Somerset House Studios
Tue 13 Feb 2018

Defrag: Reality

Tue 13 Feb 2018
18.45 - 20.30
Pay What You Can

The work of our artists is valuable and our events cost money to produce, but we also want them to be as accessible as possible. Therefore, we offer you the opportunity to pay what you can for this event.

River Rooms
New Wing

A new event series exploring the role technology plays in the development, production and consumption of art and culture.

The terms “post truth” and “fake news” have had a moment. If the hype is to be believed malign forces have been harnessing new media technologies, enabling widespread misinformation, and fostering suspicion of reliable sources and the mainstream media.

From 4chan, to Trump, via GCHQ botnets, kompromat and alternate truths: it can be hard to make sense of our new reality. The weaponisation of subjective information is an old trick (the term propaganda can trace it’s roots back to 1622) so how and why have these new buzzwords come to the fore?

In this next event we will explore how technology is changing the media landscape, and wider perceptions of truth, authenticity and reality.


Cllr Seyi Akiwowo
Seyi has been a Labour councillor in Newham, East London, since 2014. She is a fellow at the Royal Society and writes and speaks on diversity in politics, and social and economic inclusion, as well as methods to improve civic and political participation of underrepresented groups. Seyi is also the founder of Glitch!UK, an anti online-abuse campaign.

James Ball
James is a former a special correspondent at BuzzFeed UK. He was also previously special projects editor at The Guardian, where he played a key role in the Pulitzer Prize-winning coverage of the NSA leaks by Edward Snowden, as well as the offshore leaks, HSBC Files, Reading the Riots and Keep it in the Ground projects. At WikiLeaks he was closely involved in Cablegate – the publication of 250,000 classified US embassy cables in 2010 – as well as working on two documentaries based on the Iraq War Logs.

Ted Hunt
Ted is an independent speculative/discursive/critical designer living and working in London and currently a resident of Somerset House Studios. Ted's work explores the liminal spaces between our ancient behavioural-driven selves and modern technologically-driven selves. He continually explores non-linear/alternative paradigms and examines the boundaries between subjective, objective and inter-subjective interpretations and perspectives.

Mevan Babakar
Mevan works at Full Fact a fact checking organisation as their Digital Product Manager. She leads on Full Fact's automated factchecking work. She co-authored 'The State of Automated Factchecking' in 2016 and regularly speaks in the UK and internationally about factchecking, civic engagement, and technology. In the past she has also run election and referendum crowdfunding campaigns, the latest raised over £100,000. Outside of Full Fact, Mevan is a digital adviser to the Big Lottery Foundation, a board member of the civic engagement non-profit Democracy Club, and a founding organiser of the Citizen Beta meetup.

Carmen Aguilar y Wedge
Carmen is a Latina structural engineer and artist synthesizing design and technology to develop immersive - transmedia experiences.  Inspired by the translation of concepts to material expressions visualized through an aesthetic framework of science fiction, futurism, and surrealism her work expands on the principles of emotional design. She is a co-founder and creative director at Hyphen-Labs, an international studio specializing in the design of physical products, mixed reality experiences, and site-specific installations that influence the evolution of digitalism and technology. 

Curated by Jake Charles Rees in association with Somerset House Studios.