Open Call Details


Open from 
3rd November 2017, 11:15am AEDT to 3rd January 2018, 1:00am AEDT
Results by 
12th March

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
Dr David Irving, Melbourne Conservatorium of Music
Terry Wu, Plastic Surgeon
Prof. Karin Verspoor,  Department of Computing and Information Systems, Melbourne School of Engineering


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.

Hi- can you provide a timeline for the exhibition inc installation and exhibiting period -thanks

Hi Maria, the exhibition runs from mid-August - early November. Dates are currently being confirmed. The installation will begin first week of August. 

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

I saved a partly done submission a few days ago. Could you direct me to where/how I can load my draft please?

Hello Stacey, you should be able to view your drafts on the left hand side in my submissions, once you log on to the open call website. Let us know if you have any further issues

Is there anyway to upload additional support material to the application. I have a PDF with information, not just a video and single image?

Hi Rose - you can't do this through the open call site, but feel free to email it to with your application number in the subject line. 

Is there an option to atach additional support material? I have a PDF I'd like to include.

Hello. I have 2 different ideas I would like to submit. Do I submit two separate expressions of interest or put them on one submission?

Hi Grazia, please do two seperate applications for your ideas. We look forward to seeing them. 

Hello. I would like to include a sound file as part of my application as it forms a key part of the project. Is this possible? Thank you for your assistance. Sarah

Hello Sarah. If you are unable to attach to the open call, you can send through to, please include your application number in the subject line. 

Hi there, some of the information provided was a bit generic, so can you clarify the location of the actual exhibition and how much wall space will be available for hanging 2-D works. Also how important is it that the works have audio or can be interactive with young people? And are these works acquired and if not will collection be directly after the exhibition finishes in November? Thanks for your help.

Hi Beric, the gallery space is yet to be announced, but it has significant room for hanging 2D works. It is not necessary for the works to have interactive elements. The Curatorial Advisory Panel, will select a variety of works from different mediums and will be assessed on their relevance to the theme, the art/science nature of the work, and the relevance to the audience. The works are not acquired. Collection can be coordianted directly following the exhibition. Best wishes for your application


I understand that you have some technical gear used for exhibits. Do you have (or have access to) a back-lit wall or back-lit display options for artwork that's on clear film or back lit film? Thank you.

Hi Trinley, most kinds of equipment/spaces can be sought out if the work is selected for the exhibition. Please include the details of your requirements in your submission if you can. 


Good morning, I would like to send a proposal to this programme in format of a PowerPoint Presentation, including text and multiple images. Would this be possible?

Kind regards


Hi Chiara - please feel free to export your presentation slides as images and upload as part of your submission. Many thanks



Are there restrictions or guidelines regarding nudity / graphic content etc?

Hi Holly-Jane - we do not have any restrictions regarding content. Many thanks


Hi, Can items, such as speakers, be mounted from the ceiling?


Hi Daniel - mounting speakers in the gallery is possible

Hi there.. I am in the process of submitting and am intending to do the written proposal but I do have a (less-than-2 minute)  video which will greatly enhance my application. Can I just upload that in the space provided in the online application? Thank you. Steven

Hi Steven - videos can be uploaded or a link can be provided for an existing video (for example, already uploaded to youtube or vimeo). Many thanks


I have just submitted my proposal for the exhibition. The closing time and date stated on the website is Jan 2, 5pm. However, when i was submitting at 1130am, I've noticed that the call has closed but the stated closing time and date was still Jan 2, 5pm. I was wondering if that would affect my application? Thanks!

Hello Jue, you should still be able to submit your application. The open call has been extended until 11pm. 

I have just submitted my proposal to PERFECTION open call. I would like to send to a PowerPoint Presentation file with more comprehensive visual material. You mentioned to include the application number in the subject line. Where can I find the application number? 

Kind regards

Hi Chiara, your number is 4782

Best wishes