General rehearsal of the video mapping of the French visual collective AV Extended at the Basilica of St. Ludmila as part of the Signal festival, October 12, 2022, náměstí Míru, Prague.
Prague – The Signal Festival of Light will enter its second decade of existence this year. One of the most visited cultural events in Prague wants to focus more on supporting young talents and interdisciplinary and international cooperation. The role of chief curator of the festival is taken over by audiovisual artist Pavel Mrkus. In its three-year curatorial concept, it wants to focus on topics such as science, art, technology and innovation, the festival organizers said in a press release today. This year's event will be held from October 12 to 15.
According to the organizers, over half a million people visited the festival of light and digital culture in four days last October. It thus became the most successful vintage in its ten-year history. The festival took place in the center of the capital, in Vinohrady and for the first time also in Vršovice. In total, people could visit 15 installations at the festival, admission to most of the program was free.
“Signal Festival has not only been a four-day festival for several years now. We realize a large number of non-festival activities, we dedicate ourselves to specific installations and projects throughout the year. The works we produce travel all over the world and we are currently preparing another big project that will revive the cultural map of Prague. We have passed the first decade, so the festival program needs to be moved one step further,” said festival director Martin Pošta. According to him, Mrkus will bring new ideas and cooperation with artists and other art institutions to the festival program.
Mrkus will focus mainly on the long-term artistic direction of the festival. Part of the selection process was the drafting of a three-year curatorial concept for the festival. Mrkus reflected on the cultural changes on which the current concept of science, technology and art is based. It is topics such as science, art, technology and innovation that will dominate the program of the next decade of the festival.
The new curator is a graduate of the Glass Studio under the direction of Vladimír Kopecky at the University of Applied Arts and Sciences and the Institute of Ecumenical Studies at the Evangelical Theological Faculty of Charles University. Together with Daniel Hanzlík, he founded and runs the Time-Based Media studio at the Faculty of Art and Design of the J.E. Purkyně University in Ústí nad Labem, where he served as dean from 2015 until the beginning of 2023. He led the faculty for two terms.
In his work, he mainly uses new technologies. He has been engaged in audiovisual projects for a long time, in which he uses digital visual and sound means, often in relation to a specific place.
Signal is a festival of digital and creative culture. It combines contemporary visual art, urban space and modern technology. Its program consists of Czech and foreign artists from the field of visual art and light design.