MAGIC CIRCLES – A laboratory of virtual worlds

*MAGIC CIRCLES – A laboratory of virtual worlds*

Online, Sep-Nov 2024

CAD$1000 + production support for participating projects

Read the full call and apply by July 1st:

Seeking to investigate virtual worlds in all their wealth and diversity, the Magic Circles laboratory program invites practitioners from different areas to engage in an eight-week cycle of online discussions, tours, and experiments. We are looking for projects at any stage of development that explore the possibilities (and shortcomings) of virtual worlds. The laboratory is conceived as a sort of horizontal production residence, through which participants will be encouraged to support and guide each other in their online spaces of choice. Participating projects will receive a CAD$1000 stipend. Ad hoc production support may also be available on a case-by-case basis.


– Surveys of in-world ecosystems, economies, cultures, and communities;

– Development of world-specific interactive content (games, puzzles, automata, Turing-complete computers, Rube Goldberg machines, etc);

– Creation of in-world artworks and performances of any kind (sculpture, installation, exhibition, theater, concerts, etc.);

– In-world photography and filmmaking practices (video essays, fiction, experimental, etc.);

– Pocket and purpose-built worlds in private servers;

– Development or detournement of control/sensorial interfaces (accessibility hacks, mocap systems, teledildonics, etc.);

– Archaeology of defunct or discontinued platforms (MUDs, Habbo hotel, Club Penguin, The Palace, etc.).

And some virtual worlds we hope to explore include but are not limited to Second Life, VR Chat, Cluster, Minecraft, Roblox, Fortnite, World of Warcraft, EVE Online, Elder Scrolls Online, Red Dead Online, and what have you.

TO APPLY, please submit 1) a CV and/or portfolio; and 2) a cover letter outlining the virtual world-related project you are currently developing (max 500 words) to the address by July 1st. If you want, you may also submit additional materials about your proposed project in the form of links in the email body.

The Magic Circles program is committed to the diversity of publics as well as to free and open methodologies. The lab is hosted by the Department of Film and Media at Queen’s University in Kingston, Canada, and supported by Canadian Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council’s MetaMetaverse project and the Zentrum für Netzkunst. Magic Circles is directed by Dr. Gabriel Menotti and produced by Dr. Sojung Bahng.