British Council Creative Economy

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James Bridle

James Bridle


James Bridle is a writer, artist, publisher and technologist usually based in London, UK. His work covers the intersection of literature, culture and the network.

“It’svital that digital technologies areaccessible to all. As the vast and smokingindustrial architectures ofthe 20th Century give way to the invisible, intangibledigital infrastructures ofthe 21st, we’re going to need a higher level of technological literacy to ensure democratic participation in this discussion, and the help of artists to enlarge itsvocabulary.”

In a world where we are increasingly tracked by invisible technology, James’ most recent work, The Right To Flight, consists of a military-grade aerostat flying from the roof of a multi-storey car park in South London. Attached to the balloon are a variety of payloads, from darknet routers to aerial cameras, with an accompanying research and event programme investigating military infrastructures, contemporary surveillance, the history of ballooning, and technological utopias.

His previous work includes A Quiet Disposition, an intelligent database of news and information on unmanned aircraft, the Drone Shadows of 1:1 outlines of actual aircraft (which anyone can make), and the Iraq War Historiography, an encyclopaedia of Wikipedia Changelogs.

“In my work I try to make visible the invisible - softwares, networks, social and political systems. I believe that a greater level of systems literacy increases peoples' agency: in short, you can do more in the world if you understand better how it works.”

James was a finalist in the British Council’s Young Creative Entrepreneur (Publishing) 2008 programme, which included a study tour to India and participation in the London Book Fair. The Young Creative Entrepreneur programme identifies and connects emerging artists, designers, technologists and entrepreneurs around the world.