Reboot Fest

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.

Exhibition Program

Perceptron Explanator

Researchers and software engineers have been developing deeper Artificial Neural Networks, altering architectures, and adding data processing units. These changes add capabilities to these systems, but as a consequence the number of calculations involved in their inner workings also increases. This accretion creates an emerging statistical complexity that turns these systems into black-boxes that need to be explained.

Perceptron Explanator is an interactive and algorithmic visualization that reveals the accumulated decision iterations of the most elementary system of the set of Artificial Neural Networks: the Perceptron. The visualization explains the decision-making progress, revealing the causality present in the process, while freeing the observer from the statistical complexity intrinsic to the system. It aims to help in the understanding of the inner workings of the Perceptron and is intended for non-specialists, for everyone.


Marco Heleno is a designer who studies and develops work in the areas of Information Visualization, Computational Design and Interaction Design. Recently his work was presented/exhibited at xCoAx (2018, 2020), Reframed (2019), Reboot (2019), ARTECH (2019), Criatech (2020), Ars Electronica (2020), ARTeFACTo (2020) and NeurIPS (2020). He is currently focused on Explainable Artificial Intelligence through Information Visualization, PhD research at NOVA LINCS.

Miguel Carvalhais is a designer, artist, and musician. He is an assistant professor with habilitation at the Faculty of Fine Arts of the University of Porto and a researcher at i2ADS. He studies creative practices with computational systems, having written the book “Artificial Aesthetics” on the topic. He runs the Crónica label for experimental music and sound art and the xCoAx conference (on computation, communication, aesthetics and x).

Nuno Correia is a Professor at the CS Department, NOVA University of Lisbon, Portugal and coordinates the Multimodal Systems area of NOVA-LINCS. He currently participates in EU and national research projects. Nuno Correia supervised 14 doctoral theses and 50+ master theses. He is the author of 100+ publications in journals, conferences, and books. Currently he is involved in setting up a new institute for arts and technology.

The Mask and the Other

The mask allows the transformation of the self into another, whether as a form of defense of emotional well-being, either as a way of dispossessing oneself, generating of an emotional reboot. This collective project, entitled The Mask and the Other, had its genesis in the transdisciplinary artistic explorations that intersect Sculpture, Multimedia and Art Theory, in the context of a degree in Visual Arts and Technologies at ESELx-IPL. We propose a video installation consisting of several screens informally arranged in the exhibition space. Installation intends stimulate intellectual questioning about the concealment/revelation that the mask provides, poetic freeing imagination, thought and senses, summoning the spectator to reimagine himself.


Ana Nolasco - Doctorate and Master in Aesthetics and Philosophy of Art from the Faculty of Arts of the University of Lisbon and a degree in Fine Arts - Painting from the Faculty of Fine Arts of the University of Lisbon. At the moment, he is carrying out his post-doctoral project at IADE, European University. He has published articles on art theory in Field (US), The Journal of Modern Craft (UK), Island Studies Journal (Canada), Shima (Australia), African arts (US), Nka: Journal of Contemporary African Art (US), between others.

Kátia Sá - Graduated in Sculpture, Master in Multimedia Art, Doctorate in Multimedia in Education. Professor at the Lisbon Polytechnic School of Education (ESELx). Integrated member of CIED-ESELx and CIEBA-FBAUL. Transdisciplinary artistic research, in collaboration with visual artists, musicians, performers, educators and art students, articulating territories — analogue and digital — of sculpture, photography, video, installation, drawing and multimedia performance using programming and image processing in real time.

Jorge Bárrios - Master in Electrotechnical and Computer Engineering by Instituto Superior Técnico de Lisboa, University of Lisbon. PhD student in Arts and Moving Image at the University of Lisbon. Research in the art of the moving image. Member of the coordination team of the Degree in Visual Arts and Technologies, coordinator of the scientific domain Visual Arts, Technologies and Multimedia, ESELx-IPL.

Study for a Cosmic City

Study for a cosmic city is inspired by a utopian urban proposal exposed by the composer and architect Iannis Xenakis in an essay entitled “La Ville Cosmique” (1965). In an attempt to relate computer graphics to the formalization of sound, the structures that characterize the utopian city are designed using superquadratic curves capable of describing reasonable variations in amplitude and pitch. Parameter values extracted from buildings and paths are used to process sound materials from unidentified radio transmissions actually received worldwide. In the graphic representation, each building transmits a specific radio signal whose quality and intensity depend on the position of a cursor, also interfering with the other sound sources. On the other hand, paths on the ground define the meso- and macro-formal articulation of the audiovisual work as well as the virtual localization of the processed audio signals.


Julian Scordato is a composer and media artist who works mainly with sound and graphics. He studied composition and electronic music at the Conservatory of Venice and sound art at the University of Barcelona. Co-founder of the Arazzi Laptop Ensemble, he has performed live electronics both in group formations and as a solo. As a technologist, Scordato has written articles and presented results related to interactive systems for music performance and graphic notation in conferences and masterclasses. He currently works as a professor of electroacoustic music composition at the Conservatory of Padua and coordinator of SaMPL – Sound and Music Processing Lab. His award-winning electroacoustic and audiovisual works have been performed and exhibited in international festivals and institutions including Venice Biennale, Institute of Contemporary Arts (London), Centre de Cultura Contemporània de Barcelona, Prague Quadrennial of Performance Design and Space, Electronic Language International Festival (Sao Paulo), Cervantes Institute (Rio de Janeiro), International Image Festival (Manizales), Gaudeamus Music Week (Utrecht), Centre for Contemporary Arts (Glasgow), Sonorities Festival (Belfast), Art & Science Days (Bourges), Athens Digital Arts Festival, ZKM Center for Art and Media (Karlsruhe), Kochi-Muziris Biennale, Center for Computer Research in Music and Acoustics (Stanford), and New York City Electroacoustic Music Festival.


Ariane is a deepfake video of Ariwasabi, the world’s most famous unknown model from the stock image website Shutterstock. Billions of people see her face on a regular basis but no one knows who she is. An image ghost. In a world where image broadcast is dictated by its usage, reality proves out to be schizophrenic. Machine learning is leading us to a future where new words can be put into speeches. Social media profile images and celebrities are transformed on to porn stars and video footage can be altered to put people in places where they never been.

Leading us to believe that an event occurred in order to influence the opinion and feed one new type of invisible and unknown violence. For our pupils to get in touch with reality, which at the slightest miscalculation reveals itself to be pre-designed, eye drops are necessary.


Production and Direction: Rodrigo Gomes;
Voice: Rita Isabel;
Sound: Rodrigo Gomes;
Images: Carolina Caramujo, CNN, Google, Rodrigo Gomes, Shutterstock, The Overexposed Model, The Overexposed Stock Image Model;
Translation and subtitles: Ricardo Alexandre Batista;
Acknowledgements: Alice Albergaria Borges, Fábio de Carvalho, Fernando Fadigas, Joana Leão, Papoila, Ricardo Alexandre Batista;

Eco Spheres

The Eco Spheres project was born within the scope of my master’s thesis in Multimedia: Arts and Culture (FEUP): Eco Spheres: An audiovisual artistic creation in Anthropocene (Available here. This one project intends to analyze how technology in audiovisual contexts can be allied to (re)create the necessary bonds to Nature, through artistic creation with and for a specific natural space. It’s an almost therapeutic artistic approach to introspective reflection, but also an invitation to meditate on the individual and their inclusion in the natural world.


Ana Carvalho dos Santos. 1996, Porto. Graduated in Multimedia from the Superior School of Art and Design (2018), master in Multimedia: Arts and Culture, by the Faculty of Engineering of the University of Porto (2021). Her work is essentially focused on the production of digital audiovisual works, unfolding between installation, performance, visual and sound art. Currently she has artistically explored issues that address dichotomies of the real and imaginary, concrete and abstract, as well as the distortion and perception of objects and sensations real and mental. Nature appears as an object of study and an ally in artistic practice, in particular in his latest Eco Spheres project, started at the end of 2020 and constantly under construction. In this on the making project, he explores the possibilities of artistic creation, in special using digital, to foster environmental awareness and awareness in the it was from the Anthropocene. Between 2018 and 2019 she worked at RUM: Rádio Universitária do Minho and currently works at Imaginando (Braga).


She’s the one: Ornella Muti.


Joseph Ayerle.
“I am a Visual Artist and mainly known as a pioneer of Artificial Intelligence usage in arts, even if I work as well with classic Digital Art, Photography, NFT and Video Art. Most people noticed my work when I created some years ago the world‘s first film with an AI-generated actress, the retro-futuristic short film „Un‘emozione per sempre 2.0“ (see IMDb).

Born in 1985 I am part of a generation of transformation toward the digital. The acting at the borderline of art and technology results that my art projects are quoted by the tech institutions like the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT, “Collective Wisdom”, 2019), and as well I am invited to classic art events, for example to a Biennale in Italy, and to Art Meets Tech festivals like “The New Art Fest Lisbon 2020” or some days ago to the Intervalsfest, Nizhny Novgorod. Novgorod, Russia.

At the end of October 2021 my video artwork Galão - Dreaming of Lisbon will be presented at the International İKÇÜ ART FESTIVAL of the Faculty of Art and Design of the Izmir Katip Celebi University, Turkey. Currently DancesCubesII is officially selected for the exhibition project Change21 of the ARTWEEK in Mykolaiv, Ukraine. My understanding of art started when I worked extensively with intelligent machines and algorithms, understood them – and started then to understand us, the humans… and their human entity which is simultaneously the source of their greatest strength and their greatest weakness.”

Doctoral Symposium

The Digital Media Doctoral Symposium (DMDS) provides an opportunity for the Digital Media Ph.D. students and Ph.D. Students of other doctoral programs to present and discuss their ongoing Ph.D. research work (e.g., research goals, preliminary ideas, research plan, initial/intermediate results), with experts in the field and peers. Students will receive feedback on the quality of their presentation and on the proposed research itself.

Integrated with Reboot, the doctoral symposium includes lecture sessions with keynote speakers with relevant scientific contributions in the field of Digital Media, as well as presentations by doctoral studens in the same area. Therefore, the doctoral symposium opens the door to a space that encourages discussion, sharing, and networking. On the one hand, it draws inspiration from the works exhibited at Reboot and, on the other, from the current and innovative lectures given by keynote speakers, as well as from ideas and preliminary works by doctoral students.


Registrations for the DMDS are now open.
Registrations are free, but required.
Register here

Day 1 - 5/11/2021
17:00 – 19:00 Reboot Public Exhibition
Day 2 - 6/11/2021
15:00 – 18:00 Reboot Public Exhibition
Day 3 - 7/11/2021
15:00 – 18:00 Reboot public exhibition
Day 4 - 8/11/2021
11:00 – 17:00 Reboot Public Exhibition
10:30 – 11:00 Reboot Exhibition Opening Session
11:00 – 12:00 Guided Visit to the Exhibition and Networking Session
12:00 – 14:00 Break
14:00 - 14:30 DMDS Opening Session
14:30 – 15:30 1st keynote: Michel Van Dartel + Q&A
15:30 – 16:30 1st PhD Presentation Session + Q&A
16:30 – 17:00 Coffe Break
17:00 – 18:30 2nd PhD Presentation Session + Q&A
Day 5 - 9/11/2021
11:00 – 17:00 Reboot public exhibition
09:30 – 10:30 2nd keynote: Luciane Maria Fadel + Q&A
10:30 – 11:00 Coffe Break
11:00 – 12:00 3rd PhD Presentation Session + Q&A
12:00 – 13:00 Breakout Networking
13:00 – 14:30 Break
14:30 – 15:30 3rd keynote: João Beira + Q&A
15:30 – 16:30 4th PhD Presentation Session + Q&A
16:30 – 17:00 Coffe Break
17:00 – 17:30 DMDS & Reboot closing sessions

Keynote Speakers

Luciane Maria Fadel

Luciane Maria Fadel Dr. Fadel holds a Ph.D. in Design from the University of Reading, UK (2007) and Post-Doctorate in Narratives supervised by Jim Bizzocchi at Simon Fraser University, Canada. She teaches Digital Design and New Media at the Federal University of Santa Catarina, Brazil. She studies Poetics of Digital Media and Design for Experience on the following themes: interaction design, narratives, new media, and digital storytelling.
She is currently researching the poetics of Augmented Reality mentored by Dr. António Coelho at FEUP.

Presentation Title: Digital Storytelling: Sharing Stories as Legacy
Summary: A digital story is a powerful artifact to communicate an older person’s legacy, and it is also a comfortable approach to learning new technologies. In this conversation, we explore the primary types of stories that people choose to leave as their legacy digital stories and how digital media can promote the well-being of older adults.

Michel van Dartel

Michel van Dartel Michel van Dartel (b. 1976) is Director of V2_Lab for the Unstable Media and Research Professor at the Avans Centre of Applied Research for Art, Design and Technology (CARADT). He holds an MSc in cognitive psychology and a PhD in artificial intelligence. Alongside his work at CARADT and V2_, Michel also acts as an advisor and independent curator. Michel also is a manuscript reviewer for conferences and journals

Presentation Title: The situated turn in art and design
Summary: Humans are inseparable from the world around them. Yet time and again, human-oriented research and development considers them in isolation from their surroundings. This is particularly true in the domains of art and design, where convention has it that work is produced in studios and experienced in the sterile environs of art and design venues. In this lecture, Michel van Dartel will show that the stakes involved in this isolation are higher than they may appear at first glance. Connecting ideas from fields ranging from cognitive science to avant-garde art and design history, he argues that we need to consider aesthetics “in the wild” if we are to respond to this exigency.

João Beira

João Beira João Beira is a visual artist and art director that explores the intersection between light and augmented reality through real time visualizations and generative design. He is the founder and creative director of Datagrama Visuals (, a collective of international artists that performs live visuals and creates interactive installations. His work has been displayed at events such as Burning Man, SXSW, Lollapalooza and collaborating with artists such as Tipper, Quixotic and Emika. In the last years, his main focus has been in generative visuals performance and the merging of AR and AI. He has a Ph.D from the University of Texas, Austin (2016) and a master in multimedia Arts at University of Porto. He has also been lecturing and teaching at Universities such as FEUP, ESAP and currently at UPT.

Presentation Title: Talk 3D [Embodied]
Summary: Ten years ago, I went to Austin, Texas, to do a PhD focus on the development and research of augmented reality with visual and digital art. This talk is an opportunity to present the body of work and knowledge generated and experiences created along the way, combining artistic expression with academic research and entrepreneurial adventures in my home town and starting point.


International Conference on Graphics and Interaction (ICGI)

This year, for the first time, Reboot has joined the International Conference on Graphics and Interaction (ICGI). This event will also take place in Porto, on November 4th and 5th, at the Faculty of Engineering of the University of Porto (FEUP).

ICGI’2021 aims to bring together researchers, teachers and professionals in the areas of Computer Graphics, Image Processing, Computer Vision and Human-Computer Interaction, allowing the dissemination of concluded or ongoing work, as well as the exchange of experiences between the academic, industrial and end-user communities.

ICGI 2021 Logo

U.Porto Casa Comum

The 2021 edition of the Reboot Fest happens from November 5th to November 9th at U.Porto’s Casa Comum.

Logo Casa Comum

U.Porto & Santander Universidades

The 2021 edition of Reboot Fest has received financial support from the University of Porto and Santander Bank under the “Santander Universidades” program.

U.Porto Logo

Logo Casa Comum

Organization Team

Committee Chairs:

  • Filipa Ramalho
  • Mariana Magalhães
  • Carla Nave

Organization Committee:

  • Filipa Ramalho
  • Mariana Magalhães
  • Carla Nave
  • André Rocha
  • Cindy Christensen
  • Acilon Cavalcante
  • Henrique Silva
  • Vera Vasconcelos
  • Marco Jerónimo
  • Marta Figueiredo

Scientific Committee:

  • António Coelho
  • Heitor Alvelos
  • Nuno Correia
  • Paulo Nuno Vicente
  • Jorge Martins Rosa
  • Gilberto Bernardes
  • Miguel Carvalhais
  • Rui Rodrigues


Reboot Fest is a joint effort between the Doctoral Program in Digital Media of the University of Porto and the Universidade NOVA de Lisboa.

If you need to get in touch with the organization committee you can use the email bellow:

 [email protected]

Or social media:

 rebootfest @ Facebook

 rebootfest @ Instagram