Julian Oliver: levelHead, 2008
Julian Oliver: levelHead, 2008


28 August - 5 September 2010

Making reality from fantasy and bringing our future forward.

Suspending Disbelief presented the work of Julian Oliver, Caleb Larsen, Andrew Friend and Becca Gill & Jay Kerry. It drew together works of contemporary art and design which exist in the interstices between the real and the fictional. The artists participating in the exhibition materialise speculative ideas, near-futures or illusory realities.

Andrew Friend: Fantastic Series, 2010
Andrew Friend: Fantastic Series, 2010

Suspending Disbelief brought together works of contemporary art and design which exist in the interstices between the real and the fictional. The artists who participated in the exhibition materialise speculative ideas, near-futures, or illusory realities, in a series of verisimilar devices, sculptures, interactive objects, photographic scenarios and installations which challenge our perception of what is plausible. All the works shown in Suspending Disbelief were being shown in Brighton for the first time.

The exhibition was part of Brighton’s major digital design conference, dConstruct, which each year brings leading names in design and user interaction to the UK. It is organised by the design agency, Clearleft and takes place at Brighton Dome on 3 September 2010, featuring speakers such as Brendan Dawes (magneticNorth) and David McCandless (Information is Beautiful).

The exhibition extends the notion of design thinking into the physical realm, taking place across two sites: At Lighthouse, the work of Caleb Larsen, Julian Oliver and Andrew Friend were on display from 28 August – 5 September. At Brighton Dome, Becca Gill & Jay Kerry showed their work for the audiences of dConstruct on 3 September, accompanied by a film documenting the other works in the exhibition, made by Toby Amies.

The works in Suspending Disbelief go beyond being mere puzzles: they were reality hacks, conceptual conundrums and physicalised thought-experiments which call into question everyday logic and its interaction rules and rituals. They included a physical sculpture made by American artist, Caleb Larsen, that is perpetually attempting to auction itself on eBay; a series of uncannily real yet seemingly impossible devices created by London-based designer, Andrew Friend; a 3D spatial memory game made by Berlin-based artist Julian Oliver, that takes the form of a digital Echeresque-world; and an installation by Bristol artists, Becca Gill & Jay Kerry where the trickery and illusion of 19th century magic is materialised through pervasive media.

Suspending Disbelief was a pilot project, developed in partnership with Arts Council England and Clearleft, which looks at the relationship between art and digital creative industries. In 2011, we will extend this pilot by delivering Brighton Digital Festival, which further explores digital culture and the interplay between, artists, audiences and makers, and designers.

Lighthouse: 28 August – 5 September 2010, Brighton Dome: 3 September 2010.

Times: 11am – 6pm

Venue: Lighthouse, 28 Kensington St, Brighton BN14AJ

Supported by Arts Council England and Clearleft




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