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Request for Artwork: UNESCO Media Arts SXSW Exhibition


Budget: $1,500
Activated: 01/07/2020
Deadline: 01/27/2020
Call Summary
The UNESCO Austin City of Media Arts Steering Committee, in partnership with the Cultural Arts Division within the Economic Development Department, invites professional artists/ artist teams who work with the latest innovations in new media art (including but not limited to digital arts, film, music, visual and performing arts) to propose an existing or new artwork for inclusion in the in the international UNESCO Media Arts Exhibition to be held during the SXSW Festival and Conference between March 13-15, 2020.
Budget Description
The honorarium for each selected artist to provide an artwork for the exhibition is capped at $1,500, inclusive of all costs including, but not limited to the artist’s fee, insurance, artwork transportation and shipping, set up, and engineering costs. Computers (2019 iMacs), Projectors, and various A/V supplies may be provided upon request. In addition, each selected artist will receive an Interactive Badge to the SXSW Festival, valued at $1,145 USD.
Project Description
As a UNESCO Creative Cities Network (UCCN) member and contributing Media Arts City, the City of Austin is committed to fostering and showcasing art and innovation across disciplines from across the globe. To further those efforts, the City is partnering with SXSW to continue the annual SXSW UNESCO Media Arts Exhibition.

This call for proposals is directed to the seventeen UNESCO Media Arts cities, including Austin artists, providing an international platform for media arts. The exhibition will feature artwork/installations from several UNESCO media arts cities and may also include programming such as panel discussions with representatives from Austin and abroad. An opening reception will also be organized to further market the Exhibition to SXSW participants.

The City of Austin, the only U.S. city with a UNESCO Media Arts designation, is home to South by Southwest (SXSW), an annual festival and conference showcasing the talent and innovation of interactive, music, and film industries from around the globe. In 2019, SXSW had over 280,000 people in attendance with an economic impact of US$355.9 million. In addition to its role in bolstering Austin's cultural cachet, SXSW serves as an international hub for creative exchange and has launched new media and digital platforms such as Twitter and Storify. SXSW as an event continues to evolve, incorporating topics such as Food, Health, Style, and, since 2017, an official Art Program. Full information about SXSW can be found at
Artwork Goals
“We are called to be the architects of the future, not its victims.” --Buckminster Fuller
As we come into a new decade in the time of rapid urbanization and change, we are seeking work which speaks to a collective vision of the future. Either via the lens of your specific community or location or on a global scale, this exhibit aims to share speculative visions of the future through the lens of media art and artists.
Artwork Location Description
Motion Media Arts Center
2200 Tillery Street
Austin, TX 78723
Site History
About the Partners

About UNESCO Creative Cities
The UNESCO Creative Cities Network was created in 2004 to promote cooperation with and among cities that have identified creativity as a strategic factor for sustainable urban development. The 180 cities which currently make up this network work together towards a common objective: placing creativity and cultural industries at the heart of their development plans at the local level and cooperating actively at the international level.

About SXSW
South by Southwest dedicates itself to helping creative people achieve their goals. Founded in 1987 in Austin, Texas, SXSW is best known for its conference and festivals that celebrate the convergence of the interactive, film and music industries. The event, an essential destination for global professionals, features sessions, showcases, screenings, exhibitions, and a variety of networking opportunities. SXSW proves that the most unexpected discoveries happen when diverse topics and people come together. SXSW 2020 will take place March 13-22, 2020.

About the City of Austin Cultural Arts Division
The Cultural Arts Division of the Economic Development Department provides leadership and management for the City’s cultural arts programs and for the development of arts and cultural industries. The Cultural Arts Division is responsible for the Cultural Arts Funding Programs, Art in Public Places Program, community-based arts development, and programs to assist the development of film and creative industries in Austin.

About the Motion Media Arts Center
Motion Media Arts Center is a 501c(3) non-profit independent film, art, and technology center that supports every aspect of production from creation to presentation. Founded in 2002 with the merging of two award-winning arts & film institutions (Austin Cinemaker Co-op & Center for Young Cinema) MMAC has been globally recognized for its innovative media arts programming for nearly two decades.
Professional media arts artists or artist teams who live within one of the 17 UNESCO Media Arts Cities are invited to apply (Austin, Braga, Changsha, Dakar, Enghien-les-Bains, Guadalajara, Gwangju, Karlsruhe, Kosice, Linz, Lyon, Santiago de Cali, Sapporo, Tel Aviv-Yafo, Toronto, Viborg, York) .

Artists must be at least 18 years old.

Full time, permanent City of Austin employees are ineligible to apply. Note: the artist may be asked to participate in a panel discussion about their work.
Application Requirements
Resume: 3 page(s) maximum
Work examples: 1 - 10
Letter of Interest: 500 word maximum
Guidelines: Be sure to state your name and in which UNESCO City of Media Arts you live in as part of your Letter of Interest. Please provide your Letter of Interest in English. If you live in Austin, please also state your Council District (
Artists are allowed to apply in teams.
Artists applying as a team must split the allotted number of work examples between themselves.
Additional Requirements
Demographic Information - Gender
Demographic Information - Race/Ethnicity
Selection Information
Selection Process
A jury comprised of media arts professionals will evaluate all proposals. The jury will provide recommendations to the Austin UNESCO Steering Committee, staff of the City of Austin Cultural Arts Division, and staff from SXSW, who will jointly approve final selections for the Exhibition.

The UNESCO Steering Committee encourages artists from diverse demographic backgrounds and geographic locations to apply, in order to select from a diverse pool of artists for public art commissions. We welcome artists and projects that reflect the dynamic and diverse media arts field and applications from all self-defined media artists.

City of Austin Media Arts - Artist Roster Applicant Pool
Applicants to this call who live within the Austin metropolitan area (Williamson, Travis, Bastrop, Caldwell, Hays, Burnet, and Blanco counties) will be automatically added to an applicant pool for an Austin UNESCO City of Media Arts Artist Roster that is currently in development. The artist roster will be used for upcoming opportunities related to the UNESCO City of Media Arts designation in Austin and in other UNESCO Creative Cities of Media Arts.
Selection Criteria
Evaluation Criteria:
The selection of an artist, or artist team, shall be based on their qualifications and ability to meet the requirements as determined and approved by the Austin UNESCO City of Media Arts Steering Committee. The Committee will review and consider the following evaluation criteria:
--Artistic merit and technical expertise with artwork that incorporates media arts;
--Demonstrated successful, innovative, and effective approach to art projects of a similar scope;
--Ability to accommodate ease of travel and installation abroad; and
--Ability to create artwork within the stated constraints.
--Ability to respond to the theme/prompt

Artwork criteria:
--Media art piece
--Please note, more than one artwork may be exhibited in a room or space
--Electricity is available for artworks (US standard voltage is 120 V, frequency is 60 Hz.);
--Artist will confirm lighting needs – Are windows allowing daylight into the space acceptable, or required? Is a darkened space needed? Black-out space? Is standard interior lighting acceptable?

Media Arts Definition: Media arts is defined by all genres and forms that use electronic media, film and technology (analog & digital; old and new) as an artistic medium or a medium to broaden arts appreciation and awareness of any discipline. For example, this includes projects presented via film, television, radio, audio, video, the Internet, interactive and mobile technologies, video games, immersive and multi-platform storytelling, and satellite streaming.

The artist is expected to commit to showing the artwork for the full and complete exhibition time frame, which is 3 days. The artist will de-install the work in keeping with the schedule provided. The artist may be asked to participate in a panel discussion about media art.

The City of Austin is committed to compliance with the American with Disabilities Act. Reasonable modifications and equal access to communications will be provided upon request. Locations are planned with wheelchair access. If requiring Sign Language Interpreters or alternative formats, please let us know in the letter of interest.
Jan 7, 2020
Applications open

Jan 27, 2020
Deadline for Applications through

Jan 27-31, 2020
UNESCO panel reviews applications and selects artists/artist teams.

Feb 1, 2020
Artists are notified of acceptance.

Feb 1 - March 1, 2020
Fabrication of artworks by artists/Ongoing communication with staff from the City of Austin Cultural Arts Division, Austin UNESCO Steering Committee, and SXSW.

March 8-12, 2020
Artwork installation

March 13, 2020
Public Opening

March 14-15, 2020
Exhibit open hours (9am-9pm)

March 16, 2020
De-installation of artwork
Additional Resources
Unnamed Resource (PDF)
Contact Information
Laura Odegaard
Sr. Project Manager
P.O Box 1088
Austin TX 78767 United States



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