text by Débora Alves | photos by Reboot Fest

Reboot is a Digital Arts and New Media festival that aims to explore the idea that scientific research and art are typically opposite areas. Along with the idea of ​​liberating the art/science dichotomy, the idea that art and science are non-intersecting areas, Reboot intend to amplify transdisciplinary digital creativity.

The first edition of Reboot occurred between 10th and 13th last October, at the Palácio Baldaya, a beautiful and multifunctional building that serves as a cultural and innovation space in Benfica — a vibrant working-class district in the North-East of Lisbon. Four full days were attended by researchers of Digital Arts, Sciences and Media experts, numerous artists and speakers. The programme presented exhibitions, a doctoral symposium, and an immersive experience called “Sound Memory V 2.0”.

According to the festival, “Sound is the propagation of invisible frequencies/waves that are usually understood through hearing. Sound Memory is an interactive installation between body sound and image. The sound is altered through the people’s movement, which in turn the sound changes the images of the frequencies projected in space, which end up limiting a space through the support of water vapour”.

Larry Shea was one of the highlights of the festival. Shea is an artist, works with movies, videos and interactive digital media. His work ranges from short experimental videos, the creation of interactive environments and most recently, sculpture and kinetics.

Ben Grosser was also one of the artists presented at the Reboot Festival. Professor, designer, and co-founder of the Critical Technology Studies Lab at the National Center for Supercomputing Applications, both at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, USA. In addition, Ben creates experiments with interactive machines and systems that examine the cultural, social, and political effects of software.

Ben Grosser, Larry Shea and Pedro M. Cruz

Along with Larry Shea and Ben Grosser, Pedro M. Cruz, an aspiring Design Data Visualization practitioner, was also one of the Reboot’s main artists. With a PhD in Information Science and Technology from the University of Coimbra (Portugal), Pedro explores ways to apply figurative metaphors in complex systems of social criticism.

Reboot comes with the need to explore the point between before and after, depending on the intent of the authors in the art world. This is the idea that the Digital Arts and New Media Festival want to explore. It also emerges as a form of regeneration in a very special moment for the Doctoral Program in Digital Media, result of a collaboration of more than 10 years between the University of Porto and the New University of Lisbon, through the Faculty of Social and Human Sciences (FCSH) and Faculty of Science and Technology (FCT).

The festival was organized by Carla Nave, coordinator of the HIT* (Human Interface Technologies) research group at iNOVA Media Lab, along with the team André Rocha, Marco Heleno, Arianna Mencaroni, Vanessa Cesário, Ligia Duro, Cindy Christensen e  Camila Wohlmuth. 

Check more photos of the festival below:

*HIT studies are focused on design, building, testing and validation of new technologies to join knowledge of different disciplines to create human-focused technologies.