Convocatòria oberta per MEMBRANA – Residència artística per una aproximació crítica a la interfície

11:0212:02 h

Open calls, Residence

Key words: artistic research, visual arts, interface design, interface criticism, software studies, cultural studies, media theory, semiotics, open culture, participatory design, posthumanism, new materialism,.




The programme MEMBRANA – Residency For Artistic Interface Criticism aims to provide support to a visual artist interested in developing an artwork based on the concept of interface. The artist will develop his/her project during a six weeks residency at Hangar (Barcelona). He/she will also be invited to participate in the ongoing investigation of the PIPES_BCN research group which involves the drafting of a Critical Interface Manifesto.


We are looking for an artist with a critical approach to graphical or tangible interfaces willing to contribute to the research that we are carrying out through the materialisation of an artwork.


The artwork can be developed in any artistic media. We encourage artists to submit proposals that raise critical approaches to the main issues related to mediated culture through designed interfaces.

1. The context

PIPES_BCN is a research group composed of researchers from Hangar Center for Art Research and Production (Barcelona) and the UOC-Universitat Oberta de Catalunya (Open University of Catalonia) working  in the framework of the European project PIPES.


PIPES is a collaborative project of four European cultural associations: ZKM | Karlsruhe, CIANT (Prague), HANGAR (Barcelona) and BRAINZ (Prague). It involves Participatory Investigation of Public Engaging Spaces of communication with highly creative and technological ambitions. Within the project we will support intense interdisciplinary interactions among audiovisual media artists, communication specialists, scholars, architects, activists and the citizens with a goal to experiment with new models and symbolic means of communication. Special focus will be on a cognitive analysis of communication symbols and symbolic expressions leading to innovation in dynamic interactive tools and scenarios of expression and sharing.


PIPES_BCN aims to generate a common, transversal and critical state of the art about interfaces. More specifically, the research team of PIPES_BCN  is working on the development of an Interface Manifesto, aiming to give a conceptual frame to think critically about interfaces. We are interested in the ethical, political, aesthetic, semiotic and also pragmatic dimensions of interfaces, to rethink their design and models of use, and at the same time to create more collaborative and open interfaces.


Theoretical background


An interface is a contact surface, it  reflects the physical properties of the interactors, the functions to be performed, and the balance of power and control. This definition emphasises that Interfaces are never neutral spaces. However, interface design nowadays tends to hide the interface structure in order to be more user friendly and by doing that, the interface disappears and gives the illusion of neutrality. Thus, there is a need for a new set of methods and approaches to discuss the politics and the ideologies of interfaces.

Contemporary Art sometimes deal with interface. Mediation and remediation, creating unusual ways to access information, or reappropriation of existing interfaces are common practices in those fields. For example, some artists use existing digital platforms to perform, others hack them or use them in unconventional ways, and some create their own platforms with thought provoking interfaces. All of them question the interface in one way or another, raising awareness of its presence.

Critical Interface Manifesto

The Critical Interface Manifesto is a work in progress text that aims to collect the main ideas we are working on during the research process. We are focused on the ethics, politics, aesthetics, poetics, semiotics and pragmatics of interfaces because we consider these axes are crossing interface conceptualization, design, creation and development processes and thus these axes are crossing their interpretations and usages too. Also, we are working on controversial concepts such as collaboration, openness, transparency or symmetry, adding unresolved tensions to this field. We would like the project of the resident artist to propel a dialogue with the interface manifesto concepts and to contribute to the same goal from an artistic approach.

2. Objectives of the residency

The objectives of the residency are:

  • To support the creation of an artwork based on a critical approach to the concept of interface. This artwork can be developed in any artistic discipline.
  • To gain new contributions for the conceptual development of the Critical Interface Manifesto.

3. Eligible participants

Participation is open to all visual artists of all ages and nationalities and working in all media. Specially those interested in:

  • Interface reappropriation.
  • Open and Free culture.
  • Tangible User Interface, Graphical User Interface.
  • Questioning contemporary communication models and strategies.
  • Media studies.

4. Period of residence

The period of residence will be from the 15th of April to the 30th of May 2015 (six weeks).

5. Budget and amount of the grant

– Fees: 1500 euros (gross amount).

– Per diem: 600 euros (gross amount).

– Production costs: Up to 400 euros.

– Travel costs: Up to 700 euros.

– Accommodation and working space.

– Use of equipment.

– Technical advice.


The residency does not include insurance. It is mandatory that the artist has valid medical insurance for the period of residence.

6. Conditions

– The application must be submitted on the online form.

– Each artist should respond to the call with a single project.

7. Commitments of the selected artist

The selected artist will:

  • Contribute to the contents of the Interface Manifesto
  • Document the working process during the residency and make this information accessible once the residency is finished.
  • Give a presentation of his/her project during the residency period.
  • Register his/her project under an open license.

8. Selection procedure

The applicants must fill in the online form with the following information:

1. Personal details

Full Address (please include city and country)
Phone number
Repeat e-mail
Date of birth

2. Brief biography (500 characters including spaces)

3. Curriculum vitae (1500 characters including spaces).

4. Description of the project including:

Abstract of the project (500 characters)

Related tags (5)

Objectives (300)

Expected results (300)

Methodology (500)

How you are going to document the project (300)

Work plan (500)

Technical needs (300)



– The summary of the project must be submitted in English. Theother sections of the application can be submitted either in English, Spanish or Catalan. Applications which do not include the required information and/or exceed the extension limits will not be considered.

– The selection committee may contact the pre-selected artists for an interview.


9. Selection Committee

The Selection Committee is composed of:

2 representatives from Hangar.

2 representatives from the Open University of Catalonia.

1 representative of BAU, School of Design.

1 representative of the partners of the PIPES Consortium.


10. Assessment criteria

– The alignment of the proposal with the content of the open call.

– The capability of the project to contribute to the PIPES_BCN’s research field.

– A realistic assessment of the time and appropriateness of project objectives in the context and resources of Hangar.

– The artist’s career and background.

11. Calendar

Deadline for applications: The 10th of January 2015 at 00:00h (GMT +1).

Announcement of the results: Second half of January 2015.

Residency:  From the 15th of April to the 30th of May 2015 (six weeks).

12. For further information, please contact:

E-mail:  pipes(at)

Telephone: +34 93 308 40 41

MEMBRANA – Residency  For Artistic Interface Criticism is part of the activities organised by PIPES_BCN for the European project PIPES.


With the support of


Convocatòria oberta per MEMBRANA – Residència artística per una aproximació crítica a la interfície