Photo by Nozomi Matsuyama, at Future Everything festival in Manchester (2015)

I am Leila Johnston. I’m a curator, journalist and entertainer. I work with art and technology, and the fantastical ideas that emerge from them. For more about my work and interests, see this longer bio.

My main job is my business: a quarterly live show and magazine called Hack Circus which allows me to explore ideas around speculative science, subversive tech, psychology etc with others in a fun and unique way.

I have been a resident at Site Gallery in Sheffield (The Happenstance Project, 2012) and Lighthouse in Brighton (in 2014, I wrote about it). In February 2015, I was one of 10 innovators from around the world selected to take part in the Global Futr Labs at Future Everything in Manchester. I also write books and humour, and articles for people like WIRED UK and Creative Review. I’m one of the Huffington Post bloggers.

I give occasional talks on everything from boredom on the Starship Enterprise to creativity in the James Cameron Terminator films. I’ve spoken at two TEDx events, Ada Lovelace Day Live, The Royal Institution, The Royal Academy of Arts, and loads of other places.

Home is Sheffield, but I travel a lot and I’m always looking for people to connect with for my various projects. So, if any of that sounds interesting, please get in touch: leila@finalbullet.com.


A word on Fantasy Technology and Everyday Magic – and how retro tech fits into my workScreen shot 2014-07-26 at 17.48.08

We enjoy things that give us scope to imagine, and when we are enjoying ourselves, we do everything better. So, fantasy is not simply an escape: it’s an interpreter. Before everything was shareable and plastered in advertising, before we were online, before we all ‘worked for Google’, we had the potential to escape corporate influence and fantasy was an end in itself. Today’s tech scene began with kids staring in wonder at flashing cursors. My work is about helping adults to rediscover this positive relationship with technology, to recapture the exceptional power they already hold to magic things out of thin air.