Open Call

Mensch-Maschine // Human-Machine

The JUNGE AKADEMIE of the Akademie der Künste, in partnership with VISIT, the artist-in-residence programme of the innogy Stiftung für Energie und Gesellschaft foundation, is offering a new international fellowship to fund projects at the interface between art and science on the topic of the human-machine relationship. Artists from all disciplines may apply with a project for the very first time online from 1 March 2020 and are invited to explore this complex subject area using artistic research approaches.

The deadline for application is 30 April 2020.


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 and the emergence and development of digital technologies, the topic has taken on new meaning. In contrast to the machine concept of industrialisation, the hidden digital ecosystem of artificial intelligences 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. Whether human intelligence will be exceeded or even replaced remains speculative. Nevertheless, 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 in the technosphere and the age of the Anthropocene. 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.

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. Literature, film and visual arts have a specific aesthetic knowledge in this regard, discussing concepts, playing out scenarios and speculating on futures still to come.

What will differentiate humans from machines if they develop their skills and become self-aware? How will human, machine, nature and body interact? How will the understanding of "human" autonomy change? What will happen to the mind and the collective consciousness when we outsource it to the cloud and allow machines to participate in memories and narratives? Do we lose contact with democracy if machines interpret the world?

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

About the cooperation

The idea of artistic research and the multidisciplinary approach are what connect the Akademie der Künste's JUNGE AKADEMIE and VISIT. The programme cooperation allows both partners to expand their networks, know-how and even their studio locations to the benefit of the funded artists. 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.

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, programme director 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
  • Adrian Piper, artist and philosopher, member of the Visual Arts Section of the Akademie der Künste, Berlin

About the Junge Akademie

Supporting young, international art of all genres is one of the key missions of the Akademie der Künste, which it fulfils through the JUNGE AKADEMIE artist-in-residence programme and by awarding work and residence fellowships. Since 2007, this has been rooted in the statutes of the cultural institution, which is over 300 years old. The programme provides the opportunity to network with members and partners via the Akademie, to creatively exchange ideas in an interdisciplinary context and to develop and present artistic projects – in exhibitions, readings, performances, workshops and open studios. A core aspect of the Akademie's concept of itself is safeguarding this free and protected space for artistic expression as well as exchange, artistic research, experimentation and encounters across political and cultural borders.

About the VISIT programme

VISIT is the artist-in-residence programme of innogy Stiftung für Energie und Gesellschaft. It invites artists to implement projects relating to energy and its social relevance. In 2010, the foundation started the first two projects – to date, over 20 artists have participated as resident fellows. The aim of the programme is to initiate reciprocal exchange between business and art or artists. Interdisciplinarity and changes of perspective promote understanding of other ways of thinking and help those involved to learn from each other. Current applications can also be submitted here; the closing date for registration is 30 April 2020.

Contact Junge Akademie:

Clara Herrmann
Akademie der Künste
Hanseatenweg 10
10557 Berlin
T +49(0)30 200 57-2163

Contact VISIT

Daniela Berglehn
Head of the programme VISIT
innogy Stiftung für Energie und Gesellschaft gGmbH
Opernplatz 1
D-45128 Essen
T +49 (0) 201 12 15 505