Sussex staff bring virtual reality, live coding and more to Brighton Digital Festival

Sussex staff are delving into virtual reality, performing live coding, and exposing hidden supply‑chain networks at the Brighton Digital Festival this month.

Photo of Wesley Goatley and Georgina VossTechnology anthropologist Georgina Voss (right) and sound artist Wesley Goatley have brought planes, trains and cargo ships to a Brighton gallery as part of the Brighton Digital Festival.

The Brighton-based festival, the UK’s biggest celebration of digital culture, began on 1 September and is set to run until 3 October.

Dr Georgina Voss, Research Fellow at SPRU, and sound artist Wesley Goatley have brought planes, trains and cargo ships to Brighton’s Lighthouse gallery in an exhibition running until 20 September.

Familiars’ uses information from the harbours, airport control towers and railway hubs around Brighton to expose the hidden logistics infrastructure that surrounds the city.

Kate Genevieve, a PhD student in the School of Media, Film and Music (MFM), will be challenging members of the public to come up with new uses for virtual reality (VR) technology at an interactive talk at Brighton’s Phoenix Gallery.

The audience at the ‘Digital Spotlight’ event on Monday (14 September) will learn about Kate’s work as an artist combining VR with outdoor experiences, and will hear how this technology can change people’s relationship with their environment.

Dr Diego Martinez Plasencia, Lecturer in Interactive Graphics in the Department of Informatics, will also be discussing VR at a special digital-themed session of ‘Nerd Night Brighton’ on Wednesday (16 September).

Dr Plasencia’s research is focussed on developing non-intrusive VR headsets that can be worn while allowing users to make eye contact and interact with other people.

He will be joined at the event by Dr Thor Magnusson, Lecturer in Music in MFM, who will be giving a demonstration of ‘live coding’ – a type of live performance where programmers create improvised sounds and visuals from computer code in front of an audience. 

Two events will also be taking place on the Sussex campus during the festival. The Sussex Innovation Centre (SInC), a business incubator owned by the University, will be providing free business advice at a session on Thursday (17 September).

The ‘How to Fund your Digital Enterprise’ session will offer digital professionals the chance to learn from the successes (and mistakes) of entrepreneurs who’ve been there and done it.

Later in the month, the University will host ‘Paper Versus Pixels’ – an event exploring the impact that digital media has had on comics and graphic novels.

The event on 29 September is being sponsored by the Sussex Humanities Lab (SHL), an interdisciplinary research programme at the University that explores what it means to study the humanities in the digital age.

Comic artist Jaime Huxtable from the SHL will discuss his experiences in illustrating Think Like Churchill, an app that mixes comics, animation, historical archive and gameplay into a new breed of graphic narrative.