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Become Social Media Savvy this September with the Brighton Digital Festival

Hard to believe I know, but it really is 1st September, which means the height of summer is over and that the C word is only four months away.  But, enough of that already, September is a wonderful month and with it comes the return of the Brighton Digital Festival.

Phoenix, Brighton

This year BDF is bigger and better than ever with over 150 events, reaching out to non-techies, children and providing some exciting opportunities to find out how to harness the ever increasing power of the internet for everyone else too.

This year’s offerings cover new digital art exhibitions and performances to inspire and bedazzle you; comedy, workshops and outdoor events to participate in and conferences, hackathons and meet-ups to gain valuable knowledge and insight.
Mutator 1 + 2

Digital Arts and Culture

From 7 September pioneering digital artist William Latham will be exhibiting Mutator 1 + 2 at Phoenix Brighton.  Throughout the 1980s, William Latham worked as one of the UK’s pioneering computer artists. Blending organic imagery and computer animation to create complex 3D futuristic organisms. This is his first major exhibition in the UK for over 20 years, Mutator 1 + 2 will include early hand-drawn work, large computer generated Cibachrome prints, video art and projected imagery.  

While at The Old Market in The Sound Of The Wind In The Trees internationally renowned artist Simon Wilkinson will deliver a broodingly atmospheric live AV performance of haunting large screen projections, accompanied by a live soundtrack of reverb drenched retro electronic instruments, programming loops and effects with classical strings from the musical quartet Collectress.  

Leading writers and producers including Charlie Brooker will be talking at the Duke of York’s Picturehouse following an exclusive Black Mirror screening, which will explore the what-ifs and potential side effects of technology.

Join the debate surrounding the role of social media in fuelling misogyny on 14 September at The Dome Corn Exchange.  The lively discussion will feature a panel including Bridget Christie, Comedian and Presenter on Radio 4 series Mind the Gap, Suzanne Moore, Columnist for The Guardian and Helen Lewis, Deputy Editor of The New Statesman amongst others.  Full event details for this can be found at

Participate in real life gaming, allowing you to shape action unfolding around you with a new outdoor, interactive event created by Roots Experience.  The Rise and Fall Of Geo Goynes combines digital technology and theatre. Members of the public are guided on a journey across the city for the ultimate real life gaming experience.  

Enjoy stand up comedy with award nominee David Trent and TV personality Nathan Penlington at Charity Chuckle.
Mini Maker Faire

Family Events

On 7-8 September join in at the Mini Maker Faire, returning for its third year to the Corn Exchange. Celebrating the Maker movement, this inventive and creative faire asks those attending to embrace the do-it-yourself mindset and aims to discover new and exciting digital inventions. Look out for a giant knitting robot, laser printed trains, a 3D body scanner, and a social media powered photo booth.  Having attracted over 7,000 people in 2012 the Mini Maker Faire has a growing following.

Learn to program with Scratch, children aged 10 to 12 are given the chance to learn and make their own computer games and animations. It’s free and takes place at St. Bartholomew's School on 14 September at 10am and 2pm. Plus, Glimmers from 1 to 30 September, is an event that takes groups on a fantasy sci-fi treasure hunt around Brighton’s town centre.  

Take them to Swimming with Plankton in 3D, from 6 - 25 September at the Booth Museum of Natural History.  Originally commissioned for Kew Gardens as a permanent exhibition in 2004, Swimming with Plankton is a visually stunning and highly educational event, demonstrating the vital role plankton plays in our survival.

Finally, PixelPyro, is the free and interactive digital firework display that returns to Jubilee Square to celebrate the closure of the festival on 28 September.  Audience members are invited to touch the 60-foot wide screen to manipulate the direction and speed of the computer-generated pyrotechnics.

Gain Social Media Savvy

At the heart of the festival is an integrated education programme led by Lighthouse, with the aim of taking students out of school and putting them directly into the festival programme. There will be an informal teacher-led event, TeachMeet, which invites teachers to share good ideas, practical innovations and personal insights about teaching with technology.

Reasons to be Creative
2 - 4 September 9:30am at The Dome
The conference includes inspiring talks by international designers, coders, creatives, filmmakers, animators, installation builders, illustrators, and artists presenting three tracks over three full days. Brought to you by the same people who created the acclaimed Flash on the Beach conference and New York's Geeky by Nature conference in 2011. FOTB ran for over five years and became one of the biggest and best loved 'Flash-centric' conferences in the world.

Connected TV
4 September, 9:30 – 19:30 at Komedia
Part of the Wired Sussex ConnectedTV events programme, ConnectedTV is a practical guide to making money and reaching new audiences. The programme is sponsored by Relentless Software.

Improving Reality
5 September, 11:00am at Dome Studio Theatre
Lighthouse’s digital culture conference explores how artists, technologists and writers are disrupting our notion of reality. This collection of inspiring talks features major thinkers such as Keller Easterling, artist and biologist Daisy Ginsberg and gonzo futurist, Justin Pickard.

6 September, 9:00am at Dome
Curated by Clearleft, dConstruct is the festival’s most popular conference. Aimed at web designers and developers, the annual, internationally renowned conference gathers some of the brightest minds in the design community to explore big issues in the digital industry today.

Let’s Get Real
16 September, 9:30 at Dome Studio
Let’s Get Real is aimed at professionals looking to improve their digital offer (website, social media etc.) and to understand more about reaching target audiences. Speakers will include Penguin, Time Out and Government Digital Services representatives.

Brighton SEO
12 - 13 September, 10:00 at the Dome, Corn Exchange
The festival’s free one-day conference, Brighton SEO, is expecting over 2,000 of Europe’s best digital marketers. Aimed at agency delegates, marketing teams, business owners and freelancers, the line up will feature a range of speakers from the digital marketing industry covering a number of hot trends.

Open Studios 2013
23 - 27 September, 9:00 at various digital, media and creative studios
Brighton-based digital, media and creative companies such as Crunch Accounting will open their doors to the public, offering a unique behind the scenes glimpse with interactive activities and seminars. These events are ideal for students looking to gain insight, graduates looking for a career and creatives and freelancers looking to develop new contacts.

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