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CFP – Autonomous Art Systems: Opportunities, Pitfalls and Implications – Media-N -2017 Fall Issue

Guest Editors

Nick Bontrager, Texas Christian University

Adam Fung, Texas Christian University


Kevin Hamilton

Media-N, the Journal of the New Media Caucus, invites submissions for an issue about the use of Autonomous Art Systems, tethered and untethered systems of making, self-guided vehicles, and related programming in creative fields of study. Submissions could include: accounts of new artworks that address concepts of drones or autonomous surveillance as subject or form; reflections on the influence of emerging “intelligent” technologies on studio art practices; or critical/historical analysis of the aesthetics of autonomous technologies in light of their social and technical implications.

Artists have long engaged concepts and techniques of artificial intelligence, emergent order, and generative systems. Others have reflected through practice on technologies of surveillance and war as extensions of the human body and senses. How might these histories and examples help us understand contemporary forms of autonomous production, with all their accompanying ethical and social questions?

Paired with video or audio in their mobile form, Autonomous Art Systems offer new visual perspectives, production values, and aesthetics previously unattainable or associated only with state power. Autonomous assembly systems offer possibilities for emergent spatial order, with inevitable influence on design for the built environment. This issue poses the question: how will the new abilities, access, perspectives, and potential restrictions on technology associated with autonomous machines and systems be reflected in art practice of the future?

Submissions for this special issue on Autonomous Art Systems might address the following questions:

  • How has the field of new media art as a whole been affected by Autonomous Art Systems (AAS), and what is the significance of the modalities in which this dialogue takes shape?
  • What are the new media forms and aesthetics, from locative media to visualization, generative art, or even physical computing, that are common to AAS?
  • What is the legal status of AAS, particularly related to drones, today? How do regulations, rules, laws, and reception inform this form of new media art?
  • How do today’s explorations of AAS build on past examples of generative or programmatic aesthetics?
  • How do artistic explorations of such technologies contend with their associations and origins within military, policing, or other defense-related industries?
  • How do AAS further, hinder, or complicate the dialogue surrounding authorship in contemporary art?

Media-N is an English language journal, and all submissions must be received in English adhering to the standards set by the 16th edition of the Chicago Manual of Style.


Media-N, Journal of the New Media Caucus (ISSN: 1942-017X) is a scholarly, invitational, and double blind peer-reviewed journal. It is open to submissions in the form of theoretical papers, reports, and reviews on new media artworks. The journal provides a forum for national and international New Media Caucus members and non-members featuring their scholarly research, artworks and projects.


April 1, 2016: Deadline for submission of abstracts/proposals.

May 1, 2016: Notification of accepted proposals – invitation to submit.

July 1, 2016: Deadline for submission of final papers.


Please send your submission proposal by email adhering to the following:

Proposal Title, and a 300-500 word Proposal Description. Include your Email(s), your Title(s)/Affiliation(s) (the institution/organization you work with ­ if applicable, or independent scholar/practitioner).

On a separate document, send a Resume (no longer than 3 pages).

NOTE: Materials should be submitted in English, as Microsoft Word documents (.doc or .docx).


Email to: n.bontrager@tcu.edu and adam.fung@tcu.edu

Spring 2016: V.12 N.01 Mestizo Technology: Art, Design, and Technoscience in Latin America

Mestizo Tech link to web edition: http://median.newmediacaucus.org/mestizo-technology-art-design-and-technoscience-in-latin-america/

Mestizo Tech link to LULU edition: http://www.lulu.com/shop/new-media-caucus/mestizo-technology-art-design-and-technoscience-in-latin-america/paperback/product-22924280.html

Latin America is a diverse geographical and cultural region populated by a wealth of extremely productive new media specialists with significant local and global exposure. Yet, scarce are academic English language anthologies composed of theoretical writings that survey the status of art, technology and design practices in and by that constituency.

With this in mind, Media-N’s mission has been to support a provocative theme that might begin to fill the gap. “Mestizo Technology: Art, Design, and Technoscience in Latin America” is the title proposed by Guest Editors Paula Gaetano Adi and Gustavo Crembil who employed a lens merging notions of mestizaje and new technologies to scan the development of new media practices distinctive to Latin America; to survey how influences from the global North have been appropriated and adapted to particular needs, resources and interests of Latin American thinkers and makers; and to also challenge traditional dichotomies afflicting perceptions about productions emerging from the global south: western/indigenous; modern/traditional; craft/technology; and big science/small science.

Further, Media-N enhances this issue with timely Reviews and Reports. Edited by Francesca Franco, this section of the journal presents interviews with prominent international new media artists, as well as reviews of events taking place in Italy, Australia, the USA, and online.

Media-N’s Vol.12 N.01 also marks the culmination of a vigorous six-year journey where I have had the pleasure to contribute to the New Media Caucus as Officer of the organization’s Executive Board, and to shape the direction of its academic publication as Editor-in-Chief of Media-N Journal. Upon concluding my second term as Editor-in-Chief of Media-N, I think that it is timely to extend my heartfelt thanks to the NMC board, to Media-N’s editorial board and managing editors, to our copyeditors and proofreaders, to our web and print design directors, and to the various guest editors and authors for their efforts, the sharing of expertise, and their commitment to quality throughout the last six years. For me, it has been an invigorating project, one that an exceptional Media-N team will sustain and build upon in the years to come.

Pat Badani



CALL FOR SUBMISSIONS – Public Journal of Imaging America


Special Issue: Digital Engagements – When the Virtual Gets Real

Now accepting one-page proposals at iapublic@syr.edu.
Full submissions accepted August 1, 2016 – February 1, 2017 via the OJS submission portal.

For this special issue of PUBLIC, we invite artists, activists, designers, and scholars to explore the potential of digital technologies and practices to inspire creative, interactive, collaborative work for public engagement and the pursuit of social justice. The issue asks how engagement–the affective and embodied knowledges people gain in their everyday lives–can animate our virtual lives.

Technologically enhanced projects–digital archives and scholarship, social practice art, site specific installations, performance-based technologies, mobile applications, social media, and emerging experimental forms–are often touted as the new public commons. But how are artists, designers, and scholars committed to civic engagement creating virtual spaces that are interactive, a necessary condition for publicly engaged arts and scholarship?

We know the bad news. Virtual spaces have been hit by cyber-bullies–“Gamergate” is just one example. Digital access can be blocked by commercial gate-keeping. Gender, class, age, and other differences impact access to technology. What are the alternatives? Social media connects artists, academics, activists, and a broad public across the globe. Visualizations cut across language communities. This special issue of PUBLIC seeks to document, question, reflect upon, and advance projects in the digital arts and humanities that are designed not simply to be “in public” but also to engage diverse audiences and inspire collective action.

Possible Topics

We invite contributors to discuss the impact of projects that embody “digital engagements,” moving beyond description to the value, limitations, and potential impact of projects and practices. To suggest a few of the innumerable questions the issue might address– How can technologies activate diverse audiences, muster and support communities, and promote democratic practices? What new forms of collaboration are emerging in digital work? When does technology inhibit, change, or inspire cross sector partnerships–including campus/community partnerships–and how are artists, designers, and scholars tackling those obstacles? How are people from rural areas, inner cities, and developing regions participating in digital arts and humanities projects? How are artists, activists, scholars, designers, and developers overcoming social, economic, and technical obstacles? We also welcome projects focused on innovative research methods, syllabi, assignments, et cetera, at any level and proposals for reviews of studies, sites, art works or installations, conferences, blogs, etc. More generally, how do the resources and limits of virtuality change the assumptions and practices of artists, designers, and humanists?


Submissions can take diverse forms as long as they are linked to the theme of the issue. For example, discussions of principles and practices might be critical pieces in multiple media, single or collaboratively authored, narrative or interview format. Reflective case studies might link to online projects that ask what “engagement” means practically and philosophically in existing projects. Feel free to propose experimental or collaborative formats that capture your work most vividly. We can accept a wide variety of formats for consideration; if you have any questions, please contact the guest and design editors.

Submission Process

We are currently accepting one-page description of the topic and format you are considering. Please email proposals to iapublic@syr.edu  Full submissions are due February 1, 2017 for peer review through our online submission portal at ojs.syr.edu. The guest editor and design editors will work with authors of accepted submissions through a process of revision and digital design in preparation for publication.

Contact guest editor Teresa Mangum (teresa-mangum@uiowa.edu) if you have questions or submit proposals directly to iapublic@syr.edu.