Prague Quadrennial’s 36Q˚ (pronounced “three-sixty”) presents performance design as both an artistic and technical medium concerned with the creation of active, sensorial, and predominantly non-tangible environments. These emotionally charged environments, similar to performers, follow a certain dramatic structure, evolve dynamically over time, and invite visitors to immerse themselves in a new experience.

Curated by Markéta Fantová and Jan K. Rolník

36Q˚’s mission is to develop performance design as a vital means of experimentation while promoting cross-generational, collaborative artistic practice with new registers of knowledge and new modes of technology that enable artistic vision to become an immersive experience for our audiences. 36Q˚ was initiated by PQ artistic director Markéta Fantová as a platform for the performance design fields that, being progressive in nature, are developing and challenging current production team models where developing design disciplines are unfortunately often insufficiently credited.

36Q˚’s pilot project “LIGHTS UP!” focused on the potential of light, sound, and new media to transform galleries into dynamic and imaginative spaces, thus opening new perspectives on creative approaches to design. The result was a site-responsive installation at the National Museum’s Lapidary in November 2016.
Internationally recognized professionals, including sound designer Robert Kaplowitz, lighting designers Sarah EC Maines, Henk van der Geest and Nick Hunt, as well as scenographer Kathrine Sandys joined Czech-based artists Ondřej Růžička from Light Design Institute and Jakub Daníček from MetaMechanics to lead this installation, merging their combined experience with over 25 emerging artists to create an interactive, immersive environment.
This project of 36Q° was in collaboration with both industry and cultural partners including, ROBE, Institute of Lighting DesignNational Museum and d&b audiotechnik.

A video documenting the work can be found here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0zUs451SrZA&t=202s


36Q˚ at PQ 2019

36Q°’s second iteration, one of the main projects of PQ 2019, creates an environment where the confluence of art and technology is possible, expanding the artistic fields of lighting design, video projections, sound design and composition, as well as virtual reality, tactile environment design, creative coding, and more. As the unbridled imagination of young designers merges with the transformative knowledge of established artists, we expect new modes of creativity, innovation, and technology based ideas to emerge, offering a wealth of product feedback to our participating companies as participants combine product features in new ways, pushing instruments to their artistic limits. The heart of this 36Q° is an interactive, experimental environment and installation Blue Hour, with two additional projects, Light Spot and Sound Spot, providing a space for artists and technicians to discuss, experiment, and present current practices from around the globe.

“As curators of this new edition of 36Q˚ we thought of the performance design as a medium for sensorial and visceral communication where no words are exchanged and where the environment transforming in time has an ability to build up a story and put us through a new experience. We wanted to bring attention to all those creators who spend endless hours working with media that do not yet have a regular position in the everyday theatre making process. We also wanted to start an active dialogue around questions of human imagination, adventures lived in fictional and virtual worlds that may at times appear and feel more real than our daily reality, as well as experiment with the porous border between the inner and the outer world and the ideas that intangibly affect us and ephemerally materialize.  And wonder together where does the path between real and virtual lead next…”, Markéta Fantová & Jan K. Rolník

Blue Hour

An experimental, interactive environment that fills the entire space of the Industrial Palace Sports Arena will welcome visitors on 8 June and remain open until the end of PQ 2019. The project, based on intensive team work that brings together experienced artists with emerging designers to collaboratively create, will be led by renowned French visual new media artist Romain Tardy.  The curatorial team seeks to experiment with the shifting boundaries between the “non-material” or “virtual” and the “real” world, to explore the capacity of performance design to enlist technology in cultural production.

“As a visual artist working mostly on site-specific projects — often on a large scale, involving architecture — light has become my medium of choice. Whether it comes from a moving head or through the lens of a video projector, I realised light could create a dialogue between the tangible and the immaterial, between the permanent and the ephemeral, between past and present, or even between humans and other forms of life. Light has this capacity to reveal what is hidden, to modify our perception of reality, to create new worlds: light seems to be made of time and space. From another angle, if light is one of the conditions for life to exist on our planet, it’s also our main connection to the world through vision, and before any other sense: light is a universal connector. For Blue Hour, I tried to reverse the approach of applying light to some existing object or support: what if, for once, light could be used as a construction material? This immersive environment is conceived as an experimental playground for light: all the elements which compose the installation are actively used for lighting purposes: as a source or as a receiver. The audience is invited to become immersed in this multi-layered global light and sound installation— which works almost like a living organism, with its many different cycles and sub-cycles. Blue Hour is a show with no stage, where the visitors are also the actors: by exploring this environment, they contribute to one of those many cycles: the beauty of an ephemeral passage through light beams, changing the space just for a few seconds, following a path which couldn’t be predicted.”, Romain Tardy.

Project structure

The Blue Hour team will bring various areas of design into a dialogue through a tight collaboration. The creative team will consist of 6 working groups covering areas of Lighting Design, Video and Projection Design, Sound Design, Tactile Environment, Creative Coding, Virtual and Augmented Reality. Each creative working group will be led by an experienced designer and participants selected through an open call. The overall team will be selected based on diversity of skills, talents and interests.  This project is an opportunity for students, young designers and experienced professionals to participate in artistic process involving work with high end equipment where the new knowledge isn’t facilitated through a top down teaching or master class methodology, but where learning happens through collaboration, problem solving and daily exchange of ideas while sharing a common artistic vision.

Light Spot & Sound Spot

Recognizing the importance of sustaining a platform for discussion and exchange between emerging artists, theatres, and manufacturers as well as the connection with the professional network of artists through the OISTAT Lighting and Sound Sub-commissions, PQ is excited to welcome Light Spot and Sounds Spot as a major strand of programming under the umbrella of 36Q°.

Originally established by Henk Van Der Geest and the OISTAT Lighting working group in collaboration with the Institute of Lighting Design in Prague, Light Spot provides a platform for lighting designers and technicians to meet, exchange ideas, and share in depth conversation over shared meals. 4 days of programming will include presentations, small experimental workshops, discussions, and technology demonstrations led by Ian Garreth.

Led by Joe Pino and the Sound Sub-commission of OISTAT, Sound Spot provides a platform for presentations, discussions, and informal talks, as well as space for the ever popular Sound Kitchen, covering anything that is or relates to sound and composition for theatre and live performance.