Signal Festival to take place in Prague in October with a flexible ‘Plan C’

Organizes are planning the annual festival of light art so that it can occur under almost any circumstances.

Raymond Johnston

Written by Raymond Johnston Published on 16.07.2021 12:34:00 (updated on 16.07.2021) Reading time: 3 minutes

The Signal Festival of light art will take place this fall, after having been canceled last year just before it was scheduled to start.

This year, the ninth edition of the festival will enliven the streets of Old Town, Holešovice, and Karlín on Oct. 14–17 with 15 art installations. In addition to the festival in the streets, visitors can also expect a brand new project that explores the possibilities of using contemporary technologies such as augmented or expanded reality for the safe presentation of art in public space. People will be able to view a virtual collection of artworks in the city space in September.

Last year’s canceled edition was called Plan B, as it was already revised from the original to try to meet the pandemic conditions of the time. It was meant to address contemporary environmental issues.

This year, Signal Festival builds on it with Plan C. The concept is to create respectful and friendly festival that is sustainable for our planet and society, as well as being inventive and totally flexible.

The festival will address environmental issues and the coexistence of humans and nature. It also explores new technological approaches. Together with artists and curators, Signal Festival will focus on issues of environmental improvement as well as the search for a way out of the post-pandemic crisis.

“Last year our theme was Plan B. Through art we wanted to open a discussion about the state of our planet. We asked questions about how to help the environment. How to be better. The festival and the artists set goals, but life changes. The pandemic changed everything. We've learned our lesson,” festival director Martin Pošta said.

Laser at the Petřín Tower. (Photo: Raymond Johnston)
Laser at the Petřín Tower. (Photo: Raymond Johnston)

Plan B spread the festival had several one-off events. “In the spring, we celebrated Earth Day with the installation Room of Change by the Italian studio Accurat. We commemorated the International Day of Light with a minimalist laser beam joining the Academy of Sciences and Petřín,” he added.

“As part of this year's supermoon, it was possible to see a projection by audiovisual artist and environmental activist Joanie Lemercier in several Prague districts at once, where the viewer was not sure whether he was watching a beautiful magical full moon or an arid planet Earth. At the same time, she is preparing a new project that can cope with any situation,” he added.

“Plan B wasn't enough, so we're trying Plan C. Being able to adapt is now essential,” Pošta said.

The organizers are determined that the Signal Festival will occur under any circumstances. It will feature works by Czech artists such as Milena Dopitová, Jiří Černický or the author duo Vrtiška & Žák. These will be complemented by young Czech audiovisual talents of such as Kateřina Blahutová, students of the Time-Based Media Studio of the Faculty of Arts of the University of Economics in Ústí nad Labem, and the group of creative artists Daniel Červenka, Oliver Torr, Marek Šilpoch, and Pavel Karafiát.

The Room of Change, by the Italian studio Accurat. (Photo: Raymond Johnston)
The Room of Change, by the Italian studio Accurat. (Photo: Raymond Johnston)

There will also be projections by foreign artists such as Onionlab and Weltraumgrafik, dealing with the topic of the current environmental and pandemic situation.

In addition to the festival in the streets, they are also developing a new project in collaboration with the creative studio BRAINZ, using augmented reality to present art in public space. The app will be available to try out in September.

Signal has a Plan C for the fall. (Photo: Signal)
Signal has a Plan C for the fall. (Photo: Signal)

Signal. a festival of digital and creative culture, brings together contemporary visual art, urban space, and modern technology. It has become the most-visited cultural event in the Czech Republic, with over 3 million visitors since it began. The program is composed of international and Czech artists from the fields of light design, visual and digital art, artificial intelligence, and conceptual art.

The festival is also one of the largest producers of contemporary art in the country. It supports the youngest Czech artists and has been behind the creation of more than 70 original installations created especially for the festival. It organizes accompanying programs for children, professionals, and students, and cooperates with foreign festivals and cultural institutions. More information can be found on the Signal website and Facebook page.

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