Call for Artists: Imagining Low-Carbon Futures

Call for Artists: Imagining Low-Carbon Futures

A six-months collaboration for artists based in the Netherlands

The Urban Futures Studio (Utrecht University) in partnership with the Jan van Eyck Academie initiates an art-science collaboration centered around imagining low-carbon futures. In a 6-months collaboration starting in March 2022, the selected artist will work closely together with academic researchers towards an artistic intervention. Rather than communicating science, we aim to explore new ways to configure artistic and scientific approaches to imagine low-carbon futures that could incite a more meaningful climate debate.

Recent catastrophic weather events and the 2021 IPCC report contributed to the mounting evidence that it is important to limit global warming. To achieve the goals of the Paris agreement and delimit global warming to well below 2°C, preferably 1.5 °C degrees, requires a stunning effort amounting to rapid and radical transformation towards a low-carbon society. But as climate impacts are becoming visible, it becomes increasingly hard to imagine true alternatives to a catastrophic future. This lack of ‘imaginaries’ of futures, that are both sustainable and just, hamper the transition.

As part of the European research project Climaginaries, exploring and innovating new ways of imagining climate futures, this collaboration is embedded in a PhD project on exploring new roles for climate modelling in imagining low-carbon futures. The selected artists will work closely with Lisette van Beek and the Urban Futures Studio to jointly explore possible ways to intervene in the climate debate, collaboratively identify possible art-science configurations and co-develop the intervention. The Jan van Eyck Academie acts as a supporting partner in this art-science collaboration.

About the Urban Futures Studio
The Urban Futures Studio is a transdisciplinary institute devoted to studying positive futures and ways to get there; a small group of researchers that explore existing futures practices as well as initiate experiments to imagine climate, energy and urban futures. Past examples of interventions include The Energetic Odyssey, the Post-fossil City Contest and the Carbon Ruins exhibition.

Candidate profile
Artists based in the Netherlands with an interest in and knowledge of the climate emergency and its (social, geopolitical, economical) effects are eligible to apply. Candidates have a strong ability to conceptualize possible futures, experience in staging artistic interventions, and know how to engage with different publics. Candidates have affinity with science and have experience with or are motivated to collaborate with researchers from a range of different backgrounds.

Embedded in the Urban Future Studio of Utrecht University, the art-science collaboration will involve conducting research, exploring various ways to engage different publics in imagining low-carbon future, and co-developing an artistic intervention.
Collaboration period: March - August 2022 (6 months)
Total budget: 15,000 euro

  • The artist will have a desk at the Urban Futures Studio (Utrecht Science Park).
  • Access to experts from various backgrounds and disciplines from Utrecht University and beyond, access to the university library and other resources.
  • Access to Lab facilities and expertise of the Jan van Eyck Academie in Maastricht for the production of the artistic intervention. The language spoken is either English or Dutch.

Application procedure
To apply, please submit a single pdf (no larger than 10 MB) of the following materials, presented in English, to [email protected]

  • A motivational letter
  • A proposal (max 500 w.) explaining your approach to this art-science collaboration and the intervention
  • A curriculum vitae (max 2 pages)
  • Documentation of previous work (max 25 pages with 1 – 2 images per page. The presented material should not be older than 5 years). For voluminous files like videos, please insert links to Vimeo, YouTube or other channels to watch the materials

The application deadline is 9 January 2022. For more information, visit the website of the program.

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