Immaterials (2013)

Brighton Digital Festival 2013
Part of Brighton Digital Festival 2013

September-November 2013


Immaterials (2013)




Artwork: "Immaterials"

Artists: Timo Arnall (Artist), Einar Sneve Martinussen (Designer), Jørn Knutsen (Designer), Jack Schulze (Desinger) and Matt Jones (Desginer).

Year: 2013

Associated and presented by Lighthouse.

Part of: Brighton Festival 2013

Link: Immaterials Project

Press:Timo Arnall writes about Immaterials

Timo Arnall and Honor Harger talk about Immaterials on BBC Click


Immaterials is a research project comprised of films, texts and objects which make networked technological systems visible.

It is created by a network of collaborators including Timo Arnall, a designer, filmmaker, artist and the creative director at the influential design agency, BERG, and designers, Einar Sneve Martinussen, Jørn Knutsen, Jack Schulze and Matt Jones. Together, they have been investigating our invisible digital world.

The Immaterials exhibition set out to expose the materials, mechanisms, and infrastructures which enable contemporary digital culture. By making these things visible through photographic, animated and film techniques they enable us to see and develop understandings about the invisible pervasive technologies in our cities, our daily experiences, and our lives.

The exhibition brought together some of the most significant works in the Immaterials body of research. It featured key works such as Immaterials: Light Painting WiFi (2011) which explores the invisible terrain of Wifi networks in urban spaces, and Robot Readable World (2012), a film which uses found-footage from computer vision research to explore how machines are making sense of the world. Earlier and seldom seen works, which show the genesis of this line of enquiry, such as Experiments in Field Drawing (2008), were presented alongside the premiere of a new work, Immaterials: Satellite Lamps (2013), which visualise the presence of GPS satellites orbiting overhead.

Collectively, the works in develop understandings about the invisible pervasive technologies which surround us. Timo Arnall (2013) writes:

“As designers we can reveal the materials behind the ‘seamless’ technologies that make up our everyday experience, and in doing so empower others to question, critique, re-imagine and re-make. As we increasingly inhabit technical systems, and enact society and culture through them, it seems dangerous to have so little idea, about how these things work. Making visible material out of technological infrastructure is the first step towards understanding them. What we can’t see, we cannot critically evaluate.”


Timo Arnall
Timo Arnall is based in London and Oslo. He has been making films, designing products, and researching emerging technologies for 15 years. Much of his work has been about understanding, developing and explaining emerging technologies through films. Arnall is presently a co-founder of Playdeo. Prior to joining Playdeo, Arnall led an international research project investigating emerging wireless technologies through design at the Oslo School of Architecture & Design.

Einar Sneve Martinussen
Einar Sneve Martinussen is an interaction designer and researcher working with technology, cities and everyday life, and part of a team at the Oslo School of Architecture and Design working with exploring and visualising invisible technological structures in cities.

Jørn Knutsen
Jørn Knutsen is a designer and researcher at the Oslo School of Architecture and Design, whose research is concerned with exploring urban data as a design material through various visual media and applications.

Jack Schulze

Jack Schulze is the co-founder of Playdeo, a company experimenting with new kinds of video. Previously he co-founded Ottica with Timo Arnall, most work was on Project Soli for Google. And before that, he co-founded the design company Berg where he led design and invention work.

Matt Jones
Matt Jones is a designer, previously a principal at BERG and founder of Dopplr. He is now responsible for interaction design at the Google Creative Lab in New York.


Immaterials by Timo Arnall and collaborators is part of Brighton Digital Festival 2013. It is run by members of Brighton’s arts and digital communities, administered by Wired Sussex in association with Lighthouse and supported by Arts Council England. and Brighton & Hove City Council.

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