Von: Hanns Holger Rutz
Datum: Thu, 10 Oct 2019
Betreff: Algorithms that Matter Symposium 2020: Call for contributions
**ALMAT – Algorithms that Matter**
**Symposium on Algorithmic Agency in Artistic Practice**
6–7 July 2020, Graz Austria
Please feel free to distribute this call to your networks.
**Submission deadline: 31 January 2020**
Artists and scientists have worked with digital computers for over
seventy years, and algorithmic practices exist for a lot longer. But in
recent years, increased computing power and decreased costs and
miniaturisation of machines have created a new quantity and quality of
everyday exposure, economic and political criticality, and with it a
wave of public attention and discourse. As artists-researchers, how do
we incorporate this new situation into our practices, and more
importantly, how does this changed situation retroact on our
understanding of the role of digital art, sound art and artistic
Rather than understanding algorithms as existing and transparent tools,
the ALMAT Symposium is interested in their genealogical, processual
aspects and their transformative potential. We seek critical approaches
that avoid both mystification and commodification, that aim at opening
the black box of „wonder“ that is often presented to the public when
The foundation for the symposium is given by the eponymous project ALMAT
– Algorithms that Matter. ALMAT is an artistic research project by
Hanns Holger Rutz and David Pirrò funded by the Austrian Science Fund
(FWF AR 403-GBL) and hosted by the Institute of Electronic Music and
Acoustics (IEM) at the University of Music and Performing Arts Graz.
ALMAT 2020 will take place (06–07 July) adjoining the 8th Conference on
Computation, Communication, Aesthetics & X – xCoAx (08–10 July). xCoAx
is an exploration of the intersection where computational tools and
media meet art and culture, in the form of a multi-disciplinary enquiry
on aesthetics, computation, communication and the elusive X factor that
connects them all. xCoAx has issued a separate call for participation –
http://www.xcoax.org – and reduced combi-tickets are
available for xCoAx + ALMAT.
**Call for Contributions**
The ALMAT Symposium calls for artistic research contributions in the
following two categories:
1. Contributions exploring the symposium’s theme and the questions
arising from it. This may include:
– What are the material qualities specific of algorithms and
algorithmic practices? How does the algorithmic become malleable
– Are there particular affordances of the algorithmic?
– How does algorithmic agency unfold, how can it be observed,
formulated, or communicated? Which alternatives to traditional
concepts such as control/controller could be formulated?
– How does the reconfigurative „intrinsic“ or „speculative“
movement of algorithms extend to or retroact on the artist or
recipient, how does it shape their interactions?
– How can artistic experimentation with algorithms be communicated
to an audience, how may it help sensitise and empower people to
take ownership of the algorithmic?
– Which are the thresholds of heteronomy/autonomy, what makes an
algorithmic practice become generative?
– What are philosophical, technological, aesthetic or artistic
consequences of acknowledging the agency of algorithms?
2. Contributions that explicitly refer to the research, the
experiences and the case studies of the ALMAT research
project. Contributions may be commentary, continuation, critique
or, more in general, a response to one or more aesthetic and
theoretic manifestations and artefacts reflected in the project’s
documentation. The project’s (ongoing) documentation is an online
hypertext starting at the Continuous Exposition:
particular, we identified a number of works that are
good candidates for responses, as they will be visible or audible
during the symposium (see submission page).
For more information and details of contribution formats and
application process, please refer to:
Contact: For any questions, please write to