Seventh Signal Festival of light art focuses on revolution in the past and future

The seventh edition will be on routes through Malá Strana, Old Town and Karlín

Raymond Johnston

Written by Raymond Johnston Published on 19.09.2019 07:00 (updated on 19.09.2019) Time to read: 4 minutes


The seventh edition of the Signal Festival will take place in Prague
on October 10–13. Lighting and site-specific installations, along
with video mappings, will be on three routes through Malá Strana,
Old Town and Karlín. New this year, the map in the festival
smartphone app will be free of charge.

The festival’s
theme is revolution. “Thirty years after the Velvet Revolution, we
decided to reflect on what the word ‘revolution’ means today.
It’s not just a look into the past for us. We perceive it as a
perspective for the future and as a change, improvement or radical
transformation, either as a whole or as an individual,” program
manager Matěj Vlašánek said.

Prague Mayor Zdeněk
Hřib said the topic was not just something from history. “The
festival’s typical play of lights and shadows on a symbolic level
reminds us of the constant struggle between truth and misinformation.
This is a theme that resonated in society during the Velvet
Revolution 30 years ago and still resonates today. Therefore, I wish
that the organizers and festival visitors do not lose their
orientation and always find the right light,” he said.

signal festival
‘Reflexe’ by Adam Cigler and Petr Vacek. via Signal

The festival itself
has also undergone a revolution since its inception, according to
festival director Martin Pošta. “From a show of video mapping and
light design, we grew into a respected festival of digital art and
creative culture, and one of the largest events in the Czech
Republic. We regularly confront hundreds of thousands of people with
art in public spaces,” he said.

“With each new
year we introduce new places, procedures and cooperation. Our goal is
not only the presentation of installations, but also a strong
artistic experience and performance, and support of contemporary
artists and social themes,” Pošta said.

Signal Festival 2019
will offer 18 installations, split evenly between Czech and foreign
authors. A dozen will be located at new locations such as Invalidovna
and the Transport Ministry. A festival pass, for sale in advance as
well as during the festival, is required to access the six
installations that are part of the Gallery Zone and a 3D
videomapping. A live audiovisual show also requires a ticket. The
other locations are free.

signal festival
3D videomapping ‘R•Evolution’ by Skilz. via Signal

The opening ceremony
will take place October 10 at 7 pm on Smetanovo nábřeží with the
largest installation in the festival’s history. “Intensive
reflections on modernity” by artist Jakub Pešek will cover 180,000
cubic meters with lasers between the embankment and Střelecký
ostrov.

Videomappings are
among the most popular stops. Two will be in Karlín: “Space &
Possibilities” by Turkey’s Nohlab at Karlínské náměstí and
“Ottantanove” by Italy’s Illo studio at Lyčkovo náměstí.
This year’s 3D videomapping —“R•Evolution” by Ukrainian
studio Skilz — is at Tyršův dům in Malá Strana. For the first
time in the festival’s history, there is no videomapping at náměstí
Míru.

Two other
projections are also in the program. “Simbio,” by Slovak artist
Andrej Boleslavský at Zahrada Artiséme, explores the boundaries
between human technology and nature. “The Wall” by Czech studio
Oficina is an interactive piece at Park Lannova. It is inspired by
walls being a place for protest.

signal festival
‘And what if it was true’ by Eva Jiřičná. via Signal

Also playing on the
revolution theme is “Trabi,” an audiovisual installation at
Petřín with 10 Trabant cars and recorded reflections on 1989. It is
presented by Czech NGO Post Bellum with support from the German
Embassy.

“10^100” by German group Giegling, in Nosticova zahrada, will mark the 100th anniversary of the Bauhaus artistic movement and 10 years of the group’s existence.

FEATURED EMPLOYERS

Czech artists Adam
Cigler and Petr Vacek present “Reflexe” at St Agnes Cloister
(Kláštěr sv. Anežky České), which is described as a sci-fi
object that absorbs and connects its viewers.

The kinetic
site-specific installation “God’s Mills,” by Pavel Korbička,
is a space-time triangle defined by three historical Karlín factory
chimneys in the courtyard of Karlínské náměstí 4 and Pernerova
55.

signal festival
‘Jacob’s Wall’ by Parker Heyl. via Signal

“Jacob’s Wall”
by American artist Parker Heyl explores hyper-realism at Kaizlovy
sady. The artist says the fast approaching future is a world where
there is the progressive marginalization of the meaning of real
subjects in favor of glorifying their weaker virtual copies.

Places in the paid
Gallery Zone are “Simple Harmonic Motion for Lights” at the Czech
Museum of Music, “And what if it was true” at Vojanovy Sady,
“Multiverse .pan” at the Mirror Chapel of the Klementinum, “Ghost
in the Machine” at the Transport Ministry, “a.r.r.c” at
Kooperativa in Main Point Karlín, and “I’m Leaving the Body”
at Invalidovna.

World-renowned Czech
architect Eva Jiřičná and AI-Design studio’s “And what if it
was true” is a luminous meteorite that is intended to encourage
self-reflection and revolution on a personal level.

“I’m Leaving the
Body” is by the Big Light Global Initiative, which invited
Czech-Argentine artist Federico Díaz and others to present Baroque
objects in a new context with incense, lasers, and sounds.

signal festival
‘Multiverse .pan’ by fuse*. vis Signal

A separate
admission, not included with the festival pass, is required for an
audiovisual performance in the Church of the Holy Savior (Kostel U
Salvátora). “Signal Soundscape: Inner Land Study I.” uses
lights, smoke, and organ music to explore existential questions.

There is also a
children’s program called Signal Kids and an accompanying program
with guided walks in Czech and discussion panels.

More information can be found on the festival website and Facebook page.

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