Information on the Conference Program

The 19th International Symposium on Electronic Art will comprise engaging presentations and thought-provoking speakers and discussions.  Join us for informed dialogues, dynamic debates, enlightening keynotes and experimental incursions into the extensive and diverse practice of electronic media arts.

We are keen to connect and intertwine the conference sessions with the wider artistic program, and we are looking for a variety of formats and engagement for presenters and participants to ensure a high quality of thought, deliberation and discussion.  Our vision for the conference is to provide sessions with genuine engagement. We ask that our delegates think differently about how they envisage the format of their presentation. To aid this, we have outlined a number of formats for you to choose from:

1.        Provocations

This format is ideal for presenting provocative ideas, projects, or works in progress that lend themselves to visual displays or presentations (5-10minutes). In these sessions, a number of presenters have the opportunity to present their work and to engage in informal discussion with other delegates throughout the session. Presentations will be grouped by the committee according to topic, and generous time will be provided after all of the presentations for group discussion.

2.        Creator Sessions

This format provides the opportunity to present in a unique location or environment.  These are more informal sessions that allow presenters to create their own format and to provide delegates the opportunity to be immersed in a presentation staged away from a typical conference setting. We are particularly looking for engagement with artworks and practices outside of the usual conference venues.  The committee will work with you to create an engaging session.

3.        Roundtables

These sessions are about the cross-pollination of ideas and philosophies.  They are designed to activate collaborations, offer opportunities to build networks and to open up new connections.  We will accept ideas for full sessions of 60-90 minutes, and the committee will conceive and design sessions according to topic or perspective. We will work closely with presenters to create original and engaging sessions.

4.        Workshops

These sessions are best suited for teaching or demonstrating particular procedures, skills, or techniques. Appropriate considerations for this session format may include: hands-on demonstrations, presentations of a technology or technique, or an extended dialogue with participants. These sessions can take place over an entire day, half day, or scheduled for 60-90 minutes. Workshops will be structured to provide ample time for interaction, participation, and involvement.  Workshop conveners should submit a formal description of the proposed workshop.

5.        Panels

We will accept proposals for full panels or the committee will group registered participants, whose presentations are based on a shared theme or topic (for example, a Chair and four or five presenters) for inclusion in these sessions. Panel sessions are scheduled for 60-90 minutes. Panels may present complementary aspects of a specific body of work, or contrasting perspectives on a specified topic. The audiences for these sessions will be encouraged to read the abstracts and any associated readings before attending in order to ensure optimal audience engagement and participation. The presenters (along with an ISEA2013 committee member if required) will conceive and design the session to allow time for short individual provocations (approximately 10 minutes each) and 40-60 minutes of audience discussion or Q&A.

6.        Papers

This type of session is best suited for scholarly work and reports on current or completed research. Authors present summaries or overviews of their work, describing the essential features (related to purpose, procedures, outcomes or product). This presentation should be engaging and dynamic and can take on any form. Presentations will be grouped according to topic or perspective into these themed sessions, with time provided after all of the presentations for Q&A and group discussion. Presenters are welcome to include any visual support to assist delivery of their oral presentation.

7.        Online Collaborations

We are looking to extend the reach of the Symposium by way of online collaborative environments, and are especially interested in proposals that connect distant artists, writers and collaborators to the physical venue of ISEA2013 Sydney. These collaborations may involve projects that lead-up to and lead-out of the event, and are aimed at establishing relationships and connections with other artists who are not able to physically attend the symposium. The technical systems and platforms used to conduct these sessions need to be widely available and robust enough to be able to function within a university, gallery or museum-style venue and can be live (real-time) or asynchronous.


We are calling for an initial 300 word abstract.  On submission of your abstract, you will be asked which format(s) you would like to present in, the committee will take this into consideration when programming the sessions.  You will be notified which session format your proposal has been allocated into when notifications are sent.

The abstracts will be available to registered delegates online before the Symposium and an electronic copy will be presented to delegates at the Symposium.  Please note, only authors who have registered to attend the Symposium will be published.  On completion of the Symposium, those presenters who would like to be included in the full proceedings will be asked to submit a 3,000 word document which will be peer reviewed and published.

Submission are now closed.

We ask that you consider the ISEA2013 theme and sub-themes outlined below. You will be required to allocate your proposal to one of these six sub-themes on submission:

Theme – ‘Resistance is Futile’

The cutting edge of digital art has moved from the margins to become part of the fabric of everyday life.  At once ubiquitous and unnoticed, resistance to electronic art has proven futile — it now lies embedded in the heart of our contemporary cultures.  The symposium events will infuse the city’s social, digital and physical infrastructure. ISEA2013 aims to create a fluid body of thought, culture, community, industry, science and technology.

Artists play an important role in this “cutting edge.” By creatively investigating the possibilities and pushing the limits of new technologies, artists help us imaginatively experience and critically reflect on their implications for life in the 21st century. Digital electronic art is our source of innovation, the new norm in everything from publishing to TV, to radio, games, film, fashion, music, architecture, design, applications and gadgets. Ubiquitous and pervasive, digital media permeates almost all creative endeavors in everyday life and the city. The urban spaces of Sydney will provide the scene for thinking through the consequences of digital life, creative industries, and contemporary electronic art practice.


1. Resistance is Fertile
Resistance is Futile … Resistance is Fertile… Resistance is Necessary. ISEA2013 explores the ways art and new technologies are used in the service of power, politics, protest and resistance.

2. Converging and diverging realities
The virtual bleeds into the real and increasingly our environments are mediated, augmented and transformed through technology. Mixed and augmented realities, obligatory social media, and locative technologies increasingly insert different realities into the physical world while communication simultaneously seduces us away from our immediate surroundings. As the “internet of things” becomes a reality, do we need to resist the ubiquitous society of participation, search, and the culture of always-on surveillance/sousveillance?

3. Life …  but not as we know it
Technologies are being used to extend human capabilities and to create new life forms. ISEA2013 explores how life is increasingly becoming a technology that is created, extended, and curated by the influence of artists working with technology. A chance to explore and critique the world of cyborgs, robots, alien life forms and the emergence of unnatural biologies.

4. Histories and Futures of Electronic Art
Where once electronic media technologies were on the margins they now permeate almost all of art, commerce and creativity. Digital cultures, media art histories, and media archeologies permeate contemporary art and design, and inform ways of seeing and understanding the world. ISEA2013 offers a platform to explore where electronic art has come from, where it is going and what it might become.

5. Ecologies and Technologies
The interrelationship of nature, culture and technology lies at the centre-stage of contemporary life. ISEA2013 explores technology as both the problem and solution, celebrating the role of the artist as innovator and provocateur. ISEA2013 engages questions of urban ecologies, consumption, food, climate, and sustainability.

6. Creation, Collaboration and Consumption
Digital technologies and social media are transforming social and cultural interaction on both global and local scales. Everyone is connected, everyone is a creator. But not everybody likes what they see or wants to participate in the prescribed forms of contemporary social media. ISEA2013 encourages debate, provocations and engagement in the global nets of participation.


For information on the ISEA2013 Academic Committee and selection process, or for general information about ISEA2013, please see our website or contact Kristen Bowen ([email protected]).