Monopoly of Legitimate Use by Tobias Revell, co-commissioned by Lighthouse and HOUSE, May 2014.
Monopoly of Legitimate Use by Tobias Revell, co-commissioned by Lighthouse and HOUSE, May 2014.

TOBIAS REVELL - The Monopoly of Legitimate Use

HOUSE 2014

3 - 25 May 2014
Lighthouse, Brighton


Lighthouse is pleased to announce the co-commission of new work by critical designer and futurist Tobias Revell, in partnership with HOUSE 2014.

Tobias Revell, photograph by Ana Escobar
Tobias Revell, photograph by Ana Escobar

This year’s invited artist for HOUSE 2014 is Yinka Shonibare MBE. Renowned for producing work, which makes visible the cultural influences of colonialism, Shonibare has introduced, as the theme for HOUSE 2014, an exploration of ideas around immigration, notions of territory and place, cultural identity, displacement, refuge and seeking refuge.

We are thrilled to confirm that Lighthouse will be working alongside HOUSE 2014 with critical designer and futurist Tobias Revell to present a new film work titled The Monopoly of Legitimate Use with director of photography Joseph Popper.

In partnership with HOUSE 2014, we are also pleased to host Tobias Revell in conversation with Superflux’s Anab Jain, for our May Monthly Talk on Thursday 15 May.

Tobias’s work was chosen in response to the themes explored in Shonibare’s new work, and three additional commissions will be realised by artists selected from an open-call to the South East region. The newly commissioned works will be exhibited across Brighton at the Regency Town House, The Brighton Waste House and Lighthouse. Selected Artists are announced as Leah Gordon, Phillip Hall-Patch, Ester Svensson & Rosanna Martin and Tobias Revell. HOUSE 2014 welcomes guest curator Celia Davies, Director, Photoworks.

The Monopoly of Legitimate Use

The Monopoly of Legitimate Use takes the very physical notion of inhabiting a space or territory into the technological world, where networks can form political territories and places where people can gather and align themselves to particular ideological beliefs.

Revell’s three films: Bumper, Blackspot and Stateless explore three individuals – migrants and refugees – in a near future, moving between the layers of this vertical geography to try and find refuge or exploit the geography to their benefit. 

The films raise questions about the tools and methods we use to identify ourselves politically as well as the rebalance of control caused by network technology that is simultaneously globalising and localising.

On the southernmost tip of Dungeness beach, a lone figure hijacks the geography of this desolate place to piggyback wi-fi signals from France and trade as an EU citizen. Bumper highlights how established political and geographic borders are exploitable and malleable by networked technologies and how migration across borders, and the benefit that comes with it, does not necessarily need to be physical.

A businesswoman leaves the City in search of a blackspot, a near-fabled place where network coverage drops out so that she can receive a secret and important message over an independent mesh network. Blackspot looks at how moving through physical space can also mean moving through networked space and in an age of privacy concerns and overt sharing, the use of this space become more important.

In a public library, a controversial journalist deletes himself from the network and seamlessly replaces himself with another personality. Stateless expands on the old adage ‘on the Internet, no-one knows you’re a dog’ and looks at how the distance and anonymity granted by networks might be used by someone who’s political identity is under threat from the state.

Interview with Tobias Revell.

About The Artist

Tobias Revell is a critical designer and futurist talking and exhibiting worldwide, a lecturer at the Royal College of Art and the London College of Communication, a senior associate at design studio Superflux and a researcher with Arup’s Foresight group. His practice looks at alternative narratives for technologies and changes in contemporary society. He has exhibited at Ars Electronica, the Science Gallery in Dublin, Z33 in Hasselt, Belgium, the Milan Design Week and HMKV Dortmund.

Exhibition Details

Venue: Lighthouse, 28 Kensington Street, BN1 4AJ

Dates: 3 – 25 May 2014

Times: 11am – 6pm

Private View: Friday 2 May 2014, 6-8pm

Artists Talk Details

Tobias Revell in conversation with Anab Jain

Venue: Lighthouse, 28 Kensington Street, BN1 4AJ

Date: 15 May 2014

Times: Doors & Bar 6.30pm / Talk 7.00pm

Further details and booking


The Monopoly of Legitimate Use (Trailer) from Tobias Revell on Vimeo.

Co-commissioned by Lighthouse in partnership with HOUSE 2014 as part of Brighton Festival. With support from Arts Council England and the Esmée Fairbarn Foundation.



Sign up to our mailing list to receive regular email updates on exhibitions, events and other news.