Prague’s annual Signal Festival, eagerly anticipated by people from all over, held a one-of-a-kind blend of art, tech, and pure creativity from October 12–15.
This year, the event pushed the envelope in terms of originality, making nature, technology, society, and culture intertwine “to form the ecosystems in which we live and search for traces of joy, beauty, and the excitement of new discoveries.”
Picture this: a towering cylindrical structure, high-speed cameras, and an eight-channel sound system—all coming together to give you an immersive experience that unravels the hidden algorithms shaping our online encounters at the speed of light.
“My impression of Signal Festival? “It’s mind-blowing. You could tell an incredibly talented team put this whole show together. The way they combined visuals and meanings, as well as the sheer scale of it, left me absolutely speechless!” said Polina, one of the festival goers.
The festival’s reputation for merging art and technology lived up to its name, taking over the old buildings and sites of Old Town, Karlín, and Holešovice. One of the main installations took an extraordinary leap back in time, into a world dominated by pictograms and symbols.
András László Nagy’s work, “Luminary Glyphs,” symbolically projected onto the façade of the Municipal Library, showed the moment when the human mind first invented the alphabet and changed the game of communication. Nagy used artificial intelligence to whip up eye-catching animations from symbols, text, and coding characters. It felt like a time machine merging history and tech.
“T“he Municipal Gallery thing amazed me the most… Honestly, it sent shivers down my spine, but not because of fear but more because of the scale. And the realization that a human created it kind of hit me hard. It really is a high-five to the art of storytelling with a dash of futuristic tech magic which puts you in sort of a trance state,” said Iana, another attendee of the festival.
The festival offered a unique opportunity to get closer to the art of light in Signal Festival’s largest gallery zone to date. It featured seven exclusive installations that were available only to the owners of Signal+ tickets. These installations were not just about lights and sounds; they dove deep into the world of communication, technology, and emotional memory.
One of them, “FLUX 2023,” by the creators behind Ksawery Komputery, took you on a ride through the digital realm. Think about those moments when you are video chatting with friends and it almost feels like you’re in the same room. Through code-driven LED light strips and four high-speed cameras, which were perfectly synced with surround sound, the artists harnessed that magic.
The first ever multimedia and multi-genre theatre in the world, “Emotional Memory” by Laterna Magika, celebrated 65 years at the Signal Festival. The artists, led by director Tereza Vejvodová, took the most iconic moments of the theater’s projects and fused them with technology and fresh ideas. During the performance, you were guided through a world where time blurs, walking through spaces that represent timelessness, the past, present, and future.
The installation is brought to life by performers who engage with the audience amid a spectacular showcase of lights, video projections, and sounds. It offered a unique opportunity to witness history and innovation converging. The Museum of the City of Prague opened its doors for the first time since reconstruction began.
Signal Festival 2023 was a journey through time and space, a testament to the endless possibilities of human creativity, redefining the perception of art, technology, and the world around us. Luckily for those who missed it, there will be an equally, if not more, mesmerizing exhibit this time next year.