For many of us, digital technologies have been revolutionary. Yet at the same time, some feel disenchanted with the consequences.
The digital is cast increasingly as an instrument of surveillance, or a tool for disciplining ‘gig economies’, and a material burden upon our environment and climate.
In this event at the Brighton Digital Festival in September 2016, we aimed to re-enchant the digital: to reconnect with the utopian spirit of early pioneers, and discuss aspirations and activities today for a sustainable, democratic, weightless, and liberating digital society.
Adrian Smith, introducing the event, suggests that we could all pay more attention to the choices that are being made in how digital technology shapes our lives for better or worse.
The chair, Andrew Sleigh, asks each panellist to share an example of 'enchantment' with digital technology.
Ann Light introduces the concept of a 'World Machine' which uses digital tools to connect people and help them make sense of changes in the world around them.
Tim Jordan talks about the enchantment and disenchantment felt by people as they encounter new technologies like Pokemon Go.
Kat Braybrooke discusses how workshops in galleries and museums are used to encourage a wider group of people to look in detail at digital 'artefacts'.
Caroline Bassett talks about the pressures of digital speed and how people respond in different ways to the anxieties it generates.