Uroboros, design-art festival, will be presenting designers, artists, theoreticians, thinkers and other like-minded people who care about the possible future scenarios. If you want to become a part of Uroboros festival team, let us know at email@example.com.
Stay tuned for more info about open call, confirmed speakers, workshops, keynotes etc.
Festival is part of #DATAMAZE project presented in #DOXPRAGUE.
It will take place from May 13 – 16, 2020 in DOX Centre for Contemporary Art, Prague, CZ.
Our current social ecosystem is spiraling in loops of dark and ominous events, making it challenging to remain optimistic. Climate emergency, global migration, resurgent nationalism, public health crises, deepening wealth disparities, white supremacy and patriarchy, university funding scandals and moral bankruptcies fueled by big tech – incessant bad news and predictions of looming catastrophic futures remind us of our collective failure as humankind. In these complex and complicated times, it is difficult to feel that we have any agency to nurture positive change and design anything good.
Such skepticism is further reinforced by the many failures of ‘innovative’ design projects and agendas: from techno-utopian narratives of better futures exhausted by techno-solutionism to the commercial appropriation of critical and speculative design mindsets. Many pages have been spent critiquing such efforts and picking up the naivety, biases, and dangers of designing to make the world a better place. Design is often seen as intrinsically a part or even a cause of our societal problems, intensifying inequalities and accumulating power in the hands of the privileged few. Designerly speculations about desirable futures are dismissed for sitting outside of actual structural problematics, predestined to end up filling corporate flipcharts.
While acknowledging such critiques, we can’t afford to accept that ‘designing for better worlds’ is futile and impossible. In the times of looping crises, we can’t fall into the trap of passive skepticism and lethargy. Deeply aware of the privileges and biases hindering our perspectives of what such worlds could and should be, we are calling out the Uroboros: the ancient serpent eating its own tail that aptly captures our current global conditions as well as our attempts at finding productive responses. Rather than aiming to untangle the serpent and solve any of the problems it encircles, we wish to explore and challenge the social, political, technological, and epistemological circumstances scaffolding its pathways. Summoning the Uroboros collectively and carefully, we hope to better understand its dark loopings and engage in productive speculations on how things could actually – not just in principle – be different.
The Uroboros design-art festival calls for works that engage critically, experimentally, and materially with our troubling global conditions to actuate a positive change. Instead of finished exhibitable projects, we are interested in proposals for collaborative doings open to interventions and renegotiations by other festival participants. We seek participatory projects engaging various lay and expert publics, supporting inclusive multi-disciplinary and multi-species conversations, provoking productive arguments and speculations, and nurturing real-world actions rather than collective spectatorship and salon critique.
The curatorial collective is enabled to accommodate a variety of formats; including workshops, walk-shops, and field explorations; performative enactments, interventions, and discussion circles; and any relevant formats or hybrid gestures that might not exist yet. Our aim with Uroboros is to create an open, experiential ecosystem for authors to cross-fertilize their work through a lively exchange of thoughts and practices. We are committed to supporting a long-term duration of initiated collaborations and extending them beyond the temporality of the festival.
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