When we install a new application on a computer, it is often necessary to reboot the system. This happens because the computer cannot handle files while being used (by the operating system or other programs). These files (thoughts, ideas) need to be released from old programs so new ones can be created.
The Reboot festival aims to break free from the art/science dichotomy, the idea that science and art are opposed, and drive transdisciplinary digital creativity. We show how subjectivity, emotion, beauty, and creativity can (should?) dialogue with the scientific method’s seriousness, precision, and rigor while enriching each other.
To explore the idea that scientific research is not opposed to art is precisely what we want to Reboot - i.e., to disrupt from the art/science dichotomy and drive transdisciplinary digital creativity. We want to show how subjectivity, emotion, beauty, and creativity can (should?) dialogue with the seriousness, precision, and rigor of the scientific method while enriching each other.
The Reboot Festival is an invitation to speculation, to criticism, to a fresh scientific production, and to formal transdisciplinary artistic interventions. The festival will take place in Porto, where, in 5 days, we will “restart” all participants through an exhibition, a doctoral symposium, keynotes, and other talks.
This festival is the result of a collaboration of more than 10 years between the University of Porto and the NOVA University of Lisbon, through FEUP, FCSH, and FCT schools. )
After a hiatus of one year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Reboot festival is now returning, and this year’s topic is:
Time to Reboot wellbeing - New Media Art as Therapy
With the COVID-19 pandemic negatively affecting many people’s mental health, raising awareness to nurture emotional wellness has become ubiquitous and absolutely necessary.
Leo Tolstoy once said that art “is a means of union among men, joining them together in the same feelings, and indispensable for the life and progress toward well-being of individuals and humanity.” More recently, Alain de Botton and John Armstrong wrote a book called “Art as Therapy,” where they call for the necessity to rethink the uses of art. They suggest exploring the therapeutic potential for artworks, framing them according to a psychological method that invites us to align our deeper selves with artworks.
What if museums were set up with emotion-galleries: of joy, love, sorrow, compassion? What if the blurbs next to the art discussed the turmoil or joys the models were experiencing rather than simply history? What if artists purposely chose positive, life-affirming themes for their work most of the time?
— from Art as Therapy by Alain de Botton, John Armstrong
This year’s edition of Reboot will feature new media artworks that can function as therapeutic tools. The galleries will be organized according to the therapeutic potential of the artworks, and visitors will be “patients” looking to be “treated” by the artworks. Artworks that inspire us to keep going when life gets tough, that remind us of the good things in life (focusing on the positive), and to practice gratitude, that instill us to connect with loved ones, that teach us to deal with loss and sadness, that provide new perspectives, and many other ideas that contribute to emotional wellbeing and more fulfilled lives.
The 2021 edition of the Reboot Fest happens from November 5th to November 9th at U.Porto’s Casa Comum.