Sept 20: SXSW Art Program Deadline
In moments of tragedy, times of joy, and even during the standard routine of every day living, human beings look to art for inspiration, comfort, and a creative jolt. Artists reflect the good, the bad, the ugly and the beautiful, and provide new ways for viewers to experience the world.
If you’re such an artist, consider applying for the SXSW Art Program, which offers a unique platform for artists to show their work within one of the most diverse, collaborative, and inventive communities in the world. Selected artists have the opportunity to engage with individuals and organizations across many sectors, while debuting their work in front of the creative communities that converge at SXSW in Austin each spring.
The SXSW Art Program seeks studios, designers, collectives, and individual artists whose work is either in medium or concept, and circles the intersection of art and technology or creates an experience, whether through immersion or social engagement.
The fee for an application completed by Friday, September 20, is $40. Afterward, the application fee increases to $90. The final deadline is Friday, October 11.
Now in its fourth year, the SXSW Art Program showcases experiential and visual artworks that apply emerging technologies and immersive environments to spark discovery, inspiration and connection. Incorporated into the broader ecosystem of creativity and innovation at SXSW, the Art Program serves as a launching point for collaborations and discussions around the role of visual and digital media arts in culture, technology and the public realm.
Program selections are chosen on the basis of their ability to enhance the landscape of the SXSW Conferences and Festivals and bring meaningful inspiration, joy, and discovery to attendees. We strive to showcase work from both emerging and established artists whose vision reflects the values of SXSW, including creativity, culture, storytelling, innovation, and social engagement.
In order to qualify for the SXSW Art Program, applicants must:
• Have fully completed an application via the SXSW Cart
• Produce an installation that fits within one of the designated SXSW art locations: Indoor (20’ x 20’ 9”) or Outdoor (20’ x 20’)
• Provide a visual representation of the installation
• Provide a detailed budget breakdown
• Take all basic safety considerations into account — no flames or flammable materials/gases, dangerous materials
The SXSW art team will review each application and select a group of finalists, which will then be reviewed by the SXSW Art Program Advisory Board. They will choose the final participants for the SXSW Art Program. All applicants will be informed of their status by mid-January 2019.
The SXSW Art Program is only one of many ways creatives can apply to participate in SXSW 2020. Learn more about the other opportunities here.
In 2019, the SXSW Art Program presented a lineup of eight curated immersive installations. The selections all used technology as a vehicle to explore topics ranging from the human spirit, cultural traditions, and how we interact with our environment. These installations facilitated discussion around the role of visual and digital media arts in modern society, shared spaces, and technology.
The 2019 SXSW Art Program selections included Blooming by Lisa Park; Belongings by John-Paul Marin Matt Smith, Patrick Abboud, Tea Uglow, and Kirstin Sillitoe; EVERY THING EVERY TIME by Naho Matsuda produced by FutureEverything; hash2ash and APPARATUM by panGenerator, Krzysztof Cybulski, Krzysztof Goliński, and Jakub Koźniewski; Semeion by Circuit Circus; Weaving by Cocolab and Arctic Passage by Louie Palu.
This lineup of artists joined events across SXSW 2019 that showcased innovation, diversity, and creativity in visual and media arts. Several of the sessions covering art are available to relive through SXSW audio. Listen to some of the highlights below.
400 Years of Inequality: A People’s Observance
Four hundred years ago, the first Africans were sold into bondage in what was to become the United States of America. Dr. Mindy Fullilove, a board-certified psychiatrist, has called on the country to reckon with this history. Listen to some of the artists who have responded, Shaun Leonardo, whose work centers on the criminal justice system, and Favianna Rodriguez, founder of The Center for Cultural Power, in a conversation moderated by Jamie Bennett, executive director of ArtPlace America.
The Changing Role of Women in the Arts
The role of female-identified persons in the arts has dramatically changed and expanded in recent years alongside movements like #NotSurprised and #MeToo that work to create safer spaces and stronger communities for women in the workforce. Hear from female leaders in the art world as they discuss the changing landscape from where it was, to where it’s at, and where it needs to head.
The Art Of Failure: Driving Creative Innovation
Failure is an inevitable part of innovation culture, which can be valued for the lessons it brings rather than seen as effort and resources wasted. But if investors decide to play it safe, can creatives and the organizations they work with continue to take risks and work towards uncertain outcomes? And without supported opportunities to experiment with new technologies is there a danger that artists will struggle to compete in the entertainment and leisure market? This panel asks how we can continue to support cutting-edge innovation at the interface of creative expression and technology and overcome our fear of failure, and what can public funding bring to the table that the commercial sector can’t?
Creating Contemporary Art in Virtual Reality
Khora Contemporary was the first Virtual Reality art production house in the world. It has collaborated with a number of high-profile contemporary artists, including Christian Lemmerz, Yu Hong, Nikita Shalenny, unleashing their imaginative visions and exploring this new media and its limitless possibilities. It is only a matter of time before Virtual Reality artworks populate the permanent collections of museums, public spaces and our living rooms. In this session Khora’s CTO speaks with contemporary artists who have worked with VR professionally, unveiling some of their most vital and inspirational learnings.
Art Museums as Spaces of Digital Play
“Fun” isn’t usually at the top of the list of words used to describe art museums. These institutions have tended to project authority rather than empathy and emotional connection. But today, museums’ aspirations to grow attendance beyond traditional audiences has begun to create opportunities for playful engagement almost unthinkable a decade ago. Digital experiences, particularly AR, have played a key role in this development. Focusing on delight, more than didactic forms of education, can have powerful effects on fostering understanding and engagement among visitors of all ages. This panel examines trends in the field and take a deep dive on findings from the immersive Interpretive Gallery created by SFMOMA and frog in 2018 for the “Magritte: The Fifth Season” exhibition.
Hope and Healing through Arts Education
Disruptive and anti-social behaviors in youth have been linked to chronic stress and trauma arising from institutional racism, toxic environments and structural violence, which leave whole communities feeling traumatized and hopeless. Theory and practice have shown that providing spaces and opportunities for youth to heal, hope, imagine and create through youth development and engagement activities can be transformational and spark social change. This session highlights an effective strategy at the nexus of health and arts education that is helping youth address some of today’s most pressing social issues.
Mummies to Manet: Immersive Experiments in Museums
What can we learn from recent experiments in immersive technology and contextual storytelling in art museums? This panel looks at the current landscape of immersive experiences at art museums — from bespoke handheld devices and mobile apps to gallery-sized experiences. Dive deep into case studies from the Detroit Institute of Arts, San Francisco Museum of Art, and the Art Institute of Chicago with the creators of AR/VR/MR and audio experiences at these institutions. Panelists consider these experiences from the visitor’s perspective, discovering how people get the most out of their museum visit when they are aided by innovative technology.
Technology and the Arts: Exploring the Future
This session explores how technology can support artists and cultural institutions — providing new mediums, platforms, expanding access, engaging with artistic practice and more. Suhair Khan from Google Arts & Culture deep dives into recent collaborations with artists and cultural institutions — focusing on the future of tech and art, and showcasing projects which leverage machine learning, augmented reality and other immersive technologies to tell stories of culture from around the world.
The Future of Gender Identities in Art and Media
Listen as Adolescent Content’s young LGBTQ directors, photographers and creators share honest conversation about gender identities and how Gen Z is shifting the traditional norms of masculinity and femininity using the power of their art and technology. Their digitally native perspective is building a generation unafraid to share all sides of itself on the internet. This session introduces a new generation of photographers, directors and artists, as they explore the traditional societal norms of masculinity and femininity, discuss the systemic issues that generate short-sighted, stereotypical images of marginalized individuals in the media, and what the creative industry can do to inspire and support LGBTQ artists and perspectives.
How Technology is Transforming Art Collecting
Over the last five years, the internet has dramatically opened up what was once an exclusive art world to millions of new consumers. A growing number of online galleries and digital platforms are engaging a new audience of art buyers, who have never bought art before and are increasingly comfortable making online purchases. Equally, via these same online platforms as well as through social media, artists from around the world are able to reach a global community of collectors. This talk will explore the ways in which these new technologies are democratizing the buying and selling of art.
Hugh Forrest serves as Chief Programming Officer at SXSW, the world’s most unique gathering of creative professionals. He also tries to write at least four paragraphs per day on Medium. These posts often cover tech-related trends; other times they focus on books, pop culture, sports and other current events.