Open Call for the South by Southwest Media Arts Exhibition! Deadline January 27th 2020

“We are called to be the architects of the future, not its victims."

Buckminster Fuller

Call Summary

The UNESCO Austin City of Media Arts Steering Committee, in partnership with the Cultural Arts Division within the Economic Development Department, invites professional artists/ artist teams who work with the latest innovations in new media art (including but not limited to digital arts, film, music, visual and performing arts) to propose an existing or new artwork for inclusion in the in the international UNESCO Media Arts Exhibition to be held during the SXSW Festival and Conference between March 13-15, 2020.

Budget Description

The honorarium for each selected artist to provide an artwork for the exhibition is capped at $1,500, inclusive of all costs including, but not limited to the artist’s fee, insurance, artwork transportation and shipping, set up, and engineering costs. Computers (2019 iMacs), Projectors, and various A/V supplies may be provided upon request. In addition, each selected artist will receive an Interactive Badge to the SXSW Festival, valued at $1,145 USD.

Project Description

As a UNESCO Creative Cities Network (UCCN) member and contributing Media Arts City, the City of Austin is committed to fostering and showcasing art and innovation across disciplines from across the globe. To further those efforts, the City is partnering with SXSW to continue the annual SXSW UNESCO Media Arts Exhibition.

This call for proposals is directed to the seventeen UNESCO Media Arts cities, including Austin artists, providing an international platform for media arts. The exhibition will feature artwork/installations from several UNESCO media arts cities and may also include programming such as panel discussions with representatives from Austin and abroad. An opening reception will also be organized to further market the Exhibition to SXSW participants.

The City of Austin, the only U.S. city with a UNESCO Media Arts designation, is home to South by Southwest (SXSW), an annual festival and conference showcasing the talent and innovation of interactive, music, and film industries from around the globe. In 2019, SXSW had over 280,000 people in attendance with an economic impact of US$355.9 million. In addition to its role in bolstering Austin's cultural cachet, SXSW serves as an international hub for creative exchange and has launched new media and digital platforms such as Twitter and Storify. SXSW as an event continues to evolve, incorporating topics such as Food, Health, Style, and, since 2017, an official Art Program. Full information about SXSW can be found at

Artwork Goals

Artwork Theme/Prompt: BUILDING A COLLECTIVE VISION OF THE FUTURE // “We are called to be the architects of the future, not its victims.” --Buckminster Fuller // As we come into a new decade in the time of rapid urbanization and change, we are seeking work which speaks to a collective vision of the future. Either via the lens of your specific community or location or on a global scale, this exhibit aims to share speculative visions of the future through the lens of media art and artists.

Artwork Location Description

Motion Media Arts Center 2200 Tillery Street Austin, TX 78723


Deadline to apply is January 27th at 11:59 CST.

Artists will be notified by February 3rd if they have been selected.

Artists must submit through the application form

View application details as PDF

Selected artists will receive an honorarium of US$1,500 and an Interactive SXSW Badge (worth US$1,145).