Open Call Details


Open from 
3rd November 2017, 11:15am AEDT to 2nd January 2018, 5:00pm AEDT
Results by 
12th March
Provisional Season Dates 
August to November

Science Gallery Melbourne is seeking proposals for up to 20 works for PERFECTION, an exhibition and public program aimed at young adults, that asks artists, designers and scientists - what does it mean to be perfect?


Science Gallery Melbourne is dedicated to the collision of art and science. The Gallery seeks proposals from artists of all disciplines, working in the science-art scene, or looking to extend their practice and collaborate with partners across the STEM sector.

About the exhibition:

From the precision and accuracy of mathematics and symmetry in design and architecture, to our quest for the perfect appearance, perfect match and the perfect photo filter - why do humans strive for perfection?

A wave of new science and technology allows us to modify, hack and transform our lives into our own personalised utopias. We can surgically modify our appearance, create perfect ways to communicate, build perfect cities, and live in ecological harmony with our environment. With growing cultural pressures to look perfect and live an ideal life, is striving for perfection a positive goal? Or is the imperfection of life already an ‘optopia’ – an optimal system that sustains life and creates diversity?

Through the lens of artists, musicians, mathematicians, architects, designers, psychologists and surgeons, Science Gallery Melbourne will explore what it means to pursue personal perfection in a non-perfect world.        

Potential directions and topics:

  • Does perfection exist?
  • What psychologically drives us to obtain perfection?
  • Symmetry, shapes and patterns
  • Ecological balance and symbiotic relationships
  • Mathematical algorithms and laws of physics
  • Utopian worlds and perfect political systems
  • Is it possible to create your own perfect life?
  • Imperfect bodies and body modification – plastic surgery, beauty, body building
  • Biohacking, genetic engineering, cloning, CRISPR and eugenics 
  • Perfect product design, perfect buildings and architecture
  • Virtual reality environments
  • Finding a perfect partner, robo-sex
  • Avatars, selfies, filters and the ideal digital self
  • Imperfection and errors
  • Fantasy, illusion and obsession
  • The fallacy of perfection


About Science Gallery Melbourne:

Science Gallery Melbourne is part of an international network of galleries with a common mission: to ignite creativity and discovery in young adults, where science and art collide.  This innovative national gallery aims to inspire young adults to pursue a career in the arts and sciences (STEAM) whilst connecting artists with a collaborative network in Melbourne, London, Dublin, Bangalore and Venice. The Melbourne gallery will open in 2020 as part of a new innovation precinct auspiced by The University of Melbourne.

In the lead-up to 2020, the Gallery is hosting pop-up programs at The University of Melbourne and with various cultural partners across Melbourne.  The Gallery’s first program BLOOD: Attract & Repel was held in 2017 (link to BLOOD site) included an exhibition of 22 hybrid artworks.



Proposals may be new or existing works, and will be funded up to a maximum budget of $7,000 AUD, which should include all artist fees, materials, equipment, shipping, travel etc. Please note that these are maximum amounts and we enthusiastically welcome proposals that come in below the maximum budget. We are happy to write letters of support for applicants seeking funding from elsewhere.


Curatorial Panel:  

Submissions will be assessed by a curatorial selection panel and may also be used for teaching purposes.

Dr Ryan Jefferies – Head of Programs, Science Gallery Melbourne
Rose Hiscock – Director, Science Gallery Melbourne
Prof. Elisabetta Barberio, School of Physics, The University of Melbourne

Additional advisors to be announced soon


What makes a good Science Gallery open call proposal?

Strong proposals will match Science Gallery’s three core aims to Connect, Participate, and Surprise. Some tips for strong proposals:

  • We love works that invite the visitor to participate, create and discuss.
  • Great projects bring together art and science in a creative way. We generally avoid science that is evaluating art or paintings that didactically portray science.
  • ​Relevance to our core audience of 15 to 25-year-olds is a factor in all curatorial decisions.
  • Defying categories is good (“it’s kind of a hybrid sculpture, event, installation-puzzle, with a crowdsourced edible citizen-science archive, plus a performance component that will showcase a speculative future organism…”)
  • We have limited wall space, so we usually have more room for objects/sculptures.
  • A true connection to the theme is a must — avoid shoehorning an unrelated work.
  • ​Collaborations are great! Are you a cryptographer working with a cellist? Maybe you’re a comic book illustrator artist thinking of submitting a proposal with an immunologist? If you’re a marine geologist looking for a cheesemonger to work with, we might know just the person — get in touch and we will do what we can to help.



How/Where do I submit for this open call?

Hi Annabelle, thank you for your interest! Please click on 'How to Apply' at the top of the main page and you will find all the steps there. Please make sure to create a profile, and then you will be able to submit a proposal.

What are the submission requirements?

Once you create a profile and submission you'll need to include the project description, audience experience, budget, size, sound and any other info, plus a biography. Thanks and good luck