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Science Gallery at Trinity College Dublin, Ireland is seeking proposals for an upcoming major exhibition and festival HACK THE CITY

Call Opens: Monday 5 December
Call Closes: Friday 20 January
Exhibition duration: 22.6. 2012 – 7.9. 2012
Festival dates: 11-15 July 2012

Calling all hackers, makers, doers, data nerds, hobbyists, artists, citizen scientists, tech geeks, activists, edgy engineers and DIY urban planners...

Science Gallery is seeking proposals for its 2012 flagship exhibition HACK THE CITY launching in June 2012. HACK THE CITY is curated by Teresa Dillon - Lead Curator/Researcher & artist, Linda Doyle - Director of CTVR, Josh Klein - TED Speaker and author of Hacking Work, Martin Kelly - IBM Venture Capital Group and Michael John Gorman - Director of Science Gallery.

Currently more than half of the world’s population lives in towns and cities. This trend is expected to continue. Between 2025-2030 of the approximate 8 billion people who will live in the world 5 billion will live in cities. Yet the majority of our city infrastructures are based on inherited historical layouts and systems.

Science Gallery’s 2012 flagship exhibition and festival HACK THE CITY will rethink our cities from the ground up through the spirit and philosophy of the hacker ethos - to bend, mash-up, tweak and cannibalise our city systems, to create possibilities, illustrate visionary thinking and demonstrate real-world examples for sustainable urban futures. It will capitalize on Dublin city’s history, legacy, population and infrastructure, transforming the city itself into a nimble “playground” and live urban hack lab.

The exhibition and events will explore hacking for good – the repurposing of useful resources, the innovators who customise existing tools for new uses and who purposefully challenge existing hierarchies. What creative ways can we release untapped resources, harnessing what maybe considered as by-products or waste, to create alternative systems for public good?

HACK THE CITY is Science Gallery’s major international exhibition and festival for 2012 and a flagship programme of Dublin City of Science. We are interested in receiving proposals for experiments, exhibits and events, which go beyond Science Gallery in to the city of Dublin and even connect multiple cities globally. Potential venue partnerships include The Ark, Temple Bar, Dublin and international partnerships with ZER01 in San Jose, California.

Working with our international partners and local councils we will be creating city zones, which will test potential new technologies, creating situations for energy visualization, play, social networking and communications.

As a centrepiece in Dublin’s tenure as European City of Science 2012, we are especially interested in submissions which utilise Dublin’s position, geography and demographic – as the capital of a small island, on the periphery of Europe, struggling to recover from a post-economic boom and the European home for a number of key multinational tech companies (IBM, Google, Facebook), innovators and entrepreneurs. Drawing on this vibrant community we encourage novel approaches to social and commercial ideas, which can be piloted and prototyped during HACK THE CITY.

The exhibition will include existing and proposed works, innovations and inventions around the theme of HACK THE CITY. The exhibition will extend beyond the gallery through workshops, labs, events and off-site projects with Science Gallery becoming a hub connecting difference city zones to mobile and online worlds.

Alongside artworks, designed objects and documentary artefacts, HACK THE CITY will encourage thinking differently about how we set up new business products and services, which address our urban demands, plus include special live performances, innovative installations, unique physical and mental experiences, high-profile talks, discussions and debates, web-focused interactions, games and collaborative experiences.

We are seeking proposals for:

  • Installations

  • Mass-participation experiments

  • Events

  • Performances

  • New products/services/start-ups

  • Workshops

  • Apps

  • Visualizations, maps and mashups

Through our association with The Ark we are also interested in proposals which cater directly to a younger audience. You can find out more about The Ark's call, which is on the theme of biodiversity here http://ark.ie/downloads/The_Ark_Awakening_Curiosity_Submission_Callout_November_2011.pdf

Suggested areas of focus include:

  • Augmenting the City – submissions that repurpose the physical city environs to allow a significant unique interaction with the surrounding city landscape, including AR apps

  • City based projects, objects and experiences in the areas of public art / street art / community / new media, technology and design.

  • Particular attention will be paid to projects that rethink and recycle the slack spaces in the city, uncover subcultures, subvert and reveal the architectural blueprint of the city itself.

  • Projects which allow the city dweller to interact with and interject into the city, both in terms of its systems and infrastructure as well as it’s physical form.

  • Particular attention will be paid to robust projects that have a significant visual impact or presence in the city itself and are designed to be economic with the available resources and tools. These projects should also contain a significant element that can be integrated into the Science Gallery exhibition space.

  • We are particularly interested in receiving submissions, which are Dublin specific as well as projects, which refer to the global urban environment or connect different cities

  • We are interested in projects that may have an element of longevity that can exist beyond the time span of the exhibition itself.

  • Urban experiments – submissions which utilize the infrastructure, data and citizens of the city to carry out experiments

  • Future of the City - submissions, which think broadly and diversely about how we live in cities, support subversion and play and allow our audience to experience live mappings of the dynamic city (flow of energy, transport, capital and people) and gain new insights into our future cities

  • Playing with data - submissions for works, which connect data forms and physically embody data streams, bridging ‘on’ and ‘off’ line worlds.

  • New business products and services – ideas which have commercial viability and provide sustainable solutions for our urban needs, including the use of open data, data mash ups and remixes

Please feel free to forward this e-mail and link to other forums and

individuals and do please contact us at

teresa.dillon@sciencegallery.com if you would like to suggest projects or people for the exhibition.


We welcome projects that come with external funding. The maximum amount of budgetary support available for each approved application is €5,000. Each project must be delivered within this maximum production budget, which should include all fees, materials, shipping and travel costs as well as any other cost that may arise from participation in Hack the City. Please note that the production budget available for event-based proposals is significantly less and support will be given on a case-by-case basis.

Submitting your Proposal

Thanks for your interest in submitting a proposal for HACK THE CITY. Please see some details below on how to submit your proposal. If you have any problems or questions with this process please email help@sciencegallery.com
If you are already registered with Science Gallery: Please sign in on our home page at www.sciencegallery.com (if you have forgotten your password, you can reset your password here as well). Once logged in you can submit your proposal on a web form at at http://www.sciencegallery.com/node/add/open-call-submission. You can save the form at any stage and return to complete your draft before the closing date on January 20th 2012.
If you are not already registered with Science Gallery We need you to register on Science Gallery's site at https://www.sciencegallery.com/user/register. You will receive an email confirmation and can set up a username and password. Log into Science Gallery and once logged in you can submit your proposal on a web form at http://www.sciencegallery.com/node/add/open-call-submission. You can save the form at any stage and return to complete your draft before the closing date on January 20th 2012.

Click Here to start your application

Science Gallery Supporters

Science Gallery is an initiative of Trinity College Dublin supported through a unique partnership between the university, private sponsors and government. Key funders are Wellcome Trust, Department of Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, Dell, Google, ICON,  PACCAR and the European Commission.

Hack The City at Science Gallery is part of a larger 3-year international project, Studiolab, funded under the European Commission Framework 7 programme, with partners including Le Laboratoire, Paris; the Royal College of Art, London; Ars Electronica, Linz; MediaLab Prado, Madrid; Optofonica, Amsterdam; ERG, Brussels; Leonardo, France; CIANT, Prauge; RIX-C, Riga; Medical Museion, Copenhagen; Bloomfield, Jerusalem.