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Designing in Troubling Times

art & design festival DOX, Prague, 13-16 May 2020

            The Uroboros design-art festival will take place from May 13 – 16, 2020 in DOX Centre for Contemporary Art, Prague, CZ. ︎

Curator of Uroboros festival is ALT TAB - Czechoslovak collective of designers, technologists and researchers gathered around a shared interest in ethical implications of emerging technologies. Using the methods of participatory design fictions and speculations, the collective develops experimental platforms for collaborative prototyping and enactments of possible futures. We organize public workshops, field trips and meetups focused on themes around the uncertain role of technology innovation in local everyday-life contexts. ALTTAB was founded in 2018 by Lukáš Pilka, Tereza Lišková, Michal Kučerák, Lenka Hámošová & Markéta Dolejšová.

            Our current social ecosystem is spiraling in loops of dark and ominous events, making it difficult to feel that we have any agency to nurture positive change and design anything good. Yet, in these troubling times, we can’t afford to accept that designing for better worlds is futile and impossible. Deeply aware of the privileges 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. 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. We are interested in proposals for collaborative doings open to interventions and renegotiations by other festival participants.