The Long Progress Bar

Loved our previous Improving Reality events? Then join us for The Long Progress Bar…it’s Improving Reality rebooted! A powerful mix of talks, presentations, workshops and vanguard performances, this two-day festival brings together some of the most exciting creatives and thinkers building new platforms for creating culture, connecting people and improving reality. From basic income, the blockchain and place-based social innovation, to the role of art, engineering and direct democracy, the festival is a real-time response to real-world issues – plus, a chance to join forces, make new friends and meet people who are shaping our world.

“As a recce of artists doing cutting-edge things, Progress Bar has been an eagerly-supported winner for Lighthouse – rather than a single talk or event, this monthly night intensifies its focus on playful invention and adventures in contemporary culture.” Brighton Source.


Talks, performances and screenings from guests including: basic-income advocate Guy Standing; critically acclaimed electronic music producer Jam City; rising electronic musician Holly Herndon; social innovator and unMonastery member Kei Kreutler; artist and writer Zach Blas; contemporary artist and musician TCF, experimental sound artist Mat Dryhurst; and cutting-edge design and research group Metahaven

Date: Thursday 3 September 2015
Venue: Dome Studio Theatre, Brighton, BN1 1UG
Times: 1pm – 6pm (talks) / 7pm – 8pm (performance)


A chance to meet many of the guests from DAY 1 via a series of caffeine-fuelled conversations, informal Ask-Me-Anything sessions and workshops.

Date: Friday 4 September 2015
Venue: Lighthouse, 28 Kensington Street, Brighton, BN1 4AJ
Times: 10am – 4pm (workshops, screenings, discussion)


The line-up includes: Guy Standing (UK) / Jam City (UK), Holly Herndon (USA) / Lars TCFHoldhus (NO) / Zach Blas (USA) / Mat Dryhurst (USA) / Kei Kreutler (USA) / Metahaven(NL), plus more guests to be announced.

Guy Standing (UK) / talk (day 1)
Economist Guy Standing is a leading advocate of ‘basic income’.

He has written several books and papers on the subject, notably The Precariat, The New Dangerous Underclass – a significant global phenomenon, highly visible in the Occupy movement. He is Professor of Development Studies at School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), University of London. An economist, with a Ph.D. from Cambridge University, he is a founder and Co-President of the Basic Income Earth Network (BIEN), an NGO promoting basic income as a right, with members in over 50 countries. In 1995-96, he was Research Director for President Mandela’s Labour Market Policy Commission.

Jam City (UK) / talk & performance (day 1)
Jam City is London-based producer, songwriter and musician Jack Latham.

Since 2009 he has performed as both a live act and a DJ, playing regular headline shows internationally. His debut album Classical Curves was released to much critical acclaim, appearing on end of year lists including The GuardianThe Quietus and Resident Advisor in 2012, and its 2015 follow up, Dream A Garden, was championed in The Evening Standard and The Guardian, amongst others. Latham also currently works as a songwriter, producer and remixer for artists on XL, Sony and Domino records.

Holly Herndon (USA) / talk & workshop (day 1 & 2)
Renowned electronic composer, musician and sound artist Holly Herndon works at the leading-edge of contemporary practice.

As well as touring the world to perform and exhibit new work, Holly is currently candidate for doctoral study in Computer Music at Stanford University. She received her MFA in Electronic Music and Recording Media at Mills College. While at Mills she won the Elizabeth Mills Crothers award for Best Composer in 2010 for her vocal generated piece 195. Her 2014 single Chorus was named as a Best New Track by Pitchfork who stated “few artists have managed to meld the dark thump of techno with the intricate constructions of post-minimalist new music quite like Holly Herndon.” Earlier this year she released her second album Platform, to great acclaim.

Kei Kreutler (USA) / talk & workshop (day 1 & 2)
In 2014 researcher, organiser and artist Kei Kreutler became one of fourteen participants selected to join the radical, not-for-profit, social movement unMonastery.


Described as “a social clinic for the future, rethinking monasticism and hackerspaces to prototype a network of spaces throughout Europe,” It is an ambitious response to the challenge of bridging the gap between working to make a living and working to make meaning, and implements radical forms of social innovation and collaboration in Matera, Italy, with programmes to improve local life, including free tech education at OpenTechSchool, co-run by Kreutler.

Zach Blas (USA) / talk (day 1)
The work of artist and writer Zach Blas engages technology, queerness and politics to respond to technological control.

Blas has exhibited internationally including at the Museum of Arts and Design Biennial, New York, and transmediale, Berlin, and was in 2014 selected by Hito Steyerl as a 2014 Future Great in Art Review_. His projects include \"_Facial Weaponization Suite\": and Face Cages, which explore the inequalities technologies propagate. His current work Contra-Internet, is oriented from a feminist and queer perspective and unites these political positions with a hacker ethos. The aim – to function as a framework for refusing the neoliberal logic of ‘the Internet’, while building alternatives to its infrastructure.

Lars TCF Holdhus (NO) / talk & workshop (day 1 & 2)
The work of contemporary artist and musician TCF explores themes of code, cryptography and musical composition through the use of visual, sonic, built and written concepts.

TCF (aka Lars Holdhus) creates a world that draws references from musique concrete, hardstyle, hardcore, poetry and digital artifacts. His practice shifts between art exhibitions and performing music pieces. He has exhibited widely, including at HHDM in Vienna, Vault in Berlin and Polansky Gallery in Prague. Recent work explores the cryptographic theme, consisting of digital and physical content containing the necessary keys to unlock its full meaning.

Mathew Dryhurst (USA) / talk & workshop (day 1 & 2)
Artist Mat Dryhurst experiments with personal data to make works of art.

He has most recently created a series of science fiction plays from data mining his audience, produced a tool that creates concrete music from browsing habits, and created Saga, a software that allows artists to claim each distinct space where their work is published online. He is a regular musical and conceptual collaborator with Holly Herndon, releases work with Berlin based label PAN, and previously served as Director of Programming for Gray Area in San Francisco.

Metahaven (NL) / talk & workshop (day 1 & 2)
The work of design and research studio Metahaven reflects political and social issues in graphic design objects and media.

The group’s 2010 publication Uncorporate Identity investigated what the International Herald Tribunecalled the “purpose and value of design in a neurotic and treacherous era of geopolitical instability”. Metahaven’s projects include Black Transparency, a multi-year investigation into the relationship between transparency and secrecy. As part of this project, Metahaven designed a set of merchandise for WikiLeaks that were sold by the organisation to circumvent a financial blockade disallowing the organisation to receive donations via other means. In 2015, Metahaven will release The Sprawl, a serialist web documentary on internet, geopolitics, and propaganda, co-commissioned by Lighthouse and The Space.


The Long Progress Bar is part of Lighthouse’s monthly Progress Bar series and builds on its former annual conference of contemporary culture, Improving Reality. It is part of Brighton Digital Festival – a month-long celebration of digital culture, made up of events, exhibitions, performances, workshops, conferences and meetups that take place in venues and outdoor spaces across the city throughout September.


Lighthouse is a contemporary culture agency connecting new developments in art, technology and society. It is a registered charity that supports radical new work and ideas by emerging and established creatives across the globe. The Long Progress Bar is a non-profit event supported by Brighton Digital Festival, Arts Council England and Brighton and Hove City Council.

The Long Progress Bar

Event Title: The Long Progress Bar
Start Date: 03/09/2015
End Date: 04/09/2015
Opening Times: 3rd 1-8pm, 4th 10am - 4pm
Venue: Dome Studio Theatre and Lighthouse
Town/City: Brighton
County: East Sussex
Postcode: BN1
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