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Submission Call for Online Exhibition: Science of the Unseen

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Call for Submissions: Science of the Unseen

"This nucleizing nucleus is a world in itself. The miniature deploys to the dimensions of a universe. Once more, large is contained in small." — Gaston Bachelard

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What goes unseen, unfelt, or unheard? In this online exhibition, the artworks converge with scientific experiment, using digital tools to creatively reinterpret the imperceptible and science of the unseen.

Artworks in Science of the Unseen: Digital Art Perspectives think creatively about questions of scale and how unseen processes animate larger effects. By using digital tools and computational programs, we see with new eyes as we view visual material from the microscopic cell to the cosmic universe. Technology increasingly alters the senses and our experience of the biological, astrological, and geological landscape. From our new ways of seeing, questions emerge such as: how does nano-technology mirror and magnify the art of nature? How does visualizing insect burrows in trees allow us to interpret a larger ecosystem? Or we can ask what still remains unseen: how do organisms form new imperceptible habits in response to technology?

Art can be both inspired by and resistant to accepted scientific practices for visualizing the world. Artworks in Science of the Unseen: Digital Art Perspectives experiment with innovative research methods that also critically examine what drives the disciplines of art and science. In this exhibition, artistic interpretation of the unseen emphasizes the political dynamic of both the human public and nonhuman ecologies. How does art represent and empower the relationships between micro and macro, unseen and seen, situated and global, that would otherwise be invisible? What can art see that science cannot see alone?

This call for submissions welcomes artistic interpretation and collaborations working from any discipline within art and science. Science of the Unseen: Digital Art Perspectives is an online exhibition coordinated by the ACM SIGGRAPH Digital Arts Community. www.siggraph.org/connect/digital-arts

Co-Curators: Phil .J. Gough, Lindsay Zackeroff


Submissions Open: December 16, 2015 - SUBMIT NOW
Submissions Close: Monday, March 14, 2016 - Please note, this deadline has been extended from the original deadline of February 29
Notification of Acceptance: April 2nd, 2016
Exhibition Launch: Monday, May 2, 2016

Criteria for Selection

  • Aesthetic quality of the work.
  • Novel use of digital techniques and visual mappings, artistic response and interpretation of the topic
  • Creative interpretation of the topic
  • Mathematical and computational phenomena, such as fractals and recursive algorithms are outside the scope of this exhibition, unless they are directly linked to the topic of reinterpreting Science of the Unseen.
  • Use of public domain and fair use images are acceptable, but must be properly credited by the submitting artists

Submission Format


Artists may submit works in any of 3 formats:

Still Images

  • A coherent suite of up to 4 Any number of images may be submitted for exhibition., but no more than 2 exhibited for each submission.
  • Images should be a minimum of 1280x720 pixels for online display, they do not need to be print quality. Files larger than 3000px on the longest edge will be accepted, but may be scaled down for display online display.
  • Images may include photographs of physical (e.g. sculptural) work.


  • Artists are strongly encouraged to submit work in HD format (either 1280x720 or 1920x1080).
  • Videos should be approximately 5 minutes, but videos will be accepted between 1 and 10 minutes in length.
  • Videos documenting interactive installation work can be submitted, but will be judged on the artistic merit of the video, not the artistic merit of the installation.
  • The online gallery will include embedded links to the Vimeo channel maintained by ACM SIGGRAPH. Artists are strongly encouraged to ensure that they have reviewed Vimeo’s video compression guidelines at vimeo.com/help/compression and that submissions meet these guidelines.

Interactive Web-Based Works

  • Interactive pieces are encouraged, based on open-ended exploration, or short, guided interactions with time-based media. For interactive works with time-based media, the minimum amount of time for the user to interact with any Interactive, time-based work should not exceed 5 minutes.
  • They should run using JavaScript, and be easily displayed inside a "div" element on a page.
  • No plugins should be required to display on a normal web browser.
  • Suggested technologies include:
  • D3.js, Processing.js or other 2D visualisation frameworks
  • WebGL/Three.js/X3DOM and other Web3D technologies, which do not require browser plugins.
  • Works that run in the HTML5 "canvas" element, which do not require plugins.
  • Artists are encouraged to avoid relying on server-side technology, but use client-side work.
  • Interactive pieces should also require no additional hardware, such as a LeapMotion or Oculus Rift. This online exhibition aims at being accessible to a broad public audience.


Selection of Works

The works will be selected by a panel of international experts, bringing together individuals with a diverse set of backgrounds in art, curation, science. and art + science collaboration.

The online gallery may also include curated works as leading examples in the field, including contributions from the expert committee.

Artists are required to submit a short (approximately 100 word) synopsis of their artwork. We encourage artists to also include links to published scientific papers, data repositories, and scientist profiles directly related to the creation of the submitted artwork, in addition to the required synopsis.


Participants are encouraged to become part of the ACM SIGGRAPH Digital Arts Community, but it is not a requirement for submission. Join at siggrapharts.ning.com.

Contact: arts@siggraph.org