Open Call: Emotional AI

Deadline: April 30, 2019

A screenshot in which a person is captured by facial recognition software.

Empathic machines, social robots, affective agents – the ZKM | Hertz-Lab calls on sound artists and composers to apply for a one-month cross-genre residence at the ZKM | Hertz-Lab with project proposals for new artistic strategies in dealing with affective technologies.

The submitted project proposals should deal with emotions in human-machine interaction based on sound art or electroacoustic composition and build an interdisciplinary bridge to Emotional Artificial Intelligence, Affective Computing or neuroscience.

Today, affective computer technologies can record the emotional states of users via sensors, microphones and cameras and react quasi empathetically. Algorithms used in text mining can also recognize the emotional mood in news, reviews and articles. Sensors worn directly on or even in the body also provide data on experienced emotions, which can be further processed medically, artistically or technologically. Emotions – the fundamental distinction between man and machine – are digitized, while at the same time a more intuitive, quasi-human handling of the computer develops.

The content of artistic project proposals should address the aforementioned areas of affective computing, emotional artificial intelligence or neuroscience and be feasible during the one-month residency period. The technical infrastructure of the ZKM | Hertz-Lab is available to all guest artists for the realization. The residence must be completed by December 2019. A presentation of the resulting works at the ZKM is planned, but cannot be guaranteed.

Two scholarships, each endowed with 1,500 €, will be awarded. As part of an artist residency at the ZKM | Hertz-Lab, the selected artists will work on their project ideas and sketches over a period of one month and realize a new artistic work. During the one-month scholarship period, at least two weeks of residence in Karlsruhe is compulsory. Travel costs will be covered up to an amount of 400 €. Accommodation costs will be covered up to an amount of 500 €.

Conditions of participation

The following is required for the application:

  • Short summary of the project idea (max. 1000 characters incl. spaces)
  • Project description stating the required technical infrastructure and possible residence times (max. 5000 characters incl. spaces)
  • Short biography (max. 1000 characters incl. spaces) plus contact details
  • Portrait photo (min. 300 dpi, specify picture credits)

Applications can be sent by e-mail to up to and including 30.04.2019 in a single PDF file of up to 5 MB. Please upload possibly accompanying audio, image and video material online to a file hosting service of your choice and include the non-expiring download link in your application email.

If you have any questions, please contact

The Artist-in-Residence Program »Emotional AI« is part of the »INTERFACES« project and is co-funded by the Creative Europe Program of the European Union.