The Uroboros festival explores what and how we can design in these troubling times to support positive change. The festival is part of the #DATAMAZE project.
The inaugural 2020 festival edition happened online, accommodating the non-negotiable conditions of our current global troubles. Next years’ festival format might be different, depending on what we are facing at the time. The festival is rooted in the #DATAMAZE project that takes the format of an extended exhibition. Here, this exhibition concept that evolves over time (a work in progress), is combined with a workspace and library intended for activities and cooperation involving various areas and topics that provide a critical perspective on our existence in the digital environment. The festival expands this concept in terms of the format and its focus on design thinking.
The 2020 festival program included 4 days of online workshops, performances, LARPs, distributed salons, games, discussions, remote co-cookings & drinks, and other co-creative experiments initiated by art/design researchers and practitioners from across the globe.
Covered topics & thematic areas included: more-than-human design, eco-political regeneration, post-growth narratives, post-Anthropocene memorials, food futures, climate wearables, synthetic landscapes, urbanizing the digital, cementics & housing crisis, algorithmic governance, algorithmic poetry, queering binary code, quarantine fiction, filth as non-technology, divination as navigation, psychogeographic driftings, recipe storytelling, and much more.
All festival events are open to creative interventions by festival visitors. Online participation at the festival is free but spots are limited and reservations need to be made in advance for each event (see the festival program). All events are live-streamed, archived, and will be made available for later viewing.
The 4-day online festival is accompanied by an exhibition installed in the #DATAMAZE curatorial section of the DOX Centre for Contemporary Art (Prague, Czech Republic). The exhibition can be visited at the DOX Centre (show map) from 27th May 2020 and will be following the festival theme in an installation called VICIOUS CIRCLE.
DOX Centre is the largest independent institution focusing on contemporary art in the Czech Republic, which thanks to a private initiative opened to the public in 2008. A former factory in Prague's Holešovice district that has become an example of cutting-edge contemporary architecture. Exhibition areas, the DOX+ multifunctional hall, the Gulliver Airship, a design shop, a bookstore, and the Fine Art Archive. A programme that spans genres, where art, design, architecture, literature, theatre, and music transform everyday experience.
The Uroboros festival is curated by ALTTAB, a Czechoslovak collective of designers, artists, and researchers gathered around a shared interest in the ethical and socio-ecological implications of emerging technologies. The production of the Uroboros rotations is generously supported by many good people from DOX and beyond.
Meet all the humans behind Uroboros:
Markéta Dolejšová - is a design researcher with a background in Human-Computer Interaction (HCI) and Food Studies. Her experimental design research practice is centred around the use of food as a bio-design material and a starting point from which to critically engage with socio-ecological uncertainties. She is currently a postdoctoral researcher at Aalto University - School of Arts, Design and Architecture, working on EU Horizon2020 project CreaTures (Creative Practices for Transformational Futures). In 2018, she completed her doctorate in Interactive Media Design at the National University of Singapore, with a dissertation project Edible Speculations: Designing for Human-Food Interaction. She has co-founded several food and design research collectives, including the HotKarot & OpenSauce, Fermentation GutHub, Feeding Food Futures, and ALTTAB. She spends a lot of time in various forests, preferably with Chewie the dog.
Lenka Hámošová - is an independent design researcher and lecturer based in Prague. In her critical practice, she embraces fiction and speculative approaches in tackling ethical issues of the latest technological advancements and envisions the future scenarios of AI-generated synthetic media, transparency of visual communication and visual perception in the post-truth era. She applies her experiments in visual work, part of which is also the visual identity of the Uroboros Festival. Lenka graduated in Design (Think Tank for Visual Strategies) at Sandberg Instituut Amsterdam, the Netherlands, in 2014. She writes and lectures on the frictions in visual culture, design, and architecture, leads Speculative Design at MA Future Design, Prague College, organizes workshops, and participates in several other educational programs.
Michal Kučerák - is a curator and lecturer working for DOX Centre for Contemporary Art. He is a project leader of the #DATAMAZE; a concept of an extended exhibition that started in 2018 and is focused on digital and data literacy in the context of contemporary digital art. In his practice, he focuses on art mediation and critical art & design practice as a medium for educational projects. He is a founding member of the ALTTAB, a Czechoslovak collective of designers, researchers, writers, and curators gathered around a shared interest in ethical implications of emerging technologies. He is also a member of COI - Class of Interpretation project which is organized by the Academy of Fine Arts in Prague and TBA21. He studied the theory of interactive media with a focus on ICT in art mediation. He also led the production team in DOX and was responsible for many local and international exhibition projects.
Lukáš Pilka is a digital designer, strategist, lecturer and journalist dealing with interaction and communication design, contemporary technologies, new media, and the overlap of all into the world of fine art. Within his doctoral research at the Academy of Arts, Architecture, and Design in Prague, he examines using neural networks for the quantitative interpretation of classical works of art. He has co-founded the BlueGhost agency, which operates in the field of interactive design and custom apps development. As well as he is a member of the AltTab group, which maps the intersections of design, ethics, and technology.
Lukáš Cetera - Technical Manager
Hedvika Máchová - Fundraising & Developement
Liana Rusnáková - Social Media
Lucie Špačková - Production
Tereza Tomášová - Production
Anna Vondráčková - Technical Manager
Hana Janišová, Jáchym Klimko, Anežka Pajgrtová, Alice Zábranská - DOX PR & Marketing Team