medium of light. Their multi-faceted team of programmers, sound artists, architects, etc., usually combines all their talents to completely transform a natural setting into an immersive and glowing futuristic environment. In Organic Culture , they decked out a warehouse in warm, neon bars of light, convincing onlookers that the installation was part of the building’s original architecture. Most recently, they finished installing Little Ghost, a permanent digital installation inside the historically preserved part of La Gaîté lyrique in Paris.

Another, more unusual, project they’ve had their hands in is outfitting the Blue Rider, an elusive character who looks like he or she could have lightcycled right out of TRON. Since Blue Rider first reached out to Visual System in 2010, he/she’s been spotted around the world—from China, to run-ins with Anonymous, to the student riots in Montréal. We reached out to Visual System’s artistic director, Valère Terrier, who shared some photos and told us what he could about this neon-clad phantom. To find out more about Visual System, check out their Creator profile and the video above.

The Creators Project: Blue Rider looks like he came straight out of TRON. Where did he come from?
Valère Terrier:
Nobody really knows where the Blue Rider is from or if it’s a man or a woman. Perhaps he/she’s escaped from a databank. The only thing I can tell you is that his/her first appearance in China was before the new TRON was released. I know Blue Rider prefers the first version!!!

He’s been spotted riding in Shanghai and also in Montréal… what is his mission? Any idea where he’ll go next?
It seems that he/she is just out to have fun, ride the city streets by night, and surprise people as he/she goes by. It’s about art and mobility. But his/her mission is still a mystery for us. I really don’t know what a person with a glowing getup like that can go looking for? He/She never spoke. :( Some people saw Blue Rider during the big student demonstration in Montréal, others saw him/her with Anonymous. What is the next step? Perhaps an appearance with naked people. I know he/she was seen around a lake in Geneva last week, and next week I hear he/she will be in Paris around the Eiffel Tower and Montmartre.

Visual System designed his glowing outfit, motorcycle, and helmet… what’s the benefit with working with EL wire over LEDs?
We were very glad to be contacted by him/her last year when he/she asked us to work on EL elements. EL is very cool, it’s a new technology—it’s soft, thin, curvaceous, and has a very low consumption of energy. It’s exciting because there are so many new objects to imagine with this material.

Does Visual System have any plans to develop or produce more wearable tech?
We really would like to, but only when it makes sense. It can be very hard to make nice objects strong with where the technology is at right now. We will work on it ;)


Blue Rider with Anonymous.


Blue Rider in Montréal. Photo courtesy of GRIDSPACE.


Blue Rider in Montréal. Photo courtesy of GRIDSPACE.


Blue Rider in Montréal. Photo courtesy of GRIDSPACE.


Blue Rider in Geneva.


Blue Rider in Shangahi.


Blue Rider in Shangahi.


Blue Rider in Wenzhou.

Have you seen Blue Rider? Let us know in the comments below. All images courtesy of Blue Rider and GRIDSPACE.

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