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Environmental topics and pandemics. How did this year’s artists approach Plan B?

22. 9. 2020 → Signal 2020

As you know, the overarching theme of our festival for this year is Plan B, the main idea of which is to find ways to be more environment-friendly. In an artistic form, we want to bring burning environmental issues into the public space together with domestic and foreign artists. Attention will be paid to the drying landscape and deforestation of forests, disappearing water resources, melting glaciers, as well as wind energy capabilities or the impacts of logging. How did specific artists deal with this topic?

The moving object installation Jeff by the conceptual, socially-oriented artist Milena Dopitová is conceived as a pump intended for oil extraction, which dazzles and lures with its light and sound performance. It is the bearer of dizzying wealth as well as proof of the unhealthy existence of an insatiable modern society. The artist draws attention to the priorities and values ​​that we believe in today and every day, as well as motivates us to be frugal leading to a healthy and happy being. The partner of the installation is Czech Television.

milena dopitová - jeff

Jiří Černický, a Czech visual artist and head of the Painting Studio at the Academy of Arts, Architecture and Design in Prague, will also present a critical work on the topic of Plan B. In his work, he focuses on experimental and intermedia projects, on media on the border of video art, visual poetry or photography. He has prepared a unique work for the Signal Festival called Archaic Topicalities. It is based on the principle of bioluminescence, in another words the emission of light by certain groups of organisms, which thus communicate in the darkest depths of the oceans, where daylight does not penetrate. However, the phenomenon of natural light emission moves further in meaning – it uses the surface of the animal’s body as a projection screen of a moving image full of critical environmental messages. The installation is supported by Radiožurnál.

jiří černický - archaické aktualityThe Spanish audiovisual studio Onionlab is one of the world’s pioneers in the field of videomapping. Their magnificent Superar installation in the Industrial Palace at the Holešovice Exhibition Grounds combines distinctive 3D projection with lighting design. The projection, which is created with the support of ROBE, visually addresses the theme of the global pandemic, which completely changed human life on Earth. Of course, the coronavirus brought a health crisis. However, the climate situation has improved, water contamination is lower, air quality is better, animals have started to return to places they left long ago because of humans. The artists point out the slowdown that went hand in hand with the pandemic as a possibility of a new beginning. They seek harmony between man and nature. The patron of the installation is Staropramen.

Onionlab - SuperarThe main point of The Wind projection, created by Berlin-based motion designer and visual artist Phil Max Schöll who creates under Weltraumgrafik studio, is the wind symbolizing change and uncertainty. However, uncertainty is perceived positively – as a creative principle, an impetus for further development. This abstract and hypnotic projection, created under the auspices of Mercedes-Benz, is not conceived as classic video mapping, as you know it. Through a non-traditional minimalist approach, using playful and simple graphic elements, we will draw you into the projection, regardless of its 2D form. Come and see for yourself during the festival days at Karlín Square (Church of Ss. Cyril and Methodius).

With The Room of Change installation from the international studio Accurat, you will get to see the changes of our planet over time from a cosmic perspective – once through projecting images from NASA’s archives that record changes on Earth over the past 20 years, the second time through a data tapestry illustrating the change in our environment in the last few centuries. The installation of this data research, design and innovation team was the most significant work of last year’s La Triennale di Milano. Compared to its original solution, we decided to significantly enlarge the work, adapt it to a public space and place it in a busy place in the center of Prague (Old Town Square) to clearly show the changes in the planet to as many visitors to the festival and random passers-by.

With the current coronavirus crisis, we also had to switch to Plan B from the festival-organization point of view. Safety is our highest priority for the moment, we launched the #signalsrouskou (#signalwithfacemask) campaign and we focus as much as possible on hygiene measures at all festival locations. Find out more about this topic here.

We are looking forward to seeing you in the streets of Prague from October 15 to 18. And don’t forget to join #signalsrouskou.