International Fellowship Human-Machine

Akademie der Künste and E.ON foundation
Deadline: 01 April 2021

Die Akademie der Künste Berlin. Foto: Manfred Brückels - Eigenes Werk, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Die Akademie der Künste Berlin. Foto: Manfred Brückels - Eigenes Werk, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Between 2020 and 2022, the JUNGE AKADEMIE of the Akademie der Künste, in partnership with VISIT, the artist-in-residence programme of the E.ON foundation, will award one fellowship per year to fund international projects dealing with the topic “Human-Machine”.

Artists from all disciplines may apply online for the second round of applications starting on 1 February 2021. The fellowship is endowed with 20,000 euros. Deadline: April 1, 2021

The complex relationship between human and machine has been the subject of art and artistic practice since the beginning of the Industrial Age. In the face of digitalisation, the topic has taken on new meaning worldwide with artificial intelligence, its possibilities and dark sides. In contrast to the machine concept of industrialisation, the digital ecosystem of artificial intelligence is ushering in the second machine age. This is having an effect on our intellectual abilities similar to that of the steam engine on physical strength. Self-developing algorithmic systems have already made their mark on our perception, stimulating, regulating and controlling our behaviour, making decisions and bringing new forms of the authoritarian and surveillance to the fore. Against this background, fundamental philosophical, economic, ecological and ethical concepts as well as images of the world we live in are being questioned by the new human-machine interfaces. They shift through new types of networking, interaction and collaboration between human and machine or are completely transformed. On the other hand, there is the proclamation of alternative ways of being human and the body in relation to nature and technology.

By discussing concepts, playing out scenarios and speculating on futures, the arts can generate a specific aesthetic knowledge in this area. Fictions and utopias around omniscient and sentient machines that turn against humans, develop desires and seek freedom as well as human immortality fantasies dominate the Western cultural imagination.
The Human-Machine programme funds international artists of all disciplines who foster new ideas of patterns, narrations and approaches to the world and who explore urgent aspects of today’s societies and the planet and transform their research into aesthetically compelling forms. The topics and projects of the programme will be presented in a range of different formats and a final exhibition.

The idea of artistic research and the multidisciplinary approach are what connect the Akademie der Künste’s JUNGE AKADEMIE and VISIT. The perspective of art, science and business are to be connected in the context of the programme in order to facilitate comprehensive answers to current societal issues. A joint exhibition programme and accompanying discourse formats will serve to support this process and make it available to the public.


Application scope:

Artists from all disciplines are eligible to apply.

The thematic fellowship will be advertised three times until the end of 2022. Each fellowship is endowed with EUR 20,000 respectively and can be used for fees, travel cost, production costs and documentation. It must be possible to show the project in the context of an exhibition/presentation. Fellows shall also be given the opportunity to stay at one of the Akademie der Künste’s studios in Berlin’s Hansaviertel district as a guest.

All of the information on applying is available from the application portal at

The fellows will be selected by a joint jury. The members are:

Inke Arns, director of Hartware, MedienKunstVerein Dortmund
Anna Fricke, curator of contemporary art at Museum Folkwang, Essen
Johannes Odenthal, Director of Programming of the Akademie der Künste
Harald Welzer, sociologist and social psychologist, Honorary Professor for Transformation Design at Europa-Universität Flensburg and Director of the Stiftung “Zukunftsfähigkeit. FuturZwei” foundation in Berlin
Siegfried Zielinski (Professor for Media Theory, Archaeology and Variantology of the Media at the Berlin University of the Arts, member of the Visual Arts Section of the Akademie der Künste, Berlin).

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