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Brighton Digital Festival celebrates arts and digital cultures throughout September

  • Date: 16 August 2011
  • Area: South East
Selected images from Heliocentric NGCA 2010 / Black Rain, Earth, Royal Academy 2010 / Brilliant Noise, SESC Brazil 2010

Selected images from Heliocentric NGCA 2010 / Black Rain, Earth, Royal Academy 2010 / Brilliant Noise, SESC Brazil 2010 . Credit: Photo courtesy of Semiconductor

A month-long international festival in Brighton brings together artists and digital leaders with an exciting programme that includes several major conferences, art performances, exhibitions and grass-roots organised events.

The Brighton Digital Festival launches on 1 September and presents over 55 events over 30 days. The festival showcases people working at the forefront of digital and arts sectors, including works from Blast Theory, Semiconductor and Random Dance; digital figures such as Ben Fry , Joshua Davis, Kevin Slavin (area/code), Don Norman and Matthew Sheret (

The festival aims to recognise Brighton's status as a leading digital destination and build bridges between the digital industries and arts communities. The festival is aimed at a wide audience and will present and investigate key subjects crossing the digital and artistic spectrum such as augmented reality, 3D architecture and digital design. It will inform and entertain more than 10,000 people throughout September.

The festival has been organised by a number of individuals, organisations, technology companies and arts organisations including Lighthouse, an Arts Council England regularly funded organisation, who are helping to coordinate the festival.

The Arts Council has supported the Brighton Digital Festival with a £50,000 development fund award, which is being used by Lighthouse to run an education programme and supports the arts and cultural elements of the festival.

The festival has attracted the support of local major design and digital conferences including dConstruct, BrightonSEO, Update, Flash on the Beach, International Symposium on Electronic Art and BarCampBrighton. It has also galvanised the local digital and arts communities to get involved with the planning of the festival and events within the festival, and has seen people working voluntarily to pull this year's festival off.

Arts Council England supported events include:

  • The UK premier of Arts Council England regularly funded organisation Blast Theory's A Machine To See With. The interactive work sees participants playing the lead in a 45-minute heist film.
  • Brighton art organisation Permanent Gallery present Pure Flow 2.0 by Katy Connor and Error_in_Time() by Nancy Mauro-Flude. Pure Flow 2.0 is a smartphone app and a large-scale projection in their gallery window revealing invisible data-streams running between a Global Positioning System (GPS) device and multiple satellites. Error_in_Time() gives a compelling insight into geek space from the perspective of a female media hacker.
  • Wayne McGregor's Random Dance, an Arts Council England regularly funded organisation, perform FAR, a work that combines cutting-edge digital design with dynamic choreography forged from a radical cognitive research process.
  • Lighthouse's first conference Improving Reality at Brighton Dome explores how digital artists and designers are radically re-engineering our world.
  • Semiconductor's Solar Systems is their first major exhibition in the South East for four years. Three moving image installations - Black Rain, Heliocentric, and Out of the Light - explore the mechanics of observing the Sun, from the vantage point of the Earth to our orbit in outer space. Solar Systems is curated by Lighthouse in partnership with Phoenix Brighton.

As an Arts Council England National portfolio organisation from 2012, Lighthouse will take a lead for developing excellence in digital art in the South East and East of England and working on the interface between artists and the digital creative economy.

Honor Harger, Lighthouse Director, 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 South West (SXSW).

'We've had a fantastic response to the festival, with some awe-inspiring and thought-provoking events planned to take place. We're delighted to be involved and to help bring together the massive talent from our digital and artistic communities.'

Sally Abbott, Regional Director, South East, Arts Council England, said: 'It's great to see so many organisations and community groups supporting the festival. I hope that by sharing expertise and ideas, and increasing the imagination and demand of audiences for digitally influenced art, we will be taking a huge step forward in supporting all the talented people who work in this area.

'The Arts Council is delighted to be supporting Brighton Digital Festival and celebrating the innovative work of all the organisations involved. The South East is a leader in digital culture and increasing the digital capability of the arts is vital, to ensure that arts organisations stay in the lead of the ever-evolving digital landscape.'

Brighton Digital Festival takes place from 1 to 30 September at various venues across Brighton. For more information, please see