Work Upside Down

We’re looking for artists who want to explore how work will look like in the future. If you want to head on this journey with us, read all the information below and apply until 2nd of March 2021.

Through their proposals, artists are invited to imaginatively respond and reflect on various aspects of the future of work theme, such as (but not limited to) the future workplace, work rituals in a highly automated industry, new jobs, skills and work tools, and currencies of the future. Subjective, highly fictional interpretations of an immediate or very remote future are welcome.

Work Upside Down is an activity within the Cluj Future of Work project co-financed by the European Regional Development Fund through the Urban Innovative Actions Initiative.

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What we are interested in?

Artworks that offer visual and immersive/interactive representations of the world of work in the future. The artworks should embody elements of Stuart Candy’s idea of an Experiential Future.

Artistic formats could include

  • Installations – Physical Narratives, Context Aware Narratives
  • Performative events – Future Pre-Enactments, Storytelling, Theatre play
  • Writing – Docu-fiction
  • Audio-video works
  • Design Fiction objects
  • Artifacts from possible futures
  • Reverse time capsules
  • Diegetic prototypes

The artworks are publicly presented during the Work Upside Down exhibition to be hosted by a local museum or cultural venue with the aim to facilitate wider communication, awareness and reflection on the changes that will impact work in the future.

The artistic projects are expected to be ready by the end of August 2021 and officially presented within the Future of Work festival (October – November 2021).

Who can apply?

Artists with an EU fiscal residency, as private persons*.

*If a group wants to apply with a project, a designated member of the group must apply in their name and if selected receive the grant.

Imagine how the future of work will look like

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Objectives

  • We seek art projects taking the transition of the work ecosystem as inspiration and centerpiece.
  • The role of the art projects is to communicate to a wider audience (the general public, people working in the approached sectors, researchers, media, decision-makers, etc.) about the transformations that the work ecosystem could face in the future. The artistic medium not only facilitates an accessible way to communicate scientific data on work, but it also provides experiential contexts enabling reflection, critical thinking and imagination, all necessary for individuals to be able to adapt and respond to the emerging realities of the work market.
  • Artistic communication allows the overstating of a case, the embedding of flights of fancy into the everyday mundane, the merging of the absurd and the banal. Only then will the audience be able to think beyond “business as usual” and to imagine new forms of the usual, new forms of business, busyness and activity.

Possible transitions could include

  • socio-ecological transformation of society and the economy;
  • new economic forms and structures, parallel economies;
  • examining assumptions of our work and economy: e.g. the idea that land can be owned and sold;
  • debate & discussion about decoupling work & pay;
  • (cultural) work in the context of climate change;
  • the merging of eco-nomy and eco-logy;
  • (cultural) work in the context of digitalization & automation (technological unemployment);
  • debates around “re-framing/re-defining” the value of work.

Submitted art projects must:

  • We seek art projects taking the transition of the work ecosystem as inspiration and centerpiece.
  • The role of the art projects is to communicate to a wider audience (the general public, people working in the approached sectors, researchers, media, decision-makers, etc.) about the transformations that the work ecosystem could face in the future. The artistic medium not only facilitates an accessible way to communicate scientific data on work, but it also provides experiential contexts enabling reflection, critical thinking and imagination, all necessary for individuals to be able to adapt and respond to the emerging realities of the work market.
  • Artistic communication allows the overstating of a case, the embedding of flights of fancy into the everyday mundane, the merging of the absurd and the banal. Only then will the audience be able to think beyond “business as usual” and to imagine new forms of the usual, new forms of business, busyness and activity.

How to apply

Read the Rules and Regulations of the Competition.

Fill in the Application Form until the 2nd of March 2021.

About the selection

The applications will be evaluated by a jury consisting of members of CCC and Time`s Up Association (link) as co-curators of the Work Upside Down Exhibition.

The applicants may be contacted by the Jury for a clarifying discussion between 8th-10th of March 2021.

The final results of the selection will be announced and communicated to all applicants by the 16th of March 2021.

The selection criteria for the art projects are:

  • Project`s relevance for the objectives and concept of the competition;
  • Feasibility of the project in the time and budget limit;
  • Artistic quality of the project proposal.

Useful things to know:

  • You can apply for a total sum between 3.000 and 6.500 euro that covers: artist fees, production costs, withholding tax on artists fees.
  • You can request the reimbursement of artwork transport costs (both ways) within the limit of 400 euro .
  • We will cover board and lodging for 1 person to take part at the exhibition. Details will be discussed later on.

Show us how you see the future of work!

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Timeline

2.03.2021 Deadline for submission
16.03.2021 Announcement of the results
22.03-7.04.2021 Contracting and guiding discussions with the curators
8.04-31.08.2021 Artworks production phase
10.09.2021 Delivery of Artworks
1.10-30.11.2021 Work Upside Down Exhibition

Organisers & financing

Cluj Future of Work is an initiative of the Urban Innovation Unit in Cluj-Napoca, created by the Cluj Cultural Centre in partnership with the Center for Innovation and Civic Imagination of the Municipality of Cluj-Napoca.

The project is co-managed by the Municipality of Cluj-Napoca and Cluj Cultural Centre in a consortium with eight other local organizations: Art and Design University of Cluj-Napoca, Cluj IT Cluster, Intercommunity Development Association Cluj Metropolitan Area (ADI ZMC), Transylvania Creative Industries Cluster, Transylvanian Furniture Cluster, Transilvania International Film Festival, Transylvania IT Cluster, ZAIN Transylvanian Creativity Festival.

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