Chronus Art Center (CAC)

2019 (Spring) Research and Creation Fellowship

Call for Proposals


Title: Observer Mechanics: Interfacing Truth

Call Type: Fellowship (US$10,000)

Application Deadline: All applications must be submitted electronically by 23:59 (Beijing Time), Sunday, March 31, 2019 via http://fellowship.chronusartcenter.org

Notification of Selection: Applicants will be informed about their application status by April 30, 2019.

Fellowship Starts: Between the end of May and early June 2019 (start dates negotiable with reason).



This year Chronus Art Center (CAC) opens its Lab for the new 3-month Research and Creation Fellowship. This program is designed to host one international artist and researcher of extraordinary talents in the area of new media art in order to conduct research and creation at Chronus Art Center (CAC), Shanghai. The 2019 Spring Research and Creation Fellowship aims to foster global exchange while advancing the discourse and practice of new media art, and contribute to CAC's research and educational mission as well as the institution's future collection.


<Observer Mechanics: Interfacing Truth >

The world is a form of impersonal interface naturally design to hide the ‘truth’ (that which is absolute and real). If we imagine a PC Desktop with its visual representations of the system (icons, images, audio, texts, software, etc.) we can easily understand how the graphic user interface only shows us what we need to see in order to be as efficient as possible while it hides the vast load of processes behind each operation. In order to delete a file, the user simply drags an icon (representing the file) and drops it into another icon (representing the trash bin), no need to manually shift millions of transistors inside the CPU. In this metaphor the ‘truth’ of the computer are the transistors switching from one state to the other as binary hardware operations, yet the user only gets to see a high level representation of the necessary transactions, an abstraction of the computer’s most fundamental ‘truth’. Similarly it seems that the mechanics of the brain, through perception, is only capable of rendering necessary forms and appearances (mental activities, thoughts, feelings, perceptions, a body and even a sense of self) for consciousness to operate in the most efficient ways, without dealing with the load of information which resides in the core of raw existence. Reality then seems to be an impersonal flow where consciousness interfaces with ‘truth’ in the most efficient way possible, and as a result the limited but efficiently rendered reality is what we call the ‘observable universe’. In other words, the universe seems to be an abstract and high-level representation where everything manifested is only a thin and limited layer of an apparent ‘truth’ rendered on the screen of consciousness; analogous to a 3D game rendering engine where all of it, the objects, actions, textures, sounds and even the programming language and the interface are made out of ‘digital stuff’.

Observer Mechanics: Interfacing Truth is a research and creation opportunity for artists working in and thinking of various fields of artificial intelligence such as: machine vision, natural language processing, cognitive computing, swarm intelligence, robotics, and any other forms of intelligent technological systems.



  • This fellowship is open to international artists and researchers of all nationalities.
  • Applicants should be able to use English as working language.
  • Applicants must not be currently enrolled in degree-granting academic programs, with the exception of PHD candidates who are aiming to develop technical work within the scope of the fellowship.
  • Applicants are expected to show demonstrable success in previous development of related projects at this scale.
  • Individuals and collectives are eligible to apply. In either case, please detail in your application how technical and creative responsibilities will be met.
  • Only proposals within the conceptual framework offered by MEDIATED REALITY: REVISED and which make strict use of the optical motion tracking system (described on the overview section of this document) will be considered for eligibility.

The selected Fellow will be expected to work at CAC's laboratory with the research and creation team on a range of activities including active contribution to the larger CAC community, collaborative partnership with other fellows, leading research initiatives, educational programs and public engagement, and developing current or future research areas for the organization. Projects, including prototypes, documentation, and work-in-progress, will be presented to the public at Chronus Art Center.



<CAC_LAB> is a space dedicated to the inquiry of present-day matters regarding art, design, science, technology and their impact on global contemporary culture and society. Through artistic practice, technological tools and research methodology, we enable creative processes that result in works of art of high production and academic value. <CAC_LAB> is a space of flux which encourages artistic practice as a generator of new knowledge, a territory where art and science converge into a contemporary and experimental field of academic research; free from mainstream cultural thought, technological stress and economical diversions.

More info at: http://lab.chronusartcenter.org

CAC: http://www.chronusartcenter.org/en/

Previous fellows: http://lab.chronusartcenter.org/fellowship/?lang=en



This Fellowship is a chance for international artists and researchers to engage and learn from the art, technological and entrepreneurial communities of Shanghai. The selected Fellow will be offered a total amount of USD$10,000 for a 3 month deep-immersion period; including artist fees, living expenses, and materials. In addition, our lab facilities and tools are available for the fellow's needs. These include but are not limited to: OPTITRACK motion capture system, Laser-cutter, 3D printer, band-saw, sander-belt, press drills, all sorts of hand tools, a variety of electronic components, Arduino, RaspberryPis, 2 Oculus Rift headset, Surface Mount Infrared soldering station, soldering irons and other prototyping tools.

For international Fellows, CAC is happy to provide necessary paperwork and advice to help expedite the process of securing his/her visa, travel and accommodation in Shanghai. All the expenses will be covered within the amount of the fellowship.

During the 3-month program, CAC will work closely with the selected Fellow to see his/her project realized and offer program support in developing work for performances, events, seminars, exhibitions, or other public and educational programming during the term of the Fellowship. CAC will also facilitate joint presentations alongside community partners, host conversations with the artists and display works in progress; revealing the creative process as it happens.



Please fill out the online application form and submit it with the necessary attachments via http://fellowship.chronusartcenter.org. No email submissions will be taken into account.



Applications will be reviewed and the final decision, including interviews, will be made by CAC's International Advisory Board comprised of leading scholars, artists and museum professionals. Acceptance is based on quality and visionary potential, and most importantly, the potential of the project proposal to contribute to CAC_LAB's broader research scope.

Applicants are also expected to show demonstrable success in previous development of related work at this scale. Successful applicants will outline clear goals, milestones and time-lines.

Please send further inquiries to fellowship@chronusartcenter.org