The Sprawl (2016) - Metahaven

Brighton Festival 2016
Related projects: Home (2014) - Holly Herndon

7-29 May 2016


The Sprawl (2016) - Metahaven



Artwork: "The Sprawl (Propaganda about Propaganda)"

Artist: Metahaven

Year: 2014-2016

Co-commissioned and co-produced by Lighthouse.

Part of: The Space (BBC & Arts Council England), Brighton Festival 2016

Link: sprawl.space

Press: The Fader - Metahaven Is Breaking The Propaganda Machine


Has the internet become a disruptive geopolitical super weapon? How do we distinguish fact from fiction in a time of uploaded phone footage, fake social media accounts and biased news reports? As we click, like and share, are we unwittingly furthering the agendas of governments, big business, activists and terrorists?

In The Sprawl (Propaganda About Propaganda), award-winning artists and filmmakers Metahaven, together with master cinematographer Remko Schnorr and acclaimed electronic musician Kuedo, present a strikingly poetic open-world journey into the tangled machinations of the web, where terrorists tweet, anime videos disguise political spin and news channels hawk morality.


Metahaven was founded in 2007 by Vinca Kruk and Daniel van der Velden and is based in Amsterdam. In 2013 they were awarded the Cobra Art Prize and named Design Studio of the Year by ICON magazine. Their work has been featured 
in publications such as frieze, e-flux journal and New York Times Magazine and exhibited at MoMA PS1, the V&A, Yerba Buena Center of the Arts in San Francisco and Museum of Modern Art in Warsaw, among others.

As designers, artists and filmmakers they operate at the interface of aesthetics and geopolitics. In 2012, they designed a collection of scarves and T-shirts in support of WikiLeaks, whilst amongst their books, Uncorporate Identity (2010), unpicks the paradoxes of identity in a networked world, Can Jokes Bring Down Governments? (2013) proposes humour as the latest weapon of protest, and Black Transparency (2015) examines the right to know in an age of mass surveillance.


The Sprawl is one of four winning projects selected for the first Open Call by The Space – a joint BBC and Arts Council England commissioning body supporting art that employs technology to push the boundaries of creative expression. Commissioned by Lighthouse and The Space. Thanks to Netherlands Film Fund, the Dutch Cultural Media Fund and Creative Industries Fund NL.

The Brighton Festival exhibition was co-commissioned by Lighthouse and Brighton Festival.

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