Open Call for artists AiLAB

6th september 2019 to 12th november 2019

Open call for the reception of artistic projects researching about Artificial Intelligence

Open Call

The AI Lab (European ARTificial Intelligence Lab) is a follow up project of the European Digital Art and Science Network and offers international artists working in the field of AI to win a residency at a scientific partner institution and at the Futurelab of Ars Electronica. The AI Lab is led and organised by Ars Electronica in collaboration with 14 partners across Europe, including Edinburgh.
Experiential AI is a new programme at the Edinburgh Futures Institute, Bayes Centre and Heriot-Watt Robotarium in Edinburgh. It is the scientific partner for the AI Lab Lighthouse Residency in 2019/20. Experiential AI aims to support the creation of significant artistic works, and to inspire radically new concepts and paradigms on ethical and responsible AI.

“Entanglements – fair, moral and transparent AI”

The theme for the Artist Residency is Entanglements – fair, moral and transparent AI. Fairness, morality and transparency are challenged by entanglements with autonomous systems that are in many ways unintelligible to humans. At the same time, increasing numbers of artists are today exploring artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning and robotics, as both subject and tool.

Read the full theme statement here:


Explore concepts of fair, moral and transparent AI through artistic experiments engaging AI researchers.
Test ways to dispel the mystery of algorithms and make their mechanisms vividly apparent.
Develop early stage concepts for a new artistic work/performance based on the artistic and creative possibilities of AI.

The Residency

The residency is split between Edinburgh Futures Institute, the Bayes Centre and Heriot-Watt Robotarium in Edinburgh, Scotland, and the Ars Electronica Futurelab in Linz, Austria. The residency is a fully funded opportunity for an artist, designer or artists’ collective to create new dimensions in their artistic practice through their encounters with the world of AI. The residency offers access to the world-leading AI community in Edinburgh, and an opportunity to showcase prototypes at Ars Electronica Festival. Edinburgh International Festival will have the option to present prototypes/works in progress in a live performance setting during their festival in 2020 or 2021.

Residency Structure:

Part One: a residency for a period of 4-8 weeks in first half of 2020. This will take place in Edinburgh.
Part Two: a production residency for a period of one month, after completion of the first residency, at the Ars Electronica Futurelab (Linz) until latest end of August 2020.
Part Three: public presentation at the end of the residency at Ars Electronica Festival 2020. Edinburgh International Festival will have the option to present prototypes/works in progress in a live performance setting during their festival in 2020 or 2021.


The selected artist wins a residency consisting of €10,000 artist fee and production cost*. The fee structure is:
€3,000 artist fee
€5,000 which the artist can use for additional fees for themselves or collaborators and also for production costs.
€2,000 production costs for which a proposal is required
Up to €5,000 travel, accommodation and subsistence, including: 2 travels to scientific partner, 2 travels to Ars Electronica as well as accommodation in Linz for 4-6 week and accommodation in Edinburgh for approx. 6 weeks*
Access to University of Edinburgh researcher(s) who will serve as a dedicated inspiration partner.
Ideation workshop with AI researchers, ethicists and curators in Edinburgh.
Support brokering access to data from Edinburgh Futures Institute.
Limited software engineering support from Edinburgh Parallel Computing Centre.
Support from Ars Electronica staff.
Production support at Edinburgh International Festival and Ars Electronica Festival.
Curatorial and production guidance from Edinburgh International Festival on the presentation of work for a live performance setting.

*In case the winning party is an artist duo or artist group the artist fee, production costs as well as travel and accommodation costs need to be split between the members.

Submission Details

To participate in the European ARTificial Intelligence Lab, you must register online and submit all mandatory information online.
The submission has to be made in English.
The call is open for artists (above the age of 18) from all countries and all kinds of innovative concepts and ideas in the fields of AI.
Originality: The proposal needs to be for original work that demonstrably breaks new ground. That said, the proposed work can be entirely new, or can be an extension of an ongoing body of work.
An entry confirmation will be sent out via e-mail as soon as all required documentation has been received.
A submission is complete and formally entered in the competition only if all information has been entered online and the submission has been finalized online.
Public presentation of work: The aim of the residency is to engage audiences in experiences of AI systems and concepts, and so involves various opportunities for public presentation. Edinburgh International Festival will have the option to present prototypes/works in progress in a live performance setting. Ars Electronica is open to different forms of presentation.
Time commitment: The time commitment in Edinburgh (4-8 weeks, to be negotiated) does not have to be continuous, it will be structured around key milestones and the availability of artist(s) and researchers.
Employees of Ars Electronica Linz GmbH & Co KG, Edinburgh Futures Institute, partners, sponsors and patrons of the European ARTificial intelligence Lab, staff members of organizations that have established and endowed an individual category, as well as the competition’s jurors are ineligible to participate.

The following documents are required:

A short personal testimony video in which the artist explains why they are applying for the residency (Up to 1 min.)
A draft production plan for the artistic research and realisation of a prototype providing a timeline and cost estimation.
A CV and selected portfolio of work which showcases work the artist is proud of.
An online questionnaire, which includes the following questions:

– How and why is the theme Entanglements – fair, moral and transparent AI significant to you as an artist? (200-300 words)
– What are the artistic and creative possibilities of AI you would like to explore, and how? (200-300 words)
– Describe a concept for a new artistic work/performance responding to the residency theme. (200-300 words)

Entrants are requested not to submit irreplaceable originals since submitted materials cannot be returned.

Start of online submission: 6 September 2019
Online Submission Deadline: 12 November 2019 (closing deadline 23:59 CEST/GMT+2).
Jury Sessions

The jury sessions will be announced. It will be held with representatives from Ars Electronica, Edinburgh Futures Institute and Edinburgh International Festival as well as representatives of the European ARTificial Intelligence Lab. There will be no written correspondence regarding the decision by the jury, other than to the winners of the award. The Jury’s decision is final and the artist will be expected to take up their residency in the first half of 2020.

Evaluation Criteria

Every concept submitted for consideration will be evaluated by a jury of experts in the order in which it was received according to the following criteria:

Interest in the AI residency theme as expressed by Edinburgh Futures Institute
Compelling conception
Technique and quality of the past work in the artist’s portfolio


The winners of the AI Lab residency prize will be notified immediately after the jury meeting. This jury meeting will be held in December 2019. We request that the entrant, or a representative named by him/her, is available during the period when winners will be notified. You will be contacted using the details specified in your entry form.


The winning artist(s) will be expected to give public lectures at the beginning and end of this residency in Edinburgh and Linz, to participate in a research workshop on the Experiential AI theme at University of Edinburgh, and maintain a public blog explaining their creative experience and engagement in the theme. They will present prototypes or work in progress at the Ars Electronica Festival 2020. Edinburgh International Festival will have the option to present prototypes/works in progress in a live performance setting during their festival in 2020 or 2021. The winner of the European ARTificial Intelligence Lab Residency must make a commitment to attending the Ars Electronica Festival 2020. Groups and institutions are requested to nominate a representative to fulfill this commitment. The artist agrees to include the following acknowledgement in all future exhibitions and documentations of the work: This project was developed within the European ARTificial Intelligence Lab, co-funded by the Creative Europe Programme of the European Union, and Experiential AI at Edinburgh Futures Institute.

All property rights and any other rights remain with the artist.

To apply please visit:

The European ARTificial Intelligence Lab is co-funded by the Creative Europe Programme of the European Union.
Experiential AI and Edinburgh Futures Institute at University of Edinburgh are supported by the DDI Programme of the Edinburgh and South East Scotland City Region Deal.

AILAB_call  Creative Europe Programme Gobierno del Principado