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The Sprawl (Propaganda About Propaganda) at Brighton Festival


  • Lighthouse 28 Kensington Street Brighton, BN1 4AJ United Kingdom (map)

Daily 11am – 6pm

Tickets: Free

In the UK premiere of the immersive video installation The Sprawl, award-winning artists and filmmakers Metahaven argue that the internet has become a disruptive geopolitical super weapon.

Together with master cinematographer Remko Schnorr and acclaimed electronic musician Kuedo, Metahaven present The Sprawl, a strikingly poetic cinematic journey into the tangled machinations of the web, where terrorists tweet, anime videos disguise political spin and news channels hawk morality.

Examining the splintered interpretation of world events including the Ukraine war, the downing of Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 and the spread of IS, The Sprawl offers a subversive critique of the internet as geopolitical super weapon.

Presented at the 50th edition of Brighton Festival as an immersive video installation, multiple screens engage the viewer with The Sprawl: a fragmented, non-linear stream of state-influenced fan art, news clips and memes – overlaid and juxtaposed with Metahaven’s original footage and graphics – and contributions from leading experts on design, geopolitics and visual theory. A tangible, physical overload of visual and aural information, reflecting and intensifying the real-world experience.

METAHAVEN

Metahaven co-founders, Vinca Kruk and Daniel van der Velden, describe The Sprawl as taking "a deeper, stranger look” at how the internet has opened the floodgates for multiple interpretations of truth, as influenced by aesthetics, convention and agenda. 

It is the latest example of the radical Dutch duo’s use of graphic design, moving image and internet activism to investigate commercial and political power structures. The project builds on the themes of their 2013 book Can Jokes Bring Down Governments? which proposed humour as the latest weapon of protest, and 2009’s Uncorporate Identity, which unpicked the paradoxes of identity in a networked world. In 2013 Metahaven won the Cobra Art Prize and was named Design Studio of the Year by ICON magazine.

BRIGHTON FESTIVAL

Co-commissioned by Lighthouse and Brighton Festival, the exhibition is being presented at Lighthouse, as part of the festival, which this year is celebrating 50 years of commissioning and producing innovative arts and culture, with pioneering artist and musician Laurie Anderson at the helm as Guest Director.

For more information: http://www.lighthouse.org.uk/programme/the-sprawl-at-brighton-festival