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Published by BARONMAG

Impakt is calling for curatorial proposals for the Impakt Festivals in 2018 and 2019.

The Impakt Festival is the annual culmination of Impakt’s activities as an organisation that focuses on critical media culture: a five-day, multi-media festival with film screenings, conferences, talks, performances, exhibitions, and presentations. Founded in 1988, the Impakt Festival takes place every autumn in the city of Utrecht, The Netherlands.

Curatorial proposals can be submitted by curators individually or collectively and should revolve around a single, main theme. There are two options for this call:

  • GIVEN THEMES – You may propose a program revolving around the themes Post Truth?, The Interface and Free, value without money. More information is available below.
  • OPEN THEME – You may choose your own subject but the proposal needs to fit with the general mission of Impakt.

Impakt presents critical and creative views on contemporary media culture. We examine issues around society, digital culture, and media from various angles and within a range of disciplines in the arts, science, and technology. In our festival, we analyze how technological developments influence society. We show how artists respond to the risks and chances the developments bring.

Impakt strongly calls for proposals that display an affinity with media culture, an interdisciplinary approach and a wide spectrum of views—avoiding an all-too-singular stance on the politics of the issues raised. We ask for proposals that include thought-provoking approaches and original formats. The nature of proposed programmes and subjects can range from speculative futurist ideas, popular culture, new ideas about our digital landscape, to the Internet, off stream culture in visual arts and the innovative and alternative use of technology.

Submission dates
Deadline: 15 July 2017
Notification selected proposals: 1 August 2017

How to apply?

The proposal consists of three elements:

1) Outline of the theme

Your application should expand on the suggested topic and possible sub-themes. It outlines its relevance, your general approach to it and suggestions as to how it can be addressed in a festival exploring media culture, arts and technology. It should express why your theme is topical, in need of exploration, and how it may contribute to the current discourse in the media, popular culture, academia and the arts.

2) A curatorial proposal for the programme

A proposal can contain suggestions for a full festival programme, including screenings, a conference, an exhibition, performance and other alternative formats. It is also possible to send proposals for just one programme element of the festival, for instance a screening programme or a program with panels and talks. The proposal should include a preliminary listings of artists, speakers, collaborations with other organisations, et cetera. Curators are encouraged to add new innovative programme formats and out-of-the-box approaches.

3) A recent, proper CV of the curator(s) involved in the application.

In addition to these mandatory elements you have the option to add:

4) Ideas for events and projects leading up to the festival. This may contain additional ideas for presentations, subthemes, experimental events, local connections and residencies.

Submission requirements

Please note the following.

– A proposal contains a minimum of 3 pages, and ideally has about 10 pages (pictures and CVs not included).

– Impakt handles submissions in discretion. Listed artists and speakers need not be confirmed. Where possible or relevant, do state your existing connections to the listed artists, collaborators or guests to outline the feasibility of the suggested plans.

Proposals can be sent as documents or PDFs containing images and links, to [email protected]

About Impakt

Past Impakt Festival themes have included: Capitalism Catch-22 (2013), Soft Machines (2014), The Future of the Past (2015) and Authenticity? (2016). More details about previous festival themes can be found here.

The 2017 Impakt Festival takes place from 25 October – 29 October 2017 and is themed Haunted Machines & Wicked Problems.


You may propose a program revolving around the themes Post-Truth?, The Interface and Free, value without money:

Post Truth? – How did we end up with a defeatist concept like Post-Truth? The Internet, social media and new communication technologies have a great potential to support an open, diverse and stable democracy. Yet we find ourselves confronted with alternative facts, conspiracy theories, filter bubbles, and a decline in the quality of news and journalism. What are the structural and systemic causes that brought about these recent phenomena? How do technological mechanisms and societal change interact? And how can we use the potential of contemporary and future media to create a positive approach to information, facts and opinions?

Free – On the exchange of value without money. If we give or receive something for free, what do we get in return, if it isn’t money? What, other than financial incentives, motivates people to engage in value exchange involving their time, work, energy or other goods considered rare? From cultures of giving inspired by religion or ideology to political views on the welfare state, to more recent models like the sharing economy and business models for the digital networked age and all the “free” services available online today.

The Interface – On the present and the future of communication between humans and technology. With the potential of technology growing faster than we ever imagined it, the possibilities we find to efficiently interact with increasingly intelligent tools will determine the new frontier. What are the perspectives for the near and not so near future? How can wider and more abstract interpretations of the concept of what an interface is help us to see new possibilities?