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Deadline for commissioned proposals: September 30
Deadline for general proposals: October 19
The Ammerman Center at Connecticut College seeks submissions for its 2016 Biennial Symposium for Arts and Technology being held February 25-27, 2016 at Connecticut College. The aim of the symposium, now in its 30th year, is to create a forum for multi-disciplinary dialogue at the intersection of arts, technology and contemporary culture. The symposium brings artists and researchers from a wide range of fields together to engage, interact and share ideas as they present new works, research and performances in a variety of formats. Featured events include a keynote address by Natalie Jeremijenko, several commissioned multi-disciplinary works, panel discussions and paper presentations, workshops, gallery exhibitions, music concerts, installations, screenings, public interventions and live media performances. Newly commissioned works will be presented alongside selected works by symposium participants.
This year, the symposium theme is “Open All Ports”. Ports, as physical places, demarcate points of passage such as arrival and departure, entry and exit. Historical New London, the host city for the Symposium, is a prime example of such a port. Virtual ports (such as network and computer ports) undergird our digital connectivity. We now exist in an era in which we attempt to balance access, information, security, privacy and freedom. Ports have gained newfound significance, no longer understood solely as traffic nodes, but as points of a larger exploration and reflection on connectivity and sharing. As such, they lead us to a revealing diversity of perspectives that range from corporeality to virtuality, and from empowerment to vulnerability.
In working at the crossroads of technology, the arts and the humanities, one often encounters calls to openness, alongside some real issues that this very openness engenders. In making “Open All Ports” the theme of this symposium, we ask: What if, once all the points of connection were made available, new linkages could indeed take place? New representations, previously unseen, were afforded the platform for visibility and voice? New and unknown interfaces, realized? All the “big data” was completely unfiltered, flowing in all directions? What are the implications of all source code being open?
We encourage and invite participating artists, theoreticians and researchers to relate their work to this theme or to an expanded context.


Proposals for new, original, multi-disciplinary works will be accepted for a "Commissioned" category. Each project must be created by a team consisting of two or more members, and must combine at least one area of creative expression with a major technology component: whether as subject matter, medium, tool or environment. We anticipate awarding a total of 2 to 3 commissions of $3000, and we encourage proposals that incorporate the symposium theme. The selected teams will be granted a weeklong residency leading up to the symposium including a presentation, student involvement and completion of the accepted work. Commission guidelines are available at The proposed project must not have been previously published, performed or exhibited in its current form. Awards will be granted at the discretion of the Program Committee. Submissions not accepted for the commissioned category may also be reviewed for the general submissions category upon request of the submitting team.


The Ammerman Center seeks art and writing projects reflecting on and making use of current developments in the areas of science, technology, and techno-culture in creative and critical ways, with preference for works addressing the symposium theme of Open All Ports as described above. Categories of submission include: Visual and Hybrid Art and Design, Screen Based Art, Music and Sound, Dance, Theater and Performance, Paper presentations, Workshops and Demos, and Panel proposals.
In keeping with the symposium theme, artists from the northeast region are especially encouraged to apply.
All submissions will be completed online at  Every submission should include related media files and the following in a single pdf document:
- names of proposers, their affiliations
- one-page description of the work
- presentation format and a list of accompanying media
Please see the submission page for additional criteria, acceptable formats and limits on file size.


Scholarly work and reports on ongoing research or artwork, as well as position papers raising original and provocative theoretical or practical discourses and questions. Papers should address scholarly work in areas related to arts and technology including but not limited to the topics listed above.

A two-page extended abstract or complete paper must be submitted by the due date. Upon acceptance, a revised 4-8 page paper must be submitted as a PDF for publication in the Symposium Proceedings. All rights will remain with the author. Paper authors will give oral presentations during the paper sessions.

Panels and Special Sessions

Proposals for special sessions and panel discussions are encouraged and some papers may be grouped into sessions thematically. Such proposals should include topic, description and names of possible panelists/ contributors. These special sessions should strive to address the theme and have potential to engage a wide audience.

Workshops and Demos

Technology demonstrations and hands-on workshop submissions in all forms of media are welcome. These could include presentation of approaches to creative use of technology, newly emerging technologies and collaborative project development. Demonstrations can be part of specific projects and could be formatted to solicit feedback from the audience. For demonstrations we assume that the presenters will provide necessary equipment and material.

The proposed activity should be outlined in a one-page abstract and include duration, tools, software/hardware, lighting, power and desk/wall space requirements. 

Visual and Hybrid Art and Design

Potential media includes the full range from drawings and objects to responsive environments, bio-art, kinetics, audio, video and hybrid installations, as well as socio-eco design including experimental architecture, object and environmental interventions. Works that challenge disciplinary boundaries are specifically encouraged. Selected works will be presented in a group exhibition at the Hygienic Art Gallery in New London, with the potential for site specific installations on campus or in New London. New multi-disciplinary works may be submitted to the Commissions and Residency category (see above). Complex projects may be presented in a paper and/or panel presentation, with a smaller work in the exhibition.
Submissions  are limited to two per artist and must include a one-page description/abstract of the work for presentation at the symposium, technical rider if needed, and relevant visual materials. Series of smaller works may be considered as one submission.

Performing Arts: Dance, Theater, and Performance Art

Dance compositions, theater works and performance art pieces that incorporate technologies in meaningful ways are being solicited for performances, live demonstrations or for digitally recorded presentations.
Also of interest are proposals for workshops, demonstrations of software for dance or theater notation, choreographic analysis, interactive studies and/or multimedia studies of performance in dance and theater. Acceptance of performances will depend on financial considerations as well as technical and space needs.
Submissions must include a one-page description/abstract, technical rider, complete technical, performance and spatial needs, plus digital media that show the work under consideration.

Music/Sound Performances

Music submissions (including composition, performance, theory, interactivity, algorithmic approaches, signal processing) are encouraged. The type of works to be submitted could take one of many forms including works for live instruments with electronic sounds and/or digital media, voice, interactive performances, live laptop improvisations, works for customized or hand-made electronics, or pieces for electronic sounds alone. Submissions may span the entire range from live performance to "tape only" works; all works representative of any of the rich array of approaches, styles, and media possible within electroacoustic musics are welcome. Works under 15 minutes will receive preference. Musicians, dancers and actors may be available for live performance pieces. Two spaces will be available for performances and/or presentations of submitted works: a concert hall on campus at Connecticut College, as well as a smaller, black box / alternative venue in downtown New London.
Submissions are limited to two per artist (composer, composer-performer, improviser, sound artist) and each submission must include a one-page description/abstract, complete technical, equipment and performance needs, what the artist will provide (i.e. laptop with customized software, hand-made electronics), indication of who will be performing (artist, additional musician/performer, fixed media playback), and accompanying scores/recordings as appropriate.

Screen Based Work: Video, Film and Animation

We invite submissions of short screen-based video, film or hybrid works. Submissions may span a range of formats, from experimental, to documentary, video-essay, narrative short or new hybrid forms intended for onscreen viewing. (For other types of presentation such as live cinema or installation see previous categories.)
Submissions are limited to two per artist, and must include a one-page synopsis, duration, preferred screening format, credits and link (or uploaded file) to view the submission online. Series of smaller works may be considered as one submission.


Paid registration for participants is required.

Graduate students and emerging artists may apply for reduced rates through our Emerging Artist Fellowship Program.

Ammerman Emerging Artist Fellowship Program

This new initiative is designed to assist regional emerging visual artists and graduate students in reduced conference rates for the Ammerman Biennial Symposium.

The Ammerman Center seeks to award artists/scholars who demonstrate excellence in their work, and a commitment to their careers and artistic communities. Applicants need to submit a resume and statement of engagement with the conference event. Recipients will have the opportunity to build connections with conference participants and stay connected to the Ammerman Center community through future projects and events.


Sept. 30, 2015: Commission Submission Deadline
Oct. 19, 2015: Commission Acceptance Notification
Oct. 19, 2015: General Submission Deadline
Nov. 23, 2015: General Acceptance Notification
Jan. 18, 2016: Final Paper (pdf) Submission Deadline
Feb. 21, 2016: Start of Residencies for Commissioned Works
Feb. 25, 26 and 27, 2016: Symposium at Connecticut College


Important Dates

Sept. 30, 2015: Commission Submission Deadline

Oct. 19, 2015: Commission Acceptance Notification

Oct. 19, 2015: General Submission Deadline

Nov. 23, 2015: General Acceptance Notification

Jan. 15, 2016: Final Paper (pdf) Submission Deadline

Feb. 21, 2016: Start of Residencies for Commissioned Works

Feb. 25, 26 and 27, 2016: Symposium at Connecticut College