Holly Herndon - Improving Reality 2014 Speaker. Photo by Roberta Mataityte
Holly Herndon - Improving Reality 2014 Speaker. Photo by Roberta Mataityte

IMPROVING REALITY 2014 – VISIBILITY IS A TRAP – FILMS

SESSION 3: THE EXPERIENCE OF VISIBILITY


4 SEPTEMBER 2014
STUDIO THEATRE, BRIGHTON


FILMS FROM IMPROVING REALITY 2014


Lighthouse's thought-provoking conference of contemporary culture, Improving Reality, returned in September 2014 for a spectacular fourth edition, as part of Brighton Digital Festival. Curated and hosted by Artistic Director Juha van ‘t Zelfde, the conference brought together an international community of artists, thinkers and makers to share and experience groundbreaking art and ideas of the present.

Daniel van der Velden of Metahaven - Improving Reality 2014 Speaker. Photo by Roberta Mataityte
Daniel van der Velden of Metahaven - Improving Reality 2014 Speaker. Photo by Roberta Mataityte

The theme for Improving Reality 2014 – Visibility is a Trap – was a visceral response to the tension between the tendency to share every detail of our lives, and our desire and right for more privacy. Our understanding of the life of the information we share and publish has become increasingly more complex as we see it transformed on the countless online networks, by individuals, organisations and even bots.

We are delighted to present the videos of the eight speakers and performers from the three sessions at Improving Reality 2014 – Visibility is a Trap.

SESSION 3 – THE EXPERIENCE OF VISABILITY

In the final session of Improving Reality, two artists demonstrate their work revealing the ways in which we are seen, how we see others or how we ourselves want to be seen. Technology has provided new ways of mediating our relationships, from spying on ourselves and others, to seeking a meaningful connection on the network.

Metahaven

Metahaven’s Daniel van der Velden asks us to look at our interactions with social networks in an ‘age of possession’, where a rise in ephemerality makes it harder to hold on to anything, alongside our need for synchronicity with others which means we become obsessed with the networks that facilitate our online relationships. As van der Velden explains, we are addicted to each other, and the internet is the enabler.

Holly Herndon

Composer and performer Holly Herdon is fascinated by her laptop, so much that she has created work to explore the way our relationships are mediated through it. Interested in the way we spy on ourselves and others, Holly presents her collaboration with Mat Dryhurst and Akihiko Taniguchi, Chorus, which asked members of the public to send pictures of their intimate browsing environments for 3D reconstruction. In a UK premier, Holly Herndon also presents her brand-new collaboration with Metahaven, Home, a self-professed love song to an NSA agent, which asks us to analyse our own visibility on the network as we notice multiple audiences watching us.

Watch films from SESSION I: The Coming of Immediacy

Watch films from SESSION 2: The Aesthetics of Disappearance

Improving Reality was part of Lighthouse’s programme for Brighton Digital Festival 2014. Brighton Digital Festival is a month long celebration of digital culture. It is run by members of Brighton’s arts and digital communities and supported by Arts Council England and Brighton & Hove City Council.

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