Call for contributions (English)

The reference version of this document is published at https://roadworkasia.com/online-exhibiton/.

Call for contributions to an online contemporary art exhibition

We invite artists from selected Inner Asian countries to contribute to an interdisciplinary online art project on roads and their social, cultural, political and economic impacts.

Topic

Roads – as metaphors of movement and as elements of transport infrastructure. Roads in the context of ongoing social and political change (e.g. that set in motion by the disintegration of the Soviet Union). Roads and colonialism. Their maintenance and decay. The role of human beings in the lives of roads, and the role of roads in human life. Roads as transitory objects: material, social and metaphorical. Roads that were once central and are now peripheral, and vice versa. Roads and spirituality: pilgrimages and shamanic journeys. The cultural meanings of roads. Roads that connect and roads that separate. Stories of people who interact with the road in their daily life. Roads and time; memories of roads. Roads and missed opportunities. Roads and dreams of a better life. Roads as objects of care and love. Neglected and unwanted roads.

We invite you to reflect artistically on roads: on how they matter to human and animal life; on the care and work they need in order to persist; how they alter and affect their surroundings; how they decay, transform, disintegrate and bleed into the landscape.

Our aim is to create an online exhibition and space dedicated to roads.

Organizational details

The research project ROADWORK (https://roadworkasia.com), based at the Universities of Zurich and Fribourg in Switzerland, is inviting proposals for individual and collective art projects related to the above topic. The projects may be presented via virtual means or any other form of artistic expression possible online. The total grant fund available is 6000 Swiss francs; this figure will be divided between the successful proposals. The amount dedicated to one art project will range from 200 (for individual or small curatorial projects) to 800 Swiss francs (for collective projects or time consuming projects such as multimedia stories). These funds will be granted upon the submission of completed works, unless the material needs expressed in the application state otherwise (advance payment is only possible upon individual agreement).

The decision on the winning works will be taken by a group of international curators, in cooperation with the ROADWORK team. We invite contributions by artists from the following countries: Kyrgyzstan, Kazakhstan, Mongolia and China’s provinces of Xinjiang, Qinghai and Inner Mongolia – these are the areas that form the regional focus of the ROADWORK project.

We invite submissions for projects in the following three categories:

  1. Conceptual artworks created by individuals and groups. In this category we invite original art projects realized in digital formats, in the fields of visual art and sound art (if presentable in an online format).
  2. Multigenerational and transmaterial research, multidisciplinary artworks. Here we invite original artworks resulting from collaborations between artists of different generations, such as when pre-existing art is collectively transformed and reinterpreted for digital formats.
  3. Curatorial miniprojects. This category covers projects that work with archival text and photographic material as well as other historical records, photography experiments done within a family or community, and curatorship of existing photo collections.

Expected formats

Virtual and digital art, sound art, digitized art, recorded or online performances, and multimedia stories that document, reflect and explore the role that roads and their maintenance have in human lives.

Structure of a project proposal

  1. CVs of participants
  2. Concept and project description (max. 3000 words)
  3. Budget required to realize the project (here describe the expected costs of materials, your time, possible travel expenses)
  4. Contact details
  5. Artist’s portfolio (not obligatory, but this is advantageous to include as it will help us get a better understanding of how to contextualize your work)

Please send your project proposals in Russian or English to: contact@asphalt-lines-lives.com

Criteria of assessment

  1. Strong connection to the topic
  2. Innovative and/or experimental nature
  3. Suitability of the format for online exhibition
  4. Strength of the artwork with respect to the three categories of the call-out (conceptual artworks, multigenerational/transmaterial art, curatorial projects)
  5. Strong conceptual character
  6. Regional balance between the projects, as well as gender balance among the artists.

Next steps

We decided to extend the submission deadline; the subsequent steps will therefore also be somewhat delayed.

Proposal submission deadline31 October 2020
15 October 2020
Announcement of selected proposals and beginning of their realization30 October 2020
Submission of completed art projects31 January 2021
Preparation of online exhibitionFebruary–May 2021
Exhibition openingJune 2021
Open online space for intellectual exchange, talks, networking and curatorial discussionsJune–December 2021

Copyright terms

The projects and artworks participating in the exhibition will be exhibited online under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

Ethics

It is of crucial importance that the art projects involved are conducted with a spirit of respect for the project participants, for the environment and for fellow human and non-human beings. We want all work included in this exhibition to be led by the Do No Harm principle, and we encourage you to consider and respect this in your artworks:

To whom could your project potentially be harmful? You will need the consent of any people who participate in your project, to use their voices, stories and images – do you have it? Are men and women given equal chance to appear in your stories and feature as protagonists? Do you respect your project participants and the knowledge they share with you in ways that matter to them and that fit with international ethical research standards? Have you considered the power relations between you and the people that feature in your stories? Do you grant them the right to decline, to co-shape the ways in which they are represented; are you listening to their voice and respecting what they say

These are key ethical questions that we ask you to reflect on in your work. Successful projects will be required to devise a statement of ethics and to follow this in the realization of their work.