Transforming mindsets Art Exhibition of ICT4S and ACM Limits

1st Call For "Transforming mindsets Art Exhibition of ICT4S and ACM Limits" Proposals

In the face of increasing tensions and challenges to our socio-ecological systems, the #FridaysForFuture kids are striking for climate justice, Extinction Rebellion is taking to the streets, countries and councils around the globe are declaring a “climate emergency”, and New Zealand’s government has created a well-being budget that dismisses economic growth as the primary target. How should computing respond to these challenges and inspirations?

In Bristol we bring together two computing communities, “ICT4S” (Information and Communications Technology for Sustainability) and “Computing within Limits” (LIMITS), to address this question. Both are concerned with computing’s response to global challenges but from differing perspectives, ​ICT4S posits that computing can help address the global challenges, while LIMITS positions that against the backdrop of already exceeded planetary limits.​ This is an open call to participate in a public art exhibition that will run alongside the ICT4S and LIMITS conferences June 22-27, 2020. Bristol is well known for its artists, particularly for street art. We seek to provoke, to uncover, and to encourage a diversity of perspectives.

We are looking for creative works of any format that challenge the status quo, that provide new ways of looking at information, that disrupt and prompt us to question, or perhaps provide seeds for action. Visualisations are welcome, as well as demos and installations of interfaces or works that bear a physical or pictorial form. We need different ways of seeing, of thinking.

Our society has become enthralled with computing and tech but it has come at a cost to our socio-ecological systems. Much of computing seems unaware of that cost; being tightly bound to an ethos of “buy more stuff” with only an occasional nod to efficiency of computer systems themselves. Others see the opportunity for computing to provide a mechanism for more efficient urban and agricultural systems. Yet that too is challenged; are we enabling a greater consumption, appealing to the wrong values, a green e-myth, geek heresy, and being complicit in our own destruction? So we try to go beyond the transactional to systemic and relational. How do we move to having a positive regenerative impact? How do we reposition computing to support transformative system change? Holistic perspectives? Community engagement? Respectful, collaborative responsibility? Living positive futures? Intergenerational equity?

Extra words that didn’t fit into the blurb: ​ Anthropocene. Footprint. Handprint. Collapse. Shed light on disillusionment. Boundaries. Utopias and dystopias. Dark and light. Enabling. Regeneration. Mindset. Playful. Leverage. Activist. Finite. Disruption. Transition. Decolonised. Biodiversity. Degrowth. Tension. Wicked. Educate. Complex systems. Scale. Impact. System conditions. Resilience. Whole systems.

The conferences:
ICT4S conferences​ bring together leading researchers in ICT for Sustainability with government and industry representatives, including decision-makers with an interest in using ICT for sustainability, researchers focusing on ICT effects on sustainability and developers of sustainable ICT systems or applications. The theme for ICT4S 2020 is Systemic Sustainability.

Computing within Limits​ aims to foster discussion on the impact of present and future ecological, material, energetic, and societal limits on computing. A key aim of the workshop is to promote innovative, concrete research, potentially of an interdisciplinary nature, that focuses on technologies, critiques, techniques, and contexts for computing within fundamental economic and ecological limits. We hope to impact society through the design and development of computing systems in the abundant present for use in a future of limits.

Who:​ This is an inclusive call. We especially welcome proposals from artists and for collaborations between computing and/or sustainability academics/practitioners and artists. We need to hear the voices of students, the Global South, BIPOC, first time proposals and voices of experience. Our aim is for a diversity of perspectives and we hope that this project will foster collaborations locally and internationally.

Proposals: ​email as a single document (word or pdf) to ​ by 5th February 2020.
People involved:
Photos or sketches:
Physical description: (including approx dimensions)
Indicative technical requirements: (including mounting requirements, if any) Short bios: (<100 words)
Primary contact details:

Funding:​ We are unfortunately not in the position to commission new works. We anticipate that as part of collaborative processes, external artists/students etc are paid through your institutional academic research funding. We are seeking funding to cover transport of artworks. The practicality of transport and staging will be a consideration in the jury process. The staging of the exhibition will be covered by the conferences with support from University of Bristol technicians.

Timeline:​ (deadlines all midnight, ​Anywhere on Earth Timezone​, except the exhibition itself, which has sensible hours and is in Bristol).

August 2019 Call for proposals
February 5th 2020 Proposals
February 15th 2020 Jury selection
March 30th 2020 Technical/H&S/legal requirements confirmation
May 15th Images/text supplied for catalogue
21st June Installation
22nd-27th June 2020 Exhibition
(note that there is a possibility of participatory production in the week before the conference).

Process after submitting proposal. ​ The works will be selected by a jury according to the contribution of the work to the theme and to curate a variety of messages and experiences in the exhibition. Practicality is also considered.

Quality assurance. ​ In addition to the jury process, both ICT4S and Limits have pictorial tracks2​ ,3​ which provide a route to a more traditional academic output if required. ACM Limits is archived on the ACM Digital Library.

- We want you to help us shape our upcoming exhibition, not just by contributing your artwork, but also your ideas on alternative ways to exhibit and engage with audiences - both the conference attendees and the public (and between).
- ICT4S will include participatory sketching as part of all conference activities
- ACM Limits will be a distributed conference with remote participation around main sites in Bristol UK and USC in Los Angeles California. We hope that some artworks will explore this distributed approach.
- The Art Exhibition will be held at the University of Bristol in the Bill Brown Conference Venue. The campus can also support outdoor artworks (within security and safety constraints). There are nearby busy pedestrian areas. The Bristol Museum and Art Gallery is next-door (to Wills and near to Bill Brown) with possible collaborative opportunities.
- While all possible care will be taken to return artworks, artists should be mindful to insure work or accept loss themselves
- Designing Interactive Systems in Eindhoven, Netherlands has an art exhibition. We are working with their organisers to partner with this exhibition which will be in early July.

Professor Samuel Mann Otago Polytechnic
Yael Zekara ​University of Bristol
Local organiser: Dr Simon Lock University of Bristol

Dr Miriam Sturdee, University of Lancaster
Professor Leoni Schmidt, Dunedin School of Art
Professor Bridie Lonie, Dunedin School of Art
Professor Eli B. Blevis, Indiana University Bloomington and Hong Kong Polytechnic University
Dawn Walker, University of Toronto
Dr Valentine Cadieux, Hamline University
Cal Egan, Edinburgh Napier University

1. Katja Budinger and Frank Heidmann. 2019. Our Symbiotic Life: An Exploration of Interspecies Relations. In Proceedings of the 2019 on Designing Interactive Systems Conference (DIS '19). ACM, New York, NY, USA, 1349-1362. DOI:​​ also
2. Eli Blevis. 2016. Being Photo-Visual in HCI and Design. In Proceedings of the 2016 ACM Conference on Designing Interactive Systems (DIS '16). ACM, New York, NY, USA, 983-995. DOI:
3. Shunying An Blevis, Eli Blevis, and Bonnie Nardi. 2019. All the Tea in China: Interaction Design Inspirations. In Proceedings of the 2019 on Creativity and Cognition (C&C '19). ACM, New York, NY, USA, 333-345. DOI:

Transforming mindsets Art Exhibition of ICT4S and ACM Limits Call [pdf]