LevelHead by Julian Oliver - one of the speakers at Improving Reality. Photograph: Florian Sander.
LevelHead by Julian Oliver - one of the speakers at Improving Reality. Photograph: Florian Sander.


Watch the speakers' talks online



An inspiring series of talks by thinkers from the technology, film, education and art worlds, exploring how technologies like augmented reality, 3D printing, and pervasive gaming are changing our understanding of the world.

As part of Brighton Digital Festival, Lighthouse presented a one-day conference looking at how artists, designers and filmmakers are using digital technology to improve reality.

Improving Reality featured some of the biggest names in digital art, such as Prix Ars Electronica winner, Julian Oliver, Blast Theory and Matt Hanson, as well as some stellar guests from the worlds of technology film and education including the BFI’s director of Digital, Paula Le Dieu, gaming gurus Adrian Hon and Alice Taylor, and designer and developer, Aral Balkan. The presentations covered a wide range of projects including interactive artworks, locative cinema experiences, mobile games, design-fictions, storytelling platforms, digital toys and distributed documentaries.

SESSION 1 – Reality Hacking
How artists and designers are shifting perceptions of place and time, by overlaying increasingly complex and imaginative layers onto our lived environment, through the use of augmented reality, 3D printing and other technologies. Speakers:

Julian Oliver – artist, critical engineer & winner of this year’s Prix Ars Electronica

Aral Balkan – user experience designer & curator of the Update conference
Jose Luis de Vicente – curator, writer and cultural researcher

SESSION 2 – Beyond Cinema
How filmmakers and artists are shifting our ideas about what cinema can be, adding cinematic drama to reality and reinterpreting creative processes and traditional business models. Speakers:

Matt Hanson – filmmaker, writer & creator of A Swarm of Angels

Lizzie Gillett – producer of the hit documentary film, Age of Stupid

Matt Adams – co-founder of Blast Theory, makers of the locative cinema experience, A Machine to See With

Jamie King – filmmaker, director of the acclaimed Steal This Film and co-founder of VO.DO

SESSION 3 – Gaming for Good
How artists and designers using games and play to morph and shift social and cultural reality. Speakers:

Tassos Stevens – co-founder of Agency of Coney, artist and maker of games like Papa Sangre & Nightmare High

Adrian Hon – next-generation storyteller and co-founder of Six to Start

Time’s Up – artists and makers of playful interactive experiences, including Stored in A Bank Vault

Alice Taylor – blogger, gaming guru and founder of MakieLab

Improving Reality was part of Brighton Digital Festival – a month-long celebration of digital culture, made up of events, exhibitions, performances, workshops, conferences and meet-ups that took place in venues and outdoor spaces across the city throughout September.

It is part of PARN (Physical and Alternate Reality Narratives) – a pan-European project, developed by FoAM, Lighthouse, Blast Theory and Time’s Up.

Supported by Arts Council England, the EU Culture Programme and Screen South.




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