A still from Saga: an art project by Mat Dryhurst exploring website-specific expression online
A still from Saga: an art project by Mat Dryhurst exploring website-specific expression online


31 July 2015

With so many inspiring international artists, scholars and social innovators participating in The Long Progress Bar, our new festival of radical imagination, this September, we asked Juha, the festival’s curator, to tell us more about them. Here, he introduces artist Mat Dryhurst.

Mat Dryhurst, an artist who does many wonderful things, but he describes himself as one “who experiments with personal data.” Let’s go with that.

Mat has been a stealthy driving force of a world-wide sprawl of artists, technologists and bright minds, willing to not just critically reflect on the dreadful state of the world, but to actually do something about it and build exit strategies to a better future.

He is a passionate, engaged and always-on social engineer who see connections and communities. He has collaborated with Holly Herndon and Metahaven, worked with technology company Semcon on a responsive sound synthesis system for electric cars, and made a work of art that mines social networks for public personal information to create new stories.

Using Slack, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and most likely 4 other social networks I am not aware of, he is constantly contextualising, sharing and relaying ideas. He is one of the reasons, along with Holly and Lars, that we decided to add an extra day to this new Progress Bar festival. To make sure we will all have enough time to hang out, talk with each other, and work on projects. This work can be kickstarted in the workshops, or in the talks the day before, and will hopefully last beyond the boundaries of these temporary communities.

We spoke about doing a talk about Saga, his embeddable platform for self-hosted, website-specific artworks. I am sure he will also speak about his collaboration with Holly Herndon and Metahaven, and his desire to be in a place with others for longer than the duration of the soundcheck and performance whilst on tour. And probably lots of other things he hasn’t thought of yet.

“With Saga you can embed an image, a video, or a piece of code as an iframe on another site and you are able to modify the embedded content individually for each endpoint.” Morgan Sutherland, DIS

Mat Dryhurst will be giving a talk on Day 1 (Thursday 3 September), and participating in the roundtable ‘Paradise Politics and the Arts’ with Holly Herndon and Guy Standing on Day 2 (Friday 4 September), at The Long Progress Bar.


Also Introducing… Jam City (UK) / Guy Standing (UK) / Holly Herndon (USA) / Lars TCF Holdhus (NO) / Zach Blas (USA) / Kei Kreutler (USA) / Metahaven (NL) / David Blandy (UK) / Katrina Burch/Yoneda Lemma (FR) / Diann Bauer (USA) / Benedict Singleton (UK) / plus reportage from (g)host Warren Ellis (UK).

Find out more about the festival and guests here: The Long Progress Bar.
Join the conversation at #longprogressbar
Join the Facebook event

The Long Progress Bar is part of Brighton Digital Festival 2015, a celebration of international digital culture across the city of Brighton & Hove throughout September.



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