Call for Participation: Bangkok | NOV 2017

20 June 2017

17-19 november 2017, bangkok

The open call continues the Urban Media Art Academy Bangkok, which took place from April 23-26, 2017.

EXTENDED application Deadline: 25 September 2017


The open call invites for urban media artwork ideas and concepts developed for the context of Bangkok under the theme Emotional Transitions. Select artwork proposals will be invited for further development during the Ideas and Concepts Workshop, taking place from 17-19 November 2017 in the framework of the Bangkok Design Week. During this three-days workshop, we will advance the proposals in terms of artistic idea, the impact for the city of Bangkok, and the technological feasibility. All projects will be exhibited as poster presentations after the workshop in the framework of the Bangkok Design Week and potentially nominated for realisation and suggested for implementation to the local and international partner network of the Urban Media Art Academy.


The theme Emotional Transitions immediately speaks to conditions of transition from one emotional state to another. Urban media has always wanted to affect (and exploit) our emotions through visual and multi-sensory strategies – which have lately advanced with technologies (fixed and mobile) for measuring urban sensibilities, human movement, bodily presence and expressions via our mobile devices in social networks of our emotions in certain places. In the urban context of Bangkok – as in many global cities today – we particularly recognise how urban media change the city’s visual infrastructure with urban screens, ambitious media architectures and lighting schemes gradually changing the ‘feel’ of the city; its pace, rhythms, and map of visibility. This affects how we feel present.

Transitions in the city at a macro scale affects transitions in our human bodies and state of mind, how we perceive ourselves and engage with each other in the city. Charles Landry and Chris Murray write in the introduction to the book Psychology & The City: The Hidden Dimension:

“The city impacts upon our mind – our mental and emotional state impacts upon the city. This is part of a constant cycle of influencing and being influenced, perpetual transactions changing moment to moment as our daily lived experience unfolds, with repercussions both for us and for the city in ways we cannot always be aware of. Revealing these interactions and their impacts is important in understanding how we can make, manage and inhabit places.”

While we can consider transitions at the city’s macro scale to affect conditions of human emotion, at the same time we can consider transitions that begin in the human being – in her or his emotional state – and from here coming to affect the city at larger scales. In that sense, transformation at the city’s macro level begins with the moments of emotional transition in the human being, at street level.

How can urban media art ‘reveal’ and reflect the emotional transitions of a city in relationship to its citizens? How can it facilitate human emotion to affect the urban scale – perhaps in collective, shared experiences?

We find examples of urban media art that has explored and sought to affect various dimensions of human emotions in for example Rafael Lozano-Hemmer’s Pulse Park (2008) that visualises sensor measurements of human heart beats in large scale in a matrix of light beams installed in Madison Square Park; in Maurice Benayoun’s Emotion Forecast (2011), which takes data from search engines on the Internet as the world’s nervous system that are sculpted into artistic metaphors and human emotional graphs; or in artworks that seek to visually or multi-sensually change the ambiance and/or meaning of an urban site, like Jenny Holzer’s Truisms (1978-87).

Under the theme Emotional Transitions this call invites for artwork proposals that may reveal or facilitate ‘emotional transitions’ in the urban context, in situations of everyday life, social life, community life, work life, or other. The theme Emotional Transitions speaks to concrete situations of transition in for example situations in which the sensible atmosphere, ambiance and sense of what is possible in that place changes; in situations of waiting for, changing or moving with traffic; or in situations of moving through the city, from one neighbourhood to another while encountering its diversities. These transitional moments are simultaneously moments of time and transformation – of the city and of the human being – from one mood to another or from one state of self to another. In proposing alternative situations of emotional transition, how may urban media art contribute to an emotionally sustainable city – with all the emotional complexity this entails?

Artwork proposals may for example:

  • Temporarily affect the emotional ambiance of a site and create moments of ‘emotional transition’
  • Capture and present data that reveals (a) condition(s) of feeling ‘present’ in a place
  • Facilitate a scenario that encourages people to feel, think or act differently
  • Facilitate new situations of ‘presence’ in social encounters (e.g. via tactics for social engagement, interactivity, telepresence, real-time or other interface)
  • Explore emotional mappings and psychogeographies in urban contexts and neighborhoods


Proposals are evaluated by a jury consisting of Dr. Priyakorn Pusawiro (professor at Esic Lab, King Mongkut’s University of Technology Thonburi), Pichaya Aime Suphavanij (exhibition director, Bangkok Art and Culture Centre (BACC)), Ali Smith (founding director of Superact, coordinator of Future DiverCities), Susa Pop (founding director, Public Art Lab and founding co-director, Urban Media Art Academy), and Dr. Tanya Toft Ag (founding co-director, Urban Media Art Academy).

The project proposals will be evaluated and selected based on the following issues:

  • Original artistic idea
  • Relevance for the social and urban context of Bangkok (and possible global relations)
  • How the artwork provides audiences with access and participation and facilitates intermediation of shared experiences
  • Technological feasibility and realisation



The call for participation is open for artists, designers, architects, curators and others seeking to advance their knowledge, skills and network in the domain of urban media art. The program will combine learning on urban media art histories, urban theory, curatorial inquiries and criticality as well as ‘knowledge from the field’ via conversations with professionals. It will introduce participants to methods of artistic research, concept development and artwork proposals for creative city making.


Please submit your urban media art proposal by 25 September 2017 (extended deadline), 12 AM local BKK time to the following mail address:

Your proposal should include (in one pdf document):

  • Project description (max. 800 words)
  • Motivational description (max. 200 words)
  • Production requirements and estimated budget and time line
  • Illustrations (not mandatory)
  • Your CV (max. one page)

The jury will invite select project ideas for a three-days ‘Ideas & Concepts Workshop’ from 17-19 November 2017 in the framework of the Bangkok Design Week. The selection will be announced on 16 October 2017.



In this three-day workshop you will learn how to develop a project idea for an urban media art project for implementation. The workshop will be held at TCDC Commons near Sam Yan. Breaks and lunch are provided. Transportation must be covered independently.


Following the ideas and concepts workshop a jury will recommend outstanding project ideas for realisation in the context of Bangkok and to the partner network of the Urban Media Art Academy.