INCA launches an open call for proposals for the INCA EXHIBITION: Big Tech and Counter-Technologies

20 May 2024 By

We are pleased to announce an open call for projects exploring themes of Big Tech and Counter-Technologies. Big Tech and Counter-Technologies is an artistic-research structure and grant commencing in June 2024. The initiative will support projects that engage the impact of technology on shaping material, political and affective cultures. “The tech giants,” companies such as Google, Amazon, Meta, Apple, and Microsoft, are primary players in shaping the spatial, philosophical and cultural infrastructures of our time. Big Tech is increasingly orienting consumer habits and libidinal desire, sorting commodity flows, and forming spaces for capitalist production and re-production. From microchips to AI-generate images to pixelated environments, Big Tech is not only affecting mainstream forms of production and consumption, but the the emotions, aesthetics and architectures driving such habits. How can we develop practices, vocabularies, and imaginaries for articulating cyber subjectivities formed in and through the asymmetrical extraction of lands, bodies and information? At the core of tech’s integration comes the possibility of re-formations, of hackability, of glitch and counter-practices. This project seeks to generate and form research on such counter-practices toward expanded, fundamentally egalitarian tech protocols.

Selected projects will be provided with financial support, as well as multiple contexts to exhibit their research and findings. This open call is extended within the context of the INCA project, and the exhibition(s) will be co-curated by Into the Black Box and Carmen Lael Hines, who will work in close intellectual collaboration with selected projects that seek to explore the impact of Big Tech on the production of culture, space, and methodologies for alternative political imaginings. The selected projects will be curated into at least two exhibitions as well as a publication by the curators, who will also work in close collaboration with selected artists in developing their projects.  

We invite submissions from both independent practitioners and collectives, stemming from the fields of art, design, architecture, research, and critical theory. We encourage applications that take on innovative interpretations of what cultural, political, and spatial production entail with a nuanced understanding of data, technology, and their infrastructural implications. We also encourage practices that take on a multi-dimensional understanding of Big Tech, with its affective, material, and structural effects. We also strongly encourage projects that take on class, decolonial, and gender-sensitive perspectives to show the inequalities of Big Tech and its impacts on societies. 

The curatorial team suggests proposals which take on experimental methodologies, with particular attention to collaborative, participatory methods. The works will need to be research-based and adaptable to at least two exhibition formats and exist in a medium that is easily transportable from one location to another. Candidates should be interested in engaging in discursive exchange with other practitioners on the research questions motivating their work and potentially working collectively to co-develop their ideas. 

Details of the call 
We are searching for project ideas and proposals rather than already finished works. At a starting stage, proposers are requested to submit concepts, alongside a plan for the potential implementation of said projects. The projects should shed innovative insights on the subject of Big Tech and Counter-Technologies. Ideally, alongside addressing critical issues, proposals should engage speculative potentialities and alternatives. 

Chosen proposals will be invited to participate in a one-week residency in October 2024 in Bologna, Italy. During this residency, accommodation, working space, and meals will be fully covered. The purpose of the residency will be to support discursive exchange amongst participants in close collaboration with the Department of Arts of the University of Bologna. It will also serve as a team for the participants to develop their ideas in dialogue with the curators, to elaborate the production of the project. 

Projects will be exhibited at least in two curated exhibitions in separate locations, the first of which will take place in Bologna in September 2025–October 2025. The second iteration will take place in February 2026 in Madrid, Spain. 

Selected practitioners will be offered an artist fee of 1,200 euros, as well as a production budget between 1,000–3,000 euros to realize their project. Full travel costs and accommodation for the exhibitions, as well as one-week residency, will also be covered. 

Submission deadline: June 23, 2024, 5pm CET. The following documents must be sent as PDF documents with a maximum size of 15 MB to

–written proposal (max. one A4 page) in English based on a theoretical perspective or conceptual inputs. 
–photos/sketches of potential implementations of the ideas
–budget estimate including foreseen production costs, requirements and needed media equipment (1,000–3,000 euros)
–CV (max. one A4 page).
–Portfolio/CV of previous work

The curators of the show will evaluate the submitted concepts and make a pre-selection. Pre-selected project ideas will be invited to an online interview in early July 2024. Final acceptances will be communicated by the middle of July 2024.

For further information, please contact