Call 2023: Enter the Hyper-Scientific

EPFL CDH Artist-in-Residence Program

Located in Switzerland, the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (EPFL) is a leading university and one of Europe’s most vibrant and cosmopolitan science and technology institutions. EPFL hosts more than 350 labs at its international campus in the Lausanne area.

After the program’s successful launch in 2022, CDH Direction is now welcoming proposals for its Enter the Hyper-Scientific 2023 edition. 

Initiated by EPFL College of Humanities (CDH) Direction, amplified by EPFL Pavilions, and now inaugurating a partnership with The City of Lausanne, the EPFL CDH Artist-in-Residence Program promotes artistic research and experimentation that connects art, humanities, science, and technology by supporting up to four artists for three-months residencies at the EPFL

  • Professional Swiss and international artists, emerging and established, with proven career paths or clear potential, who are interested in harnessing science and technological interventions in their artistic endeavors. Applicants should outline the specific contribution they believe the residency would make to their artistic practice.
     
  • We welcome projects in diverse fields: visual and media arts; film, digital, mixed media, and imaging; sound and experimental forms of music; experimental design; literary, critical, and speculative writing.
  • Travel costs and accommodation in Lausanne. Preferably, applicants will reside in the city during the period of the residency. Offered by the City of Lausanne, the accommodation is located in a brand-newly inaugurated housing cooperative La Meute, where various cultural practitioners and artists reside. It includes access to a shared studio space, allowing an exchange with the rich Lausanne scene.

  • A monthly flat fee for living expenses (of CHF 1,500).

  • A production budget (of maximum CHF 15,000).

  • Curatorial mentoring and supervision for the duration, including the final presentation of the project.

The goal of the program is to further interpretative and aesthetic avenues around the multifaceted scientific landscape of the EPFL through artistic productions. Forging encounters between artists and scientists in various disciplines, the program aims to establish a dynamic, critical, and inspiring platform for propelling new approaches and aesthetic investigations within the exponentially developing scene at the intersection of art, technology, science, and the humanities. The program functions as a facilitator and promoter of investigations in multiple directions, many of which will be discovered through the submitted projects themselves.


The EPFL-CDH AiR Program is open to emerging and established Swiss and international artists interested in the area where arts, science, media, and technology intersect. The program enables invited artists to develop interdisciplinary projects and carry out their research in conjunction with scientists and the PhD and Master students at EPFL. It offers an opportunity to access the cutting-edge engineering, infrastructure, materials, and science developed or made available at EPFL, thus fostering intense experimentation in new forms of expression. At the end of each residency, the resulting project will be presented in a public exhibition or event held at EPFL Pavilions, Amplifiers for Art Science and Society.

Deadline for submission: 3 October, 2022

> Download the application guidelines (pdf)


THE PROGRAM OFFERS THREE PATHS

This path is open to artists and designers who aim to explore techno-scientific possibilities using diverse approaches, with no restrictions in terms of media.

Previous resident artists’ projects included: working on AI and museology as a form of techno-heritage and as decolonial practice; using robotics to restate and question notions of empathy in synthetic intelligence; undertaking material research in the field of exoplanets; and exploring nanooptics and light. This call thus leaves applicants free to suggest the path they would like to investigate, strongly encouraging them to identify specific laboratories they would like to work with, and aims to span digital practices, material explorations, and scientific topics with no restrictions.

We welcome projects in various fields: visual arts; media arts; film, digital, mixed media, and imaging (VR/AR/MR); experimental forms of music; performing arts; design; critical and speculative writing; and fashion. Projects should preferably involve one or more EPFL laboratories or entities, embracing an interdisciplinary approach. Applicants are invited to indicate the scientific directions and the EPFL entities they would like to collaborate with. If such specifications are not made, the curator of the program will assess the potential scientific collaborations that can be established within the framework of the submitted project. 

EPFL website

Previous partner labs and facilities include, among others: EPFL Laboratory for Experimental Museology (eM+), Reconfigurable Robotics Lab (RRL), Biorobotics Laboratory (BioRob), Optics Laboratory, Crystal Growth Facility, Laboratory of Applied Photonics Devices (LAPD), Laboratory of Statistical Biophysics, Distributed Electrical Systems Lab (DESL).

With the EPFL Center for Imaging
Interface Design (VR), Digital Animation, Data Visualization

Imaging is fundamental to the field of digital humanities. It is also a key strategic axe for EPFL, which recently created the EPFL Center for Imaging to strengthen its position as a world-leading institution in imaging science. Interdisciplinary at its core, imaging requires the convergence of numerous skills and types of expertise, with huge potential for new developments that draw on all aspects of science and engineering. Over ninety groups perform world-class research in imaging at EPFL, ranging in scale from the atomic to the cosmological, and spanning a broad range of applications. The mission of the newly established Center for Imaging is to capitalize on this diversity of academic strengths by encouraging interdisciplinary collaborations between imaging labs with complementary fields of expertise.

We invite artists whose practice already manifests an interest in emerging imaging technologies, CGI, digital practices, and visual arts more broadly to submit a project proposal to be developed in collaboration with the EPFL Center for Imaging. Moreover, the 2023 call welcomes proposals in the fields of data visualization. We encourage projects that aim to explore this unique repository of transdisciplinary and cross-scale scope, and to investigate its scientific aspects as well as its aesthetic and visual potential. Resident artists may access some of the technical equipment and facilities linked to the center. 

With CLIMACT (Center for Climate Action and Impact)

CLIMACT is a joint undertaking by EPFL (Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Lausanne) and UNIL (University of Lausanne), designed to promote interdisciplinary and inter-institutional research and to implement initiatives that address the social, scientific, and technological challenges of climate change mitigation and adaptation. This call welcomes projects that address the impellent urgency of environmental research and seek to offer alternative models, looking constructively at sustainable futures.              

The climate crisis has and will continue to have a pervasive impact on all aspects of society, including cultures, economies, and ways of living. At the same time, the radical shifts caused by environmental disfunctions, currently unfolding on a global scale, offer the opportunity for new thinking about sustainable, ecological, and inclusive societies. Through collaboration with CLIMACT’s social and natural science community, this call invites artists (including creators active in the performing arts) and designers to propose alternative societal visions and ecological futures, and to imagine purposeful perspectives for societies of tomorrow.  

Topics such as climate and social justice, perspectives addressing the disparities between the Global North and Global South, and experimental interspecies, Indigenous, and post-colonial approaches to climate change are welcome.


HOW TO APPLY

Proposals should be written in English and submitted by October 3, 2022 (midnight CEST), using the email address [email protected], as one single PDF of maximum 20 MB attached or preferably in a download link.

They should take into account the following elements: the residency should extend over a maximum duration of three months and the project should be realized within a maximum budget of CHF 15,000.


PLEASE SUBMIT THE FOLLOWING INFORMATION IN ONE PDF

  • Contact information: name, surname, address, email, phone, and (if applicable) website.

  • A short biography.

  • A short pitch of the project (maximum 500 words).

  • A motivation letter including a statement on how the project investigates the intersection of arts, humanities, science, and technology and the relevance of conducting the project at the EPFL at this specific phase of the artist’s career (maximum 700 words).

  • A detailed description of the project, the stages of its development, and the final production imagined as the outcome of the residency, including:  
    – The envisioned benefit of the exchange for the EPFL labs and other EPFL entities involved.
    – A draft of production budget of maximum CHF 15,000.
    – The preferable timing of the artist’s stay.
    NB: Despite a preference for a continuous stay in Lausanne, the program offers flexibility according to artists’ agendas.

  • CV.

  • Portfolio.

  • Reference letter.

Applications that are late or incomplete will not be considered.


EVALUATION AND SELECTION

A selection committee including senior members of the CDH and EPFL Pavilions plus external jurors from the cultural, artistic, and art/science sector will assess each proposal on the basis of the following criteria:

  • The project’s innovative, visionary, and timely nature and its relevance to the applicant’s career.
  • A clear interconnection between art, humanities, science, and technology throughout the entire development of the project.
  • The importance of conducting the project within the EPFL context, the exposure of the EPFL community to the creative process, and the anticipated benefit the research and public engagement activities will bring to the EPFL labs and entities involved.
  • The project’s feasibility, and the coherence between the requested budget and the proposal.

The committee will notify applicants of its decision by the end of December 2022.


FOR MORE INFORMATION

[email protected]
Dr. Giulia Bini – Program Manager and Curator, EPFL-CDH AiR


LINKS

EPFL College of Humanities
EPFL Pavilions