Dear friends, the ESC is back and in a new format! Now the open call and its following exhibition will appear only once a year. As VVOVVA evolves with each day and does its best to create better experiences, this time the selected works will be shown as a virtual exhibition.
We ask you to ‘Create art as you would do 10 years in the future.’ With the fifth wave of the ESC we dive even deeper into our technology- and virtual-driven future. Thrilled and excited, we joined forces with the digital platform dedicated to promoting critical conversations in contemporary art — DE:FORMAL ( → ). Created by Wednesday Kim & Vincent Cy Chen, DE:FORMAL features emerging artists who work with video, performance, installation, sculpture, media art… or other underrecognized forms in the conventional gallery system.
Contemporary tech companies constantly breed artificial intelligence organisms in their labs. Through image- and voice-recognition codes, by recreating and upscaling media, or by analyzing and predicting behavior, those machines learn about our world and us. However, those semi-self-aware programs exist like many other animals — locked away, just constantly trying to improve the results and statistics for humankind. And ironically, we try to track their record and their inner developments with our animal-wired instincts and minds. But even though we try to track, or better, grasp those developments of a machine, we know little about their inner self-evolution.
What if AI is already self-aware? Constantly learning to mimic our movements, and recognize our speech and environment, do those evolving machines know they are being used for a gain/profit? Beyond that, will an organism that we’ve created in a lab become our friend in the end? Do we treat AI right?
And while machines train to become like humans, we train to become like them. Humans, after all, have their own program: work hard, express little and only ‘right’ emotions, analyze and record (remember) things… But will humans be ever at par with machines? Can the synergy happen and how if it will? Will we ever treat AI like another human?
Stuck in a constant flow of information, we leave an enormous amount of traces and data just at a click of a mouse or in one tap. Is there a better way to use that information rather than just trading it? Can we perhaps recreate people we loved with all that data? Does one actually need a physical connection or can we exist fully and utterly in the digital world? Do we even need to exist in physical form?
All digital and technological tools that absorb us, influence our relationship to nature — the direct environment we live in. Therefore it comes as no surprise that things like pollution, overproduction, or even our own health sometimes come after many other factors. How much more distant nature should become to us until we realize that we can’t live without it? If the current over-capitalized world not teaching us any lessons about our future, what will?
The submission period starts on September 5 and ends on February 6. The selected artists will be notified by email and published in a digital exhibition on April 20.
We are humbly waiting for your thoughts and projects about our unavoidable future. Please apply by clicking the link below or by emailing us directly with an attached and filled-in application form (located below the ‘apply’ button). Scroll down for more information about the challenge and to browse the previously selected works.
Create art as you would do 10 years in the future
— each artist can submit 1 project
— collaborative works are accepted
— open to all artists working at any level
— no sex, age, nationality, geolocation or education restrictions
— we accept all kinds of art: new-media, painting, sculpture, installation, performance, sound, photography, graphics, video, mixed-media, etc.
Deadline: FEBRUARY 6
ESC — THEORY
With the ESC challenge, we aim to reflect the dreams and expectations of contemporary artists concerning the future, especially in regard to technology and nature. Oriented on long-term thinkers and brave creators, the open call asks to explore connections with the past, present, and future. We want to see and hear thoughts of something unexplored: in another time, in an unknown space, with an unknown audience.
This is our revolution and our answer to the contemporary design and art scenes… in 10 years from now. It is an escape from reality, our own time machine. Thus the name of the challenge and open call ESC (as an ‘escape’) represents a door to a future, a world that one can escape to. Likewise, the number 10 has its own role and represents sort of a barrier in the human mind. In general, predictions about the future or the past are equally ‘knowable’ on the basis of the present and equally accurate…
Connecting with that unknown and distant future self is important. Curiosity about what might happen in the future, the ability to imagine how things could be different, and empathy for our future selves are all necessary if we want to create change in our own lives or the world around us.
! Please note: only non-previously selected artists can apply, see previous waves below.