Signal celebrates five years

The festival will have 20 installations and artists from 10 countries

The fifth edition of the Signal festival of light art will showcase 20 installations from Czech and foreign artists, and will run Oct. 12–15. As in previous years, there will be static, site-specific and interactive installations plus video mapping projections. The festival this year has 22 artists or groups from 10 countries.

In the program for the fifth time is a video mapping at the Church of St. Ludmila at náměstí Míru, and the opening ceremony for the festival will take place there at 7 pm on Oct. 12. The video mapping this year is called Caryatyds by French artist Yann Nguema, who mapped every brick of the facade. Every night at 11 pm video mappings from the previous four years at the square will be shown in what promises to be an incredible show.

An innovation this year is that there are two festival routes, one in the city center and another in Vinohrady.

Most of the artwork will be to the public for free, but this year there is also a gallery zone that has an entry fee of Kč 100 for all four areas.

The downtown route is the largest, with 15 stops including the four that are part of the gallery zone. The Vinohrady route has five stops in Prague 2 and 3, all of which are free.

The gallery zone has pieces at Colloredo-Mansfeldský palác, Zrcadlová kaple (Mirror Chapel) of the Klementinum, Palác U Stýblů and DUP 39. These pieces will make use of the specific spaces.

“The decision to spread the installations throughout two routes was substantially influenced by the visitor we obtained last year. The festival was visited by over 578,000 spectators, which is really a lot. Therefore, we have decided to try two routes this year. Apart from the possibility to spread the people more in the streets, we could also move to some new interesting locations,” festival director Martin Pošta said.

The downtown route will have a 3D video mapping, which in previous years has always been a festival highlight. Montenegrin artist Filip Roca, now based in Barcelona, presents Multiverse, which will be projected on Tyršův dům. The idea behind this projection is that we are only one of many parallel universes. Viewing glasses are required for this piece, and they will be included with a Kč 50 ticket at the venue.

The artist who came the farthest to participate in the festival is Australian artist Kit Webster, whose work Axiom will be at náměstí Jiřího z Poděbrad. The installation uses 700,000 LED lights to create three interlocked gates that make an immersive environment. His work is among previously shown pieces that have had a good reception.

Another piece that has been seen before is Heardt, which was at the Burning Man festival. Heardt, made by four Czech artists, will be at Haštalská Street. A customized interactive piano is surrounded by a four-meter human heart-shaped structure. Visitors can press a piano key and send a light impulse.

A piece at Cihelná is an image made of countless separated stories that gradually match up as a movie. Mécaniques Discursives is by the artists Fred Penella and Yannick Jacquet from the visual label Antivj. It will guide the spectators on the journey from Gutenberg's time to the contemporary digital world.

People will have a chance to go through a 35-meter-long tunnel that plays with the relation of space, time and human senses at Old Town Square in the installation called Beyond by Barcelona-based Playmodes.

Light and sound tentacles in the installation Octopus Garden by German artists RaumZeitPiraten will occupy the garden of Anežský klášter (St Agnes Convent). The movement of octopuses will be the affected by the spectators' presence.

These are just a sample of what will be included in this year's festival.

Signal ranks among the most significant producers of new art in the Czech Republic. The event has brought over 1.5 million visitors to the Prague's streets. “The Signal festival is already a solid point in Prague's autumn event calendar, and I am really glad that we have in Prague an event of such extent that also recognized abroad. This is one of the main reasons why Prague has given the festival its continuous support. I believe that this year will move the benchmark already set so high even higher and I wish that the festival will have creative artists and courageous ideas also in the forthcoming years,” said Jan Wolf, the alderman for culture at Prague City Hall.

Smartphone apps will be available on the Android and iOS platforms.

To find out more about the Signal festival, visit www.signalfestival.com or www.facebook.com/events

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