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OPEN CALL - NEW NOW Festival for Digital Arts


As part of NEW NOW, the new festival for Digital Arts on Zollverein, we are looking for digital works for our Virtual Festival and for artistic-scientific contributions for our conference. Submit your works and ideas by April 18 and become part of #newnow21!

How do we want to shape our world? NEW NOW explores phenomena of our times and will take place for the first time on the Zollverein UNESCO World Heritage Site in Essen from August 27 to October 03, 2021. For five weeks, the landmark of the Ruhr area will be transformed into an open production site for Digital Arts: The festival accompanies artists in the development of their works and invites the public to actively contribute. The Digital Arts serve as a venue for speculation. Here, artists and participants alike have the freedom to imagine and test new visions for the present.

NEW NOW is phygital. It does not only take place physically at Zollverein, but also digitally. For our Virtual Festival, a unique "Art-in-Art" experience is being created: the Zollverein Coal Mine Industrial Complex is being digitally recreated – and at the same time augmented in terms of content and form. The UNESCO World Heritage Site is thus transformed into a digital work of art.
Under the title "ZECHE", participants can look forward to an aesthetic encounter between the historic buildings of the Zollverein Coal Mine Industrial Complex and a virtual museum. Digitalisation meets post-industrial culture, the past and the existing meet the future and the im-/possible. Particular emphasis is placed on community and collaboration. The virtual festival platform is interactive and globally accessible online for the duration of the festival.
You want to exhibit your work on the most beautiful virtual ZECHE worldwide? Then submit your digital works by taking part in our call!

As a discursive part of NEW NOW, an international and interdisciplinary conference will take place on September 18-19. Entitled "Another End is Possible", the conference will look at the interplay between humans, nature and technology.
While the world is becoming increasingly complex and the advance of technology is rapid, our environment is becoming more and more imbalanced. The end of the world seems to be approaching. Or has the end - the "doomsday" - already come, as some philosophers argue? Assuming we are already standing on the ruins of our society, how can we achieve a cooperative new start? How can we rethink our coexistence so that humans, biosphere and technology can coexist in the "New Now"?
We don't want to see the ruins of our world as the end, but as a beginning. Together with artists, activists, designers, coders, philosophers and interested minds, we will explore new models of society and dare to create a future worth living.
Do you also believe "Another End Is Possible"? We are looking forward to your contributions to the conference programme!

With NEW NOW we want to expand the sense of possibilities. As a festival for Digital Arts, NEW NOW also feeds on the exchange of disciplines and practices – from computer science to gaming, design, architecture, fashion and music to visual art. We are open to a wide range of ideas and look forward to being surprised by your contributions. We are particularly happy to receive submissions from people from the Ruhr region as well as the global south and we actively include new, non-conformist perspectives.

Below you will find a few specific thematic notes:
Virtual Festival
As the title indicates, NEW NOW focuses on the present. Accordingly, we are particularly interested in works that explore phenomena of the contemporary.
With "Another End Is Possible" we intend to explore utopian and dystopian, posthumanist and culturally rooted themes and turning points. We also want to promote sustainable decolonial, feminist, queer and post-capitalist forms of progress. The aim is to combine diverse approaches and formats and to offer an interdisciplinary, intersectional and international programme. In addition to lectures and workshops, we are specifically interested in artistic formats.

Virtual Festival
Digital artworks can be submitted in the form of 3D assets, image, video or sound files. Live performances or workshops are also possible (details and technical feasibility will be clarified on a case-by-case basis after a successful application).
Acceptable formats are:
- 3D Assets (fbx, obj, c4d, or Rhino data)
- Interactive 3D assests (must be delivered directly in Unreal Engine)
- Common image & video files
- Audio files
- Livestreams
We are looking for positions of artistic and/or artistic-scientific research and are open regarding the format – whether it be talks/panels, performances, rituals, workshops, audio-walks, readings, web-based applications or other experiments.



NEW NOW Festival for Digital Arts



Architecture, Visual Arts, Design, Film & Broadcast, Photography, Games & Interactive, Literature & Publishing, Fashion & Textile, Music

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