‘Propaganda about propaganda’ At The Brighton Festival

The internet is amazing, terrible, a beacon of information, a left wing echo chamber…a disruptive geopolitical super weapon? The Sprawl is an immersive video installation in which award-winning artists and filmmakers Metahaven argue “that the internet has become a disruptive geopolitical super weapon.”

The Sprawl is part of the Brighton Festival and is 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.” The exhibition will explore the splintered interpretation of world events including the Ukraine war, the downing of Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 and the spread of IS. The multiple-screen installation will show 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.”

image by Michael Newman

image by Michael Newman

Metahaven are a ‘design think tank’ that have been described as one of the most “theoretically informed, strategically adept and articulate groups of thinkers operating in graphic design.” Co-founders Daniel van der Velden and Vinca Kruk have said “the effect, the spin of the information is much more important than the factual content. Metahaven are making propaganda to fight propaganda…the smoke, HD screens and pop-art desktop motifs remind views that on screens everything is premeditated, mediated and politicised.” The Sprawl was co-commissioned by the Lighthouse and Brighton Festival and is being presented at Lighthouse in Kensington Street for the duration of the festival and is free.


Holly Martin


feature image:stephen h via the Creative Commons license

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