An evening with Primrose by Abigail Conway. Photo by Idil Bozkurt.

That’s a wrap on BDF17

Some highlights from the month-long exploration of digital culture

As the dust settles on BDF17, we take a step back to recover from the month of events and begin the process of reflection and evaluation. We’re gathering feedback from audiences and speaking to independent event organisers about their events in order to compile the facts and figures of the festival, to tell the story of BDF and develop new strategies for the future.

From our first ever in-house conference to brand new internationally acclaimed artwork, the development of important community partnerships and the tackling of pertinent questions around the politics and ehtics of digital technology, we can already sense that the aims set out in our new manifesto have been hit head on.

While we’re off having a post-festival nap and reflecting on how it all went, take a look and a listen through a few of our photo highlights from Brighton Digital Festival 2017…


Mephitic Air by Wesley Goatley & Tobia Revell. Photo by Idil Bozkurt.

Mephitic Air, a new data visualisation and sonification installation from Wesley Goatley & Tobias Revell, explored the spaces between human and machine interpretations of air pollution.

An air pollution sensor outside ONCA gallery sent live data into the installation, which was then visualised as multi-layer projected visualisations and surround-sound data sonifications. These expansive new forms of interpreting data explored the complexities of air pollution, and how data reflects or contradicts our experience of the air around us. You can find more information about this work here.

This installation was augmented by a series of talks by the artists and local environmental specialists, change-makers and business owners. See here for more information about these talks.


Casting Out the Self by Dominic Hawgood. Photo by Idil Bozkurt.

Back in May 2017 Dominic Hawgood was selected for commission by Brighton Digital Festival and the British Science Festival. He produced a site-specific installation and animation that digitally reconstructs a major solo exhibition of his that was recently, and unexpectedly, cancelled. The animation serves as a hallucinogenic window into another world, questioning the role of the gallery, and exploring how light installation can be experienced in the virtual.

This work marks a significant development of his Casting Out the Self project, a body of work originally produced over a two-year period, combining photography, 3d scanning, animation and design. The meticulously constructed CG animation, with hyper digital audio commissioned specifically by Hawgood and produced in collaboration with Lanark Artefax, was all housed in a sound proofed ceremonial structure.

Casting Out the Self by Dominic Hawgood. Video courtesy of the artist.

This Side of Reality is a new live podcast about digital culture, art and the human by Brighton Digital Festival and Totally Radio, hosted by CJ Thorpe and produced by Vasil Dzhagalov.

Our lifestyle is increasingly digital, but are we asking the big questions? This podcast unpicks our bitter-sweet relationship with digital technology, looking at the unique new challenges it creates, and the ones it solves. This Side of Reality features creators, innovators, and thinkers bringing important topics from the fringe to the forefront. Listen below and subscribe on iTunes.


No 0 by Cyland at Lumen Prize Exhibition

This year we partnered with the Lumen Prize for the first time to stage an exhibition of the winners and shortlisted artists of the 2017 prize on the first stop of a year-long world tour.

The Lumen Prize celebrates the very best art created digitally. As a not-for-profit social enterprise their goal is to focus the world’s attention on this exciting genre through an annual competition, a global tour and associated activities including workshops, seminars and special events.

Abstract Playground AP1 by Will Hurt. Photo by Idil Bozkurt.

Maker Club. Photo by Idil Bozkurt.

Throughout September the brilliant young people of MakerClub worked on a special BDF17 project to try to solve the problem of inner city pollution.

Check out their innovative #PollutionSolutions for Brighton & Hove here:


Sarah Pickthall, Dolly Sen, Abira Hussein & Tabita Rezaire at The Messy Edge.

The Messy Edge was our first in-house conference. Featuring a mix of speakers, discussion and artists’ work, the day aimed to challenge dominant perspectives and provide a space to think about how we run the risk, despite the opportunities that digital gives us, of building a future on the deeply flawed foundations of the present. You can read more about the day here.

Morehshin Allayari & Daniel Rourke at The Messy Edge. Photo by Idil Bozkurt.

Felix’s Machines at Attenborough Centre for the Creative Arts.

Week 1 of BDF17 was kicked off by ACCA Digital, a week of music and visuals curated by Laura Jesse Ducceschi. The series of shows encompassed contemporary music, digital art and installation. Contemporary classical, electronica, audio-visuals, DJ sets and more collided as part of their curated programme. Listen below to hear from the performing artists:

Ryoji Ikeda at Attenborough Centre for the Creative Arts.

With over 130 events and almost 90 independent event organisers, there really was something for everyone. Take a look through the rest of these photos and find more here. You can also look back over all the events that took place across the month here.

An evening with Primrose by Abigail Conway. Photo by Idil Boskurt.
Bernholz at Attenborough Centre for the Creative Arts. Photo by Victor Frankowski and team.
An evening with Primrose by Abigail Conway. Photo by Idil Boskurt.
3D Terrariums by Miniature and Moss. Photo by Idil Bozkurt.
3D Terrariums by Miniature and Moss. Photo by Idil Bozkurt.
Coder Dojo. Photo by Idil Bozkurt.
Holly Herndon at Attenborough Centre for the Creative Arts. Photo by Victor Frankowski and team.
Anjali Ramachandran at SheSays. Photo by Idil Bozkurt.
Jamila Prowse at SheSays. Photo by Idil Bozkurt.
The Typewriter by Ithaca Audio at BDF17 Launch Party. Photo by Idil Bozkurt.
The Typewriter by Ithaca Audio at BDF17 Launch Party. Photo by Idil Bozkurt.

Find more photos from BDF17 here.

If you have any photos of BDF17 events that you’d like to share, please get in touch at mail@brightondigitalfestival.co.uk.

If you want to let us know what you thought, take our short audience survey to give us your feedback here.

Brighton Digital Festival

News, information and updates from Brighton Digital Festival

Brighton Digital Festival

Written by

An annual open programme of events exploring digital culture that takes place in venues across the City. 12 October — 25 October 2019. #BDF19

Brighton Digital Festival

News, information and updates from Brighton Digital Festival

Welcome to a place where words matter. On Medium, smart voices and original ideas take center stage - with no ads in sight. Watch
Follow all the topics you care about, and we’ll deliver the best stories for you to your homepage and inbox. Explore
Get unlimited access to the best stories on Medium — and support writers while you’re at it. Just $5/month. Upgrade