Open Call Details


Under Review
Open from 
3rd December 2019, 11:45am GMT to 31st January 2020, 11:45am GMT
Results by 
28th March

When we update a status, send a group message, or add a filter what are the processes that occur beneath the interface? Where is the cloud and who controls it? What is the environmental impact of our networked society? Who really owns our data? What is the impact of the individual parts that make up the whole? Have we designed a world of systems we control, or are they controlling us? 

In a time of heightened global crisis, the systems that shape our world are becoming increasingly fragile. While ecosystems are being destroyed, political processes are being manipulated, economic structures exploited and personal networks eroded, all of which are further exacerbated by our increased dependency on technological and automated systems. 

Yet how much do we really know of these systems? How are they all connected, and what are the infrastructures and networks upon which they are built? How do we find out? How can we navigate, probe, critique and challenge them?

This exhibition will explore the many different systems that form our contemporary networked society. We welcome proposals that highlight, investigate and test these systems, or offer alternative ones for an uncertain future.

We’re looking for artists, designers, technologists, activists, journalists (citizen, alternative and mainstream), hackers and pranksters, academics and engineers to propose exhibits, workshops, interventions or projects that will help us untangle the many complex systems, both visible and invisible, that surround us. 


Potential directions and topics: 

  • Alternative and imaginary systems: countercultures, subversive, DIY and DIWO
  • Critical takes on Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning, Neural Networks
  • Automated and Networked systems: Taking back control
  • Hidden infrastructures: Identification and investigation
  • Ecological systems
  • Biosystems 
  • Human centred design
  • Infrastructures of global trade and economy
  • Critical interrogations of black-boxed systems and artifacts
  • Network innovations including smart cities and 5G
  • Cybernetics 
  • Social justice and injustice: Infrastructures of migration and movement  
  • Surveillance capitalism
  • The politics of platforms and protocols
  • Mesh and low-power wide-area networks
  • Digital colonialism and data sovereignty 


Curatorial Panel:

Linda Doyle, Dean of Research and Professor of Engineering and The Arts, Trinity College Dublin

Sarah Grant, Artist, Educator, Founder and Co-Organizer of Radical Networks 

Francis Halsall, Co-Director Masters in Art in the Contemporary World, National College of Art & Design, Dublin

Joana Moll, Artist, Researcher and Co-founder of the Critical Interface Research Group at Hangar (BCN)

Ciaran O’Neill, Ussher Assistant Professor in Nineteenth-Century History and Community Liaison Officer, Trinity College Dublin


What makes a good Science Gallery Dublin open call proposal?

We are especially looking for projects that match Science Gallery Dublin’s three core aims:

to Connect, Participate, and Surprise.

Some tips for strong proposals:

  • We love works that invite the visitor to participate, create, critique and discuss
  • Great projects bring together art and science in a creative way. We generally avoid paintings about science or science that is evaluating art.
  • Relevance to our core audience of 15-25 year olds is a factor in 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 influence our design for a speculative organism…”)
  • Works can be playful or serious — most themes have room for both
  • 2D is nice, but 3D is usually nicer.  We don’t have a lot of wall space for screens, prints and the like, so we often opt for the actual object instead of just a picture of it
  • 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 — just get in touch!


Proposals may be new or existing works, and will be funded up to a maximum budget of €2000, which should include all artist fees, VAT, 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.



SYSTEMS is due to open in Science Gallery Dublin in June 2020 and run until September 2020.


Residency & Commission:

In early 2020 we will open an international open call for a residency programme to commission a piece for SYSTEMS. For more information please contact Lead Researcher Paul O'Neill: and keep an eye on our website and social media platforms.


Dear Science Gallery,

I saw in the application form that there is the possibility of uploading a video application. If the outcome  of the project is relying on video as a medium, can I use this menu to upload a video of the possible outcome of the project, and then describe the project in words in the subsequent menus for the application?

Hi Chiara

Many thanks for your question.  Yes, you can do as you describe.

Kind regards,


Hi, just wonderig when the systems exhibition is programmed to take place?

Many thanks



Hi Anne,

Many thanks for your question. 

SYSTEMS will run from June 18th until the end of September 2020. 

Kind regards,


I know the deadline is fast approaching but I have been working on some ideas and am almost ready to submit something. 

Systems thinking, living systems, ecological economics, complex adaptive systems, and Permaculture (ecological design) are topics that have been core to our work for over 20 years. 

In fact 20 years ago, in Temple Bar we held a week long festival called Convergence with these topics as themes. It brought together artists, academics and activists in conversation, there were performances and all sorts of workshops and we screened films in the IFI, including Mind Walk, the dramatisation of Fritjof Capra’s important work on systems thinking.

Would it be possible to have a chat sometime in the next few days? 

Hi Davie, 

Many thanks for your message and interest in the SYSTEMS Open Call. 

Feel free to get in touch with me at to discuss your submission further. 

Kind regards,


Hi Science Gallery Team,

I am working on my submission and this is my first time so Im a bit out of my depth. With the budget, do you happen to have information on what is required and also what VAT that I would have to pay ?(im irish but living in germany) They would be scultpures so it should be 13.5% but hiring of artwork is 23%

I may get the sculptures 3D printed in Ireland which adds to confusion. Do i have to register for tax? I would be grateful for any help,



Hi - I have a few logistical questions (especially concerning international applicants)...

1) Are there any plinths or other display solutions available to use in the venue?

1b) Is there any possibility of suspending objects from the ceiling?

2) Should our budget include international shipping back to us once the exhibition is over?

Hi Martin,

Thank you for your query. Answers below

1 & 1b. Yes to both

2. Please include an indication of shipping costs in your submission. We have budget allocated for shipping so where possible make this available for return shipping.

best wishes