Open Call For Submissions


Festival Dates: September 17 - October 2, 2016
Hashtag: #BlackBoxing
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Curator: Julia Fryett
Eligibility: International
Location: Seattle, Online
Deadline: 5/31/16
Entry Fee: $10.59

Artists from around the world working in any medium are invited to submit work to Black Box 3.0.

Note: Visit Open Call for links to applications for our Partner Program, Venue Donations, and Funding Partner Inquiries

Black Box is an annual international arts and technology festival produced by Aktionsart in multiple locations throughout Seattle. The festival presents new work and ideas that explore how technology is transforming the arts, culture, and public life.

Challenging our ideas about what art is and what art can be, Black Box transmits energetic ideas across disparate industries and disciplines. The festival cultivates engaged communities who think creatively and critically about emerging technologies and digital culture.

Black Box is a platform for artists, filmmakers, designers, curators, technologists, hackers, and makers in the Pacific Northwest and beyond. The festival features new work by contemporary artists who are collected by major museums and routinely featured on the international art circuit. It is also an essential voice for emerging talent and ideas. Black Box is open to all arts disciplines and mediums, including visual art, performance, design, fashion, music, folk and traditional arts, literature, media, film, research, theater, and more.

Core programming is nomadic and experiential, presenting projects in unexpected spaces throughout the city. The tightly curated festival includes exhibitions, screenings, discussions, workshops, installations, performances, and hybrid formats. An online channel premieres and distributes festival content to audiences in Seattle and beyond.

Black Box collaborates closely with a selective partner network of Seattle’s most adventurous institutions. Past partners include Seattle Art Museum, Seattle International Film Festival, University of Washington, and Cornish College of the Arts.

In 2015, Black Box exhibited over eighty artists including new work from Pierre Huyghe, Ed Atkins, Sue de Beer, Phil Collins, Josh Kline, Gillian Wearing, Roman Signer, Zach Blas, Petra Cortright, Lisa Tan, Stan Douglas, Knut Asdam, Kalup Linzy, Robin Rhode, Ellie Ga, and Julien Prévieux.

Read more: Black Box 1.0Black Box 2.0

In response to community demand and audience feedback over the past two years, the festival is incorporating energetic changes this year including a broader conceptual framework, new program partner format, and expanded online project site.

Read more: Letter from the Director: Black Box, Amplified


The festival is open to all arts disciplines and mediums, including visual art, performance, design, fashion, music, folk and traditional arts, literature, media, film, theater, and more.

Evaluation requires excellent documentation of submitted works.

Supporting images, video/audio files, and documents (PDF only) may be uploaded, to a maximum of 5 MB per submission. 

World and North American premieres are given priority. 

There is no overarching festival theme beyond the umbrella of “arts and technology”, which is intentionally open. Attention will be closely paid to intellectually rigorous and socially urgent ideas, emerging technologies, and experimental projects that present new modes of creating and thinking. Black Box is a place for creativity and criticality.

We are interested in works that respond to the following themes, tools or mediums: augmented/virtual/mixed reality, gaming, expanded and immersive cinema, social media, architectural mapping, generative software, systems, mobility and mobile apps, wearables, digital labor, interactivity, data visualization, experimental and interactive documentary, surveillance, biotech, holography, space exploration, 3D printing, robotics, production and distribution tools/platforms, artificial intelligence, machine learning, hypercompliance, deep web, blockchain, digital culture, sustainability, innovation, disnovation, transmedia, utopia.

Technology disrupts the arts, but how do the arts disrupt technology? What is the role of artist and creator in an increasingly mechanized world? How can artists leverage new tools to produce, distribute, create access, and build audiences for their work? How does technological innovation and disnovation shape public life?


To be eligible for consideration:

  1. You must fully comply with the Entry Rules & Regulations specified on this page, including all deadlines, entry material and other requirements
  2. Non-English language works must have English subtitles at the time submitted
  3. Works must have been created after January 1, 2014


May 31, 2016, 5PM PST: Deadline for entries
July 2016: Accepted artists will be notified
August 2016: Official festival program announced
September 17 - October 2, 2016: Festival dates


There is no fine art insurance coverage for festival artworks. Personal equipment may be covered on a limited basis.

Festival Participation

If a work or project requires any form of support or participation, the available resources must be supplemented by additional funding and noted in the Application. Further support will be assessed on a case-by-case basis at the festival's discretion.

Select artists may be invited to participate in the festival. These conditions will be communicated directly with the entrants. 


By submitting work, the applicant agrees to the incorporation of the material into the Aktionsart archive beyond the respective application year and the use of the material for archival purposes. 

Should your work be presented at the festival, you authorize Aktionsart to document the work in the form(s) it is presented, to archive this documentation and to preserve and display this documentation for archival purposes. This documentation may be in the form of images, audio recordings or audio-visual recordings, or interactive formats such as emulations. Additionally, should documentation of Aktionsart include images of yourself, these will also be assumed as to be authorized for archival use.

Festival Platforms

Black Box incorporates various locations and venues throughout the city, as well as an online program for video, digital, streaming, downloadable, and interactive projects. Please consider the available platforms and note in your application which context best suits your work.

  • Gallery/Exhibition Venue
  • Movie Theater
  • Performance Venue
  • Public Space
  • Commercial Space
  • Festival Online Project Site