Shelly Farnham
Dorkbot Committee Lead
shelly [at]
(206) 226-3586

Eric McNeill
Co-Lead Curator
strangethingsseattle [at]

Request For Proposals

"Strange Things"

People Doing Strange Things with Electricity III
Art Exhibit of Seattle's Dorkbot
December 8, 2007 to January 9, 2008
At 911 Media Arts Center

Proposals have been received and artists notified - preparations are now under way

"Strange Things": People Doing Strange Things with Electricity III: Art Using Technology, Technology Making Art

New and exciting genres of art emerge as artists, scientists and technologists bring together their expertise to push the boundaries of what is possible. Dorkbot-sea's biennial exhibition, People Doing Strange Things with Electricity, showcases innovative trends in modern art by bringing together established and emerging artists who work with electricity in a signification way either in their art, or in its creation. In the past, over 1200 people have visited the exhibit.

About dorkbot-sea: dorkbot-sea is the Seattle-based spin-off of dorkbot-nyc, a monthly meeting of artists of all stripes, designers, engineers, students and other interested parties who are involved in the creation of electronic art in the broadest sense of the term. The purpose of dorkbot is to give artists and technologists an opportunity for informal peer review, establish a forum for the presentation of new artworks and technologies, help build relationships and foster collaboration between people with various backgrounds and interests, and give us all a chance to see the cool projects that our neighbors are working on. Please see for more information about Seattle's dorkbot.

Exhibition Goals

This year, in addition to seeking works that in some way involve the use of electricity, we are emphasizing interactivity: art installations that interact with the environment, with participant observers, and with other installations. "Strange Things" that pique curiosity and inspire a desire to touch. Our focus on interactive electronic projects encompasses a broad range of possibilities: art that borders the line between physical and digital art, digital art and experimental media, kinetic sculpture, reactive sculpture, large scale collaborations, lighting installations, web-based art, networked art, ubiquitous name a few. Past exhibitors expressed themselves in media and disciplines as diverse as ferrofluids, surveillance technology, kinetic sculpture, sound and video installations, blown glass, living grass, patchwork, weaving, lasers and LEDs. Please see for an overview of our last exhibit including a list of artists and pictures of art.


"Strange Things" is a juried show of about 15-30 pieces, ranging from small wall images to full room installations. We have several large rooms and a theatre available. The criteria on which the proposals will be judged include artistic quality; appropriateness for the exhibit; successfully addressing the goals of "Strange Things": successfully addressing public safety and maintenance issues; and the ability of the artist to complete the work as described. We reserve the right to decline any or all of the submittals.

Selection Process

Submission selections will be made by the dorkbot-sea organizing committee. Submissions will receive conditional acceptances in September, with final decisions made Monday in November based on likelihood of completion and timely installation. See schedule below. The committee may choose to solicit more information from artists in the process of making their decisions. The committee is comprised of the Dorkbot overlord committee including: Eric McNeill and Laura MacCary as curators/jury leads, Shelly Farnham as event producer, Eldan Goldenberg, Toby Paddock, Jeremy Kahn, Scott David, Joe Benner, Chuck Harrison, Chris Prosser, Michael Worobec, and a guest juror, Misha Neininger, executive director of 911 Media.


We expect that most submissions will be made by local artists in the dorkbot community, however we are open to all artists irrespective of their location as long as they use electricity as a major component of their creations and/or its display. In past exhibits, artists reflected the diversity and inclusiveness of the global dorkbot community, encompassing established artists broadening their creative horizons, emerging artists working with new technologies and new artists with technical backgrounds exploring the artistic possibilities of their field of expertise.

Exhibition Schedule

Costs for Artists

Artists will be expected to cover their own transportation and installation costs. However 911 Media and Dorkbot will provide basic lighting and AV support. Artists may sell their works if they so chose, with artist receiving 75% of gross sale price, and 911 Media receiving 25% of gross sale price. Please price accordingly.

Submittal Requirements

To be considered for this project, artists must submit all of the following (submission by email is strongly encouraged):

  1. Cover Letter
    In the cover letter, artists should include:
    • Contact information: include the artist's name, mailing address, daytime phone number, and email address. If a collaborative project, include all participating artists' names but indicate which is to be the primary contact.
    • Personal Statement: Indicate the reason for their interest in the project and briefly describe their approach; Include also a brief biographical summary of each collaborator, indicating the artists' past experiences with related work.
  2. Written Project Proposal, one to two pages
    Artists should:
    • Briefly describe their proposal for this project, giving a title and dimensions, and addressing visual impact, materials, interactivity, installation method and any other information that would help to explain the proposal.
    • Briefly describe the environmental conditions that are required, including size of area, lighting, potential sound conflict, and if you have any other site specific needs such as power, water, and permits.
    • Briefly describe how issues of public safety, vandalism and maintenance will be addressed in the design and materials.
    • If your project is short-term or not active all the time, please indicate duration of exhibit and what time of the day is your piece active, and do you need to have a scheduled event?
  3. Visual Materials, one to two pages
    Artists should submit a drawing or some clear visual representation of the proposed artwork. If artists prefer to build a three-dimensional model for this proposal, they can photograph the model and include that as one of the images submitted as work examples.
  4. Photodocumentation of past representative work
    Although we encourage works of emerging artists who do not have documented pieces, preference for larger installations will be given to artists who can document their work history. Please include up to ten images (digital) of previously completed and/or representative work, with titles, dimensions and dates. For collaborative projects representative works may be drawn from different collaborators. Digital images must be submitted as email attachments or as a hyperlink to a web site. Each image if submitted in an email attachment must be saved as an individual 300 dpi JPEG file, no larger than 1MB. Please provide with your images a sentence describing each image.


E-mail submissions to Eric McNeill, strangethingsseattle [at]

Proposal deadline: September 17, 2007

If you have questions regarding the call for proposals or the jury, please e-mail inquiries to Eric McNeill at strangethingsseattle [at] Direct general questions about the exhibit to Shelly Farnham at shelly [at] If you may have trouble submitting a digital version of your project, please contact us in a timely way to ensure we figure out an alternative solution for you.

"Strange Things" is a community oriented event, so please feel free to email us and tell us about your idea if you need feedback, or come to one of our monthly Dorkbot meetings! Learn more at

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