1-30 September 2012
Brighton’s greatest ever community-led festival of digital culture confirms more than 100 events will take place this September. The Brighton Digital Festival brings together the city’s arts and digital sector for a diverse range of events including exhibitions, performances, conferences, activities and workshops.
More than 40,000 visitors are expected this year and a number of well-established conferences and workshops in the festival, such as dConstruct and Reasons to be Creative (previously Flash on the Beach), which attract an international audience, have already sold out.
The Brighton Digital Festival presents leading digital artists, designers and writers such as David Blandy with his Odysseys exhibition and Nancy Mauro-Flude in Error_In_Time(), plus influential digital professionals including Ethan Marcotte, Remy Sharp, Lyza Gardner and Jonathan Snook. The confirmed schedule of events is online at www.brightondigitalfestival.co.uk.
The festival covers a range of themes that bridge the art and digital worlds, such as pervasive gaming, shifting our perception of reality through digital art, perspectives from a female ‘geek’ and consumer demands of technology. The Brighton Digital Festival also features opportunities for people in the city to participate in activities such as the festival’s opening event on Sunday 2 September, PixelPyro created by artist Seb Lee De-Lisle, in which the audience trigger a digital firework display projected onto Jubilee Library.
Family orientated, interactive events throughout the festival include the return of last year’s immensely popular Mini Maker Faire. Celebrating the Maker movement, this inventive and creative faire asks those attending to explore the do-it-yourself creation desk and discover new digital inventions. Bigger than last year and even more exciting, the Mini Maker Faire promises to be a highlight of the Festival. The iSpy Brighton Family Treasure Hunt also invites families to a treasure hunt around Brighton using the iTreasure app and GPS.
Embedded at the heart of the festival is an integrated education programme, with workshops devised by Lighthouse and the extraordinary Cherokee Nation, a project developed by Wired Sussex which links young people in Brighton with young people within the Cherokee Nations. A teacher-led event TeachMeet shares great teaching ideas through digital technologies in order to engage students and support learning.
The festival also has its fair share of social entertainment, such as the science fiction and fantasy pub quiz Geekest Link, which invites a variety of digital festival goers to celebrate all things digital and explore their inner-geek.
Essentially a grass-root led, community-run celebration of digital culture, the Brighton Digital Festival is organised by an array of arts organisations, creative digital companies, individual designers, developers, artists and community groups from Brighton and beyond. The festival reflects Brighton’s unique culture and strong community spirit, alongside its immense cluster of digital businesses, which brings together companies, professional digital workers and artists. This year’s festival is supported with an Arts Council England Grants for the arts award.
Sally Abbott, Regional Director, South East, Arts Council England, said: ‘I’m delighted that we are supporting the Brighton Digital Festival for another two years through Arts Council England’s National Lottery-funded Grants for the arts scheme. In the space of a year, the festival has galvanised the arts and digital communities into action and has matured into a major event for the digital sector: bringing together the world’s leading arts and digital practitioners, thinkers, makers and activists as part of this month-long international digital culture festival.
We are especially pleased to support the Festival’s innovative arts and education programme, which aims to support the national curriculum by inspiring young people to use digital creativity and offering teachers new opportunities to learn digital skills. The Arts Council has a firm commitment to the digital agenda and the opportunities it brings to artists and arts organisations to present and promote the arts in new and inspiring ways, and we are excited that the Brighton Digital Festival will continue to cement the South East’s reputation as a leader in digital culture.’
Laurence Hill from Wired Sussex and Festival Manager for the Brighton Digital Festival stated ‘this is the second year of the Brighton Digital Festival and it’s bigger and better than ever. I have been overwhelmed by the response of the arts and digital communities in Brighton to our call out for events.
With over a hundred events during September there are amazing opportunities for people to get involved, learn, play and generally be inspired. I couldn’t be more excited about what’s coming up and I want to say a huge thank you to all organisers of the individual events. Without their enthusiasm, excitement and willingness to develop their ideas into fully-formed events, the Festival wouldn’t happen.
The arts and digital communities in Brighton are world class and the Festival gives them the opportunity to come together, recognize their value to each other, their worth to the city and create a genuinely unique and fantastic showcase for themselves and Brighton.’
Highlights of the Brighton Digital Festival are below, visit www.brightondigitalfestival.co.uk for more information:
Odysseys by David Blandy
1-23 September, 11am-6pm @ Phoenix Brighton
Lighthouse and Phoenix Brighton will present recent works by David Blandy (http://www.davidblandy.co.uk) in a special exhibition curated for the Brighton Digital Festival. Blandy is a contemporary artist based in Brighton and London who uses video, performance, digital technology, animation and comics to investigate the form and content of popular culture today.
The iSpy Brighton Family Treasure Hunt
1–30 September, All day @ North Laine and South Lanes
The iSpy treasure hunt is a location-based game that uses GPS and questions to help you explore Brighton’s North Laine and South Lanes. Using the iTreasure app (http://www.itreasure-hunt.com), your mission is to find art, sculpture, objects and buildings around Brighton. When targets are located, players must answer questions to receive points and move on to the next clue in order to complete the game in the fastest time, and in turn win a prize at the end of the festival.
Error In Time by Nancy Mauro-Flude & Launch of e-Permanent
2 September, 2pm @ Phoenix Brighton (Green Room)
Is there a place for women inside a ‘Geek Space’ and what news might a female hacker bring back for the rest of us? Error in Time by Nancy Mauro-Flude gives a compelling insight into geek space from the perspective of a female media hacker. Error in Time uses live code manipulations to explore the intimate workings of computer/human interfaces, surveillance and social media. The work accompanies the launch of e-Permanent, a new online exhibition space from Brighton’s Permanent gallery.
Reasons to be Creative
3–5 September, 10am-9pm @ The Dome
Reasons to be Creative is brought to you by the same people who created the acclaimed Flash on the Beach conference and New York’s Geeky by Nature conference in 2011. FOTB ran for over five years and became one of the biggest and best loved ‘Flash-centric’ conferences in the world. The conference includes inspiring international speakers who will present talks about art, design, film, processing, photography, animation and coding. Sold out.
6 September, 12pm-5.30pm @ Pavilion Theatre
Improving Reality 2012 is a half-day conference which playfully and critically looks at how designers, artists, and makers are using various technologies to shift our perceptions of reality. This collection of inspiring talks features comic-book star, Warren Ellis and artists, designers and provocateurs, including Usman Haque, Luke Jerram, Anab Jain, Nelly Ben Hayoun, Leila Johnston and Rebekka Kill.
7 September, 9am-5pm @ The Dome
dConstruct, curated by Clearleft, is one of the festival’s most popular tickets. Aimed at web designers and developers, the annual, internationally renowned conference gathers some of the brightest minds in the design community to explore big issues in the digital industry today. Sold out on day one.
Brighton Mini Maker Faire
8 September, All day @ Corn Exchange
This free, interactive festival was one of the most popular events of 2011. It’s a family-friendly showcase of invention, creativity and resourcefulness, and a celebration of the Maker movement. Plenty of Makers and exhibitors will present what they are making, and share what they are learning. Activities (for all ages) include arts and crafts, robots and engineering, wood and metalwork, electronics, science, tech, music and other do-it-yourself creations.
Flash Lit Fiction
16 September, 7pm-10pm @ Green Door Store
Flash Lit Fiction is a flash fiction ‘slam’ joined by a Twitter story competition, which involves reading short, snappy stories to a live audience. The night explores all things literary and digital and will include short live art performances, visuals, presentations and comedy. The main feature is 12 to 16 of Brighton’s best literary competitors battling it out before an esteemed panel of judges including Vicky Blunden from Myriad Editions.
Is Reality Broken?
19 September, 5.30pm for 6pm @ Grand Parade
Jane McGonigal is a game designer specialising in pervasive gaming and alternate reality games. She claims in her recent book, Reality is Broken: Why Games Make Us Better and How They Can Change the World, that gamers are retreating into virtual worlds and that their skills and talents go to waste. At this event, jointly hosted by the University of Brighton’s Faculty of Arts, Business School and the School of Computing, Engineering & Mathematics, practitioners, students and academics will debate the nature of reality on Jane McGonigal’s terms.
24 September, 6.30pm @ The Latest Music Bar
Quick Fictions is an interactive flash fictions app, exploring new ways to curate fiction through this evolving digital format. A collaboration between the University of Sussex, Aimer Media and Myriad Editions, Quick Fictions will be a night of short fiction where every story is under 300 words including the app’s best-loved stories along with famous quick fictions by Hemingway, Kafka and other well-known contemporary authors. Recordings of authors and actors reading stories will be integrated with live performances and illustrative projections.
27 September, 4pm-7pm @ City College Brighton and Hove
TeachMeet Brighton, coordinated by Digital Education Brighton is inviting everyone involved in education to take part. This free event will include presentations, not just from Brighton and Hove, but from educators in the Cherokee Nation, Canada and Australia. TeachMeets are teacher-led events with teachers, tutors and lecturers sharing ideas about what works in practice. They are a fun and informal way to share teaching ideas, with over 100 educators from the city and beyond attending the last event.
1 October, 9am-5pm @ The Corn Exchange
Meaning conference is the annual gathering for people who believe business can and must be better in the 21st century. The purpose of Meaning is to build awareness and community around the practical possibilities of progressive business so that the world becomes a better place. Speakers are international thinkers and doers from business, academia and activism, each bringing their view of the challenges and opportunities available.