Culture Digital News, , , , , , , , , , , — August 1, 2011 15:36 — 3 Comments

Wired up at the Brighton Digital Festival

Brighton Digital Festival

Tune in and geek out by the sea at the fiirst Brighton Digital Festival. Photo:

Missed out on this year’s SXSW and need a digital fix? Brighton is where it’s at next month.

The old seaside town on the south coast of England is now a hip and trendy city and the nearest the UK has to San Francisco. It likes to think of itself as a switched on place, well now it’s official with the hosting of one of the biggest digital arts festivals outside of Austin’s South by Southwest.

The Brighton Digital Festival runs throughout September 2011 and has pulled in a pretty impressive line up of digi gurus and hipsters exploring a range of themes crossing the digital and artistic spectrum including augmented reality, 3D architecture, improving reality and digital design.

We at can’t wait to see the locative cinema project A Machine to See With, from Brighton-based arts organisation Blast Theory.

Following sell-out US seasons at Sundance Film Festival and Walker Art Center, and fresh from this year’s Edinburgh Festival, A Machine to See With will be live on Brighton’s streets for the duration of the festival (1 to 30 September).

Blast Theory: A machine to see with

Blending secret missions and high adrenalin, smartphone users can become part of an interactive heist movie on the streets of the city, even playing the lead.

Here’s how it works: On arrival at the venue, you enter your mobile phone number, and then receive a phone call with instructions. From hiding money to meeting up with a partner in crime, it’s up to you to deal with a bank robbery and its aftermath.

In doing so participants are forced to make certain ethical decisions that determined not only the course of the film but their own experience.

Blast Theory is renowned internationally as one of the most adventurous artists’ groups using interactive media, and this production is a co-production with Lighthouse.

But with more than 30 events in 30 days Brighton will be absolutely wired with performances, exhibitions, conferences, workshops and meet-ups.

Along with Blast Theory’s digitally hosted heist movie, the line up also includes: dance FAR by Wayne McGregor, choreographed using a radical neuropsychological process (Random Dance) and a ‘Mini-Maker Faire’ for innovators, creators and inventors.

There’s also the world leading conference dConsruct (sold out in seven hours) exploring big design issues in digital and an augmented reality conference Improving Reality looking at how digital artists and designers are radically re-engineering our world.

Other highlights include: Pure Flow 2.0 (
1–26 Sept), at the Permanent Gallery Window. Pure Flow 2.0 by Kay Connor is a smartphone app — a projection that reveals invisible data-streams running between a Global Positioning System [GPS] device and multiple satellites that triangulate its position. Live, moving imagery is generated from fluctuations in this data, revealing the noise in the signal, the system’s instability.

Flash on the Beach, hosted at Brighton Dome (11–14 September) is billed as a major international conference bringing some of the world’s best designers and developers together to share, educate and inspire. The conference has established itself as a leading event to exploring code, art and design. This year’s speakers include artists, Joshua Davis, Jer Thorp and Ben Fry, who create stunning digital visual art, industry luminaries Robert Hodgin and Jon Burgerman, Mailchimp founder, Aarron Walter are also on the bill.

Honor Harger, director at Lighthouse, one of the coordinating organisations says: “Brighton Digital Festival is going to be an incredible hot-bed of digital and artistic talent, and, we suspect, the largest gathering of digital innovators outside of South by Southwest. We’ve had a fantastic response to the Festival, with some awe-inspiring and thought-provoking events taking place. We’re delighted to be involved and to help bring together the massive talent from our digital and artistic communities.”

Sun, sea and smartphones, a perfect end to the summer. See you there.

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About the author

Tony Myers has written 866 articles for Smart Movie Making

Fooling around with the iPhone since 2010. Taking it to the next web by writing about new media, new technology, new wave cinema and the digital revolution.


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