Participatory City 2014

Interactive technologies enable citizens to participate directly in artistic urban media projects. Thus they can play an active role in their urban environment instead of being passive consumers.

Challenging questions:
How can we open the screens as digital stages for public interventions? What is the impact of participatory projects realised in the European space on audience and community development of the European neighbourhoods?











Dancing in the Rain by Pfadfinderei + The Constitute, Connected Cultures Sao Paulo 2013
Lummo Blocks by Lummo Team, Media Facades Festival Europe 2010

Filming & editing by Xar Lee




As participation has become hegemonic – from prosumers to crowdsourcing, from collaborative practices to civic media – there is a demand for a redefinition of the notion of participation itself. The much-discussed idea of collective creativity should now be explored and developed into transformative actions. With the goal of raising awareness being no longer enough, we want to look into practices of situated, world-making interventions that redefine reality and can have an impact on everyday life.

We invite artists to submit projects that enable citizens to experience new ways of interaction with the urban environment and to understand, respond to, evaluate and question the transformations that the city is undergoing.

More detailed Information


Media facades and screens are our medium of choice for these collective experiences as they function as a membrane between the urban space and the digital world. They can become stages for the citizens to perform fictional roles and reinvented identities, and integrate multiple media, infrastructures and spatialities. They are an interface between technology, practice and place and make our experiments visible to a large public audience.

The Connecting Cities Network currently includes 18 European and worldwide partners who aim at building up a networked infrastructure of urban media facades for the circulation of artistic works. As a paradigmatic feature in dynamics of urban corporatization, these big screens and animated surfaces in the public space are an extremely relevant factor in the cultural and social exploration of the city. When operated as a trans-local platform for participative and networked artistic scenarios they open up new possibilities for citizens to explore their local neighborhoods and to engage in a trans-local exchange with other cities.

In 2014, with the topic of Participatory City, the Connecting Cities Network will in particular discuss the question of how urban media facades as a temporary field of interaction can become a catalyst for shared encounters and a platform for urban activism. Can art projects trigger an engagement of the citizens within their local communities? Can they connect the local public virtually with remote places? Can they help us exchange our expectations and visions with our (European) neighbours? Participatory City 2014 is all about experimenting in the public space with participatory processes that aim at exploring these and other questions.

Participatory City 2014 will take place in Berlin, Brussels, Helsinki, Linz, Liverpool, Madrid, Montreal, Riga and Sao Paulo. The Connecting Cities infrastructure to be considered by the artists for this Call for Proposals corresponds to the urban media facades of these cities (see Nevertheless we also welcome proposals directed to other partner cities of the Connecting Cities Network. We will forward these proposals to the partner cities who might then decide to join our 2014 Connecting Cities Events.


Curatorial issues
An urban media artwork that…
- operates in the temporary context of our 2-3 day Connecting Cities Events on the local Connecting Cities infrastructure
- engages the audience in a participatory process, for example sharing of information, collaborative mapping, sensing the city experience, etc.
- offers a possible networked scenario through which it (virtually) connects communities / neighbourhoods / citizens / audiences in at least two cities
- possibly develops a discourse on the medium of urban media facades, for example their potential for urban activism, their function as community platforms for public debates and urban activism or their role as trans-local windows throughout Europe and beyond
- presents an original artistic approach, for example playfulness / criticism / social concern / environmental concern / etc.

Technological issues

An urban media artwork that…
- takes into consideration all technological aspects (resolution, size, daylight compatibility, content management systems, internet connectivity, site specificity etc.) of the Connecting Cities infrastructure in at least one of the participating partner cities (Berlin, Brussels, Helsinki, Linz, Liverpool, Madrid, Montreal, Riga, Sao Paulo). Details about the CCN infrastructure in each city can be found at
- provides the technological possibility of a networked scenario in which it connects at least two participating cities
- possibly uses locative commons and open source software that encourage community knowledge sharing
- possibly facilitates alternative encounters with the public space through innovative interfaces like motion tracking, data visualisation processing, semantic web, mobile and embodied interaction interfaces, streaming technologies, etc.


1. CCN Workshop at transmediale
Jan / Feb 2014 in Berlin
(with participation of the selected artists)

2. Connecting Cities Lab
Summer 2014 in Brussels and Berlin
(with participation of the selected artists)

3. Connecting Cities Events
May - November 2014 in all participating cities
(with participation of the selected artists)

4. CCN Conferences
May 2014 in Montreal
November 2014 in Riga
November 2014 during the Media Architecture Biennale in Aarhus

5. Evaluation panel at Ars Electronica
September 2014
(with participation of the selected artists)


The selected projects will be presented during the Connecting Cities Events (CC Events) which are city-to-city interventions that connect the CCN infrastructure of media facades, urban screens and projections in real-time.

Between May and November 2014 several CC Events will be organised by the CC partners, each of them lasting 2-3 days. Each selected artwork will be shown during at least one CC Event and will be embedded in local framework programmes. Depending on the city such a framework programme can be for example the Ars Electronica Festival, Nuit Blanche, AND Festival etc.

The ultimate goal of the Connecting Cities Network is to circulate the produced artworks between the cities, so there is a high potential that an artwork will be shown in several cities and at several CC Events. This will allow the artists to communicate and present their projects to a great number of the European public.


In summer 2014 we will invite the selected artists to the Connecting Cities Lab, taking place in Brussels and Berlin. This one-week workshop focuses on the conception of DIY projects for new technologies like mobile screens, ambient performance projections and intelligent wearables. Using open source solutions wherever possible, we aim at developing tools that can be employed by multiple audiences for DIY activism and creative projects in the public space.


Selection of the artists’ works

The curators of the Connecting Cities Network will select at least 7 artist projects for the Connecting Cities Events of the Participatory City 2014. These projects will be presented on the urban media facades of the CCN and open live windows to other cities. The main challenge of Participatory City will be to identify contents with relevance on an international level and a site-specific local level by including the public audience in an artistic scenario.

Curators of the Connecting Cities Network

Susa Pop (Public Art Lab, Berlin), Mike Stubbs (FACT, Liverpool), Christopher Lindinger (Ars Electronica, Linz), Yves Bernard (iMal, Brussels), Céline Jouenne (Vidospread, Marseille), Ekmel Ertan (Amber Platform, Istanbul), Nerea Calvillo (Medialab-Prado), Minna Tarkka (m-cult, Helsinki), Gernot Tscherteu (Media Architecture Institute, Vienna), Diana Civle (Riga 2014), Darko Fritz (MSU Zagreb), Alain Mongeau (MUTEK, Montreal), Martin Brynskov (University of Aarhus), Marilia Pasculi (Verve Cultural, Sao Paulo), Pascal Lefebvre (Quartier des spectacles, Montreal)

Fee and production budget

Artist fee: 1.500 €
Production costs: 3.000 €

This is the basic production budget for developing and presenting the artwork in one city.
The artist fee and production costs for the adaptation of the artwork in other cities, for example in a networked scenario, will be determined individually for each selected artwork with the partner who wants to adapt it.

Submission deadline

Please submit your proposal until 20 October 2013 via the application platform of Connecting Cites Network partner Amber Platform:

Selection results

Planned to be published on 8 November 2013.

More information

See below or go to for more information about the Connecting Cities Network. We advise you to have a look at the artworks that were selected for Networked City 2013.
You can find more information about the urban media facades and venues of the Connecting Cities Events at
If you have any further questions, please send an email to


The Connecting Cities Network (CCN) is initiated by Public Art Lab Berlin and involves 18 international partners in 16 cities:

Aarhus – Aarhus University
Berlin – Public Art Lab
Dessau – Foundation Bauhaus Dessau
Helsinki – m-cult
Istanbul – Amber Platform
Linz – Ars Electronica
Liverpool – FACT
Madrid – Medialab-Prado
Marseille – Videospread
Marseille – Marseille-Provence 2013
Melbourne – Federation Square
Montreal – MUTEK 
Montreal – Quartier des spectacles
Riga – Riga 2014 
Sao Paulo – Verve Cultural
Vienna – Media Architecture Institute
Zagreb – Museum of Contemporary Art

Connecting Cities focuses on networked urban screens as a medium to establish a trans-local infrastructure for the citizens to encounter the public space across a coextensive dimension that connects online and offline layers, local neighborhoods and cosmopolitan European clusters. As a paradigmatic feature in dynamics of urban corporatization, big screens and animated surfaces in the public space are an extremely relevant factor in the cultural and social exploration of the city.

We will investigate this creative potential within a 4-years artistic research programme that combines workshops and conferences with the production of artworks and other artistic activities, leading to several Connecting Cities Events. During these events, the participating cities will be connected in an intercultural real-time exchange where a broad public audience can interact with the produced artworks. The Connecting Cities Events follow three curatorial topics that are also of social relevance:

Networked City 2013 opens urban media facades as real-time windows between the cities and connects local neigbourhoods beyond national borders.

Participatory City 2014 engages the citizens in the collaborative creation of their urban environment and encourages them to use urban media facades as a digital stage to directly communicate and debate in the public space.

Visible City 2015 visualises open data generated through sensor and data networks on urban media facades and creates awareness of the environment.

Funded by the Culture Programme 2007-13 of the European Union

Streaming Partner: Streampark 

Media Partner: Arte Creative



Selected Artist Projects