Brighton Digital Festival

Cinema, art and improving reality

This summer has been a very exciting time at Fugu. We have been working as part of the Brighton Digital Festival team, celebrating digital culture with exhibitions, performances and conferences across the city.

A truly collaborative effort, it’s been fantastic to see the digital community come together in such a wide range of events and creating a buzz, which has been widely reported nationally.

A particular highlight for us was being invited to take part in Blast Theory’s locative cinema event, A Machine To See With. A combination of psychology and scripted narrative (in the form of a voice on the other end of our mobile phone) we found ourselves playing out the plot of a bank robbery on the streets of Brighton. Treating every passer by with increasing suspicion, locking ourselves into toilets and getting into mysterious cars – the game ultimately tapped into realising the decisions we would make in the face of high pressure moral dilemmas.

Blast Theory co-founder Matt Adams explained A Machine To See With in more detail at Improving Reality, a one-day conference organised by digital art agency, Lighthouse, by quoting author Chris Hedges. He says in The Empire of Illusion: “We try to see ourselves moving through our life as a camera would see us, mindful of how we hold ourselves, how we dress, what we say. We invent movies that play in our heads.”

The Beyond Cinema session which Matt presented, looked at how artists and film-makers are shifting our ideas about what cinema can be – not only how audiences are immersed into cinema, but the ways in which cinema can exit the screen and enter reality itself.

It really has been great to see so many fascinating and inspiring uses of technology in a cultural framework. Hats off to Lighthouse and all those involved, including the team at The Dome and Arts Council England. We can’t wait for next year.

by Penny

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