10 illuminating tips for maximizing your Signal Festival 2023 experience

Follow the light trail to a gallery zone, spectacular video mapping projections, and light installations spread across Prague.

Ioana Caloianu

Written by Ioana Caloianu Published on 12.10.2023 14:00:00 (updated on 12.10.2023) Reading time: 5 minutes

The 11th Signal Festival, which starts today, will feature 20 art installations in the Prague city center, as well as Karlín, Holešovice, Letná, and Bořislavka, and offer the largest gallery zone in the festival's history. This means that festivalgoers will be spoiled for choice. Here is a guide to making the most of the attractions that are on display, courtesy of the festival organizers, who included 10 must-see events and installations.

practical information

  • The festival will showcase installations using light, sound, augmented reality, 3D scanning, and digital technologies.
  • Signal Festival takes place from Oct. 12 to 15, from 7 p.m. to 12 p.m. each day. The children's exhibition, Signal Playground: Rainbow, will be open every festival day from 2 p.m.
  • Free access is available to 13 installations across two trail routes.
  • Tickets are needed to experience the full program. Two ticket options include "Signal Plus" granting gallery zone access and "Signal VIP" for an exclusive, front-of-line guided experience.
  • VIP ticket holders can explore the gallery zone starting at 6 p.m. without waiting in line.

1 The opening ceremony in Karlín

The festival kicks off tonight at 7 p.m. with a free video mapping show titled Echo, which was created by the esteemed Japanese studio Flightgraf. This exclusive project, specifically designed for the Signal Festival, will be showcased on the facade of the Church of St. Cyril and Methodius in Karlín, seamlessly blending nature, environment, and architecture. Additionally, visitors can engage in an interactive game presented by Mercedes-Benz to help them pass the time between video presentations.

Flightgraf Echo
Flightgraf Echo

2 Video mappings on two iconic Prague buildings

This year, festivalgoers will have the opportunity to experience two video mappings along the festival routes; the first one is the above-mentioned Echo project at the Church of St. Cyril and Methodius in Karlín. The second is a first-of-its-kind event, which will see Hungarian artist András László Nagy illuminate the Municipal Library building on Mariánské náměstí. His projection, titled Luminary Glyphs, combines the history of writing with modern technology, using artificial intelligence. The video mappings will be free to watch and will run every 15 minutes from 7 p.m. to 12 p.m.

Luminary Glyphs
Luminary Glyphs

3 The largest gallery zone in the festival's history

The 11th Signal Festival will showcase its largest gallery zone ever, spread across seven unique locations. The curatorial team, led by audiovisual artist Pavel Mrkus, has developed installations in places such as the playground at Lyčkovo náměstí Primary School and Kindergarten, Invalidovna, Kunsthalle Praha, Hall 13 of the Holešovice Market Hall, The Church of the Holy Saviour (U Salvátora), the Hybernská Campus, and the main building of the Museum of the Capital City of Prague. These installations include immersive audiovisual, sound, and theatre experiences.

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4 An interactive installation created by visitors

Renowned artist Rafael Lozano-Hemmer, who hails from Mexico and Canada, will showcase Thermal Drift, an exceptional and immersive installation at the Lyčkovo náměstí Primary School and Kindergarten. This large-scale projection will captivate viewers as it dynamically captures real-time portraits using a thermal camera, reflecting their body heat.

5 An immersive installation that will literally engulf visitors

The installation Flux 2023, created by the Polish collective Ksawery Komputery, promises a powerful audiovisual experience. Made up of 800 meters of double-sided LED strips, this interactive work at Invalidovna depicts the virtual reins of our society. Another must-see installation is by the Spanish Playmodes collective, who have created the largest installation at this year's Horizon event. Located in Hall 13 of the Holešovice Market Hall, it will completely immerse viewers in a unique combination of light, sound, space, and perspective, for a journey beyond the boundaries of physical reality.

Ksawery Komputery Flux
Ksawery Komputery Flux

6 A combination of theatre, performance, and audiovisual art

Signal Festival will continue its successful collaboration with Laterna Magika, presenting the theatre-performative project Emotional Memory to celebrate the 65th anniversary of the founding of the multi-genre National Theatre company. Directed by Tereza Vejvodová and artistic director Radim Vizváry, the performance combines history with the present. Additionally, the Museum of the Capital City of Prague will offer visitors a unique experience during the festival by opening the second floor of its main building, which is currently undergoing reconstruction.

7 A child-friendly installation

For its youngest audience, the festival will present at the Hybernská Campus its first-ever installation specially designed for children. Signal Playground: Rainbow, an interactive installation by 3dsense, a Czech creative studio, will feature various exhibits that both children and adults can freely explore.

Signal Playground Duha
Signal Playground Duha

8 Light installations in Letná, Rustonka, and Bořislavka

In addition to the main festival route, visitors will have the opportunity to experience satellites. Renowned works of public space art, such as Zdeněk Sýkora's iconic black and white tiling on the Letná Tunnel's ventilation chimneys, Jiří Příhoda's kinetic object Vista Mars that projects real footage from the planet Mars, and Frederic Díaz's Concrete Layers, which references the historic trade route, will come to life during the Signal Festival through exceptional light and sound projections from leading Czech audiovisual artists.

9 Contemporary artists transforming the gallery into a club

The group exhibition Elektrosalon: From The Rave to the Gallery will present the latest trends and technologies from audiovisual artists who started as light designers or visual creators in the club or rave scene. The Chemistry Gallery, located in Hall 40 of the Holešovice Market Hall, will be the first-ever exhibition project of this kind and will feature works by now legendary names of the domestic club and techno scene. The exhibition is curated by Marek Šilpoch, who will shift the traditional perception of the salon show into a lively and immersive present.

Elektrosalon
Elektrosalon

10 Light circles and a unique projection

Signal Festival, in collaboration with the creative team from glo™, will showcase glo™ CIRCLE, a captivating collection of five-meter tall light circles that will illuminate the Sudek set with vibrant colors. At Náměstí Republiky, the extraordinary audiovisual installation, Siemens EQube, will present a fascinating blend of abstract artwork and flawless machine technology. This installation was created by multidisciplinary artist and creative Alex J. Jindrák in collaboration with Innovate Studio.

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