The challenging and disruptive times in 2020 made questions on how to bounce forward into novel, sustainable and interconnected futures more than urgent. Owning our mess, instead of being owned by our mess, asks how to ignite individual awareness, empowerment, and creative action in navigating the real-life environmental and societal challenges of our contemporary world. Wicked problems are immersed in complex networks of tensions and contradictions such as local and global interconnectedness and dependencies, which make decision-making processes challenging. Multi-dimensional approaches are needed for the evolution of our societies. Art-science collaborations are increasingly tapped as tools for mediating conflicts as they animate the articulation of environmental, social and cultural values, create visions and imaginative future scenarios and draw on embodied experiences as a generator for change.

The Konrad Lorenz Institute for Evolution and Cognition Research in Klosterneuburg and the think tank artEC/Oindustry are thus embarking in an interdisciplinary collaboration that mobilizes the arts and the sciences to contribute to regenerative and transformative approaches to the evolution of life on earth. The ClimArtLab, funded by StartClim2020, sets the stage for a highly experimental space, where we broaden art-science approaches and ask:

How can we as individuals and society step away from fear, be conscious and responsible of our ‘mess’ and find pro-environmental and -societal agency?

In other words, how can art-science interventions generate intrinsic motivation and creative self-action for change?

In a 2-phases workshop we will bring together perspectives from evolutionary and sustainability sciences and from the arts. First, we will engage with differences and similarities of their approaches to sustainability challenges as messes and wicked problems and to ideas of change, evolution, and transformation. Learning from each other, we will explore tangible and intangible, locutionary and illocutionary, constative and performative aspects of art-science relationships. This will imply knowledge production, terminologies, tensions within complexity discourses and differences in approaches to solution-oriented action.

photo credit: Dominika Glogowski (artEC/Oindustry)

Following a nexus thinking approach, we will discuss interdisciplinary challenges along the so-called Water-Energy-Food Nexus (WEF) with a focus on plastics and its alternatives. We will engage with questions of plastics’ lifecycle across multiple scales, from global scenarios to the local setting of Klosterneuburg. Our explorations will serve as the basis for the second phase of the workshop: the co-design of the general structure for experimental art-science interventions with society. The latter will be co-created by artists and scientists in the following months. We will consciously integrate the responsible material use, consumption and waste-management in our art-science practices. Our experiments will be exhibited and tested with societal participation in June 2021.

Join our endeavor, if you:

  • are a visual, textile, sound and performance artist / arts collective
  • have experience in socially engaged and/or participatory/interactive art approaches and are interested in art-science processes
  • have a degree in any art field and/or 2 years of experience as professional artist
  • are interested in working with critical theories on climate change, sustainability and pro-environmental/societal behavior
  • would like to co-produce knowledge on the value of art-science collaborations in sustainability approaches
  • would like to co-design experimentations with scientists
  • are based in Austria and/or have easy access to Klosterneuburg
  • the workshop will be held in English. The interaction and engagement with society during the design and experimentation phases might require German.

What do we offer?

Artist/art collectives will be awarded with:

  • 2000 stipend (incl. material costs)
  • 100 travel reimbursement

Three stipends are available. Catering during the workshop, the interactive sessions and exhibition will be provided.

The KLI is an exceptional space for research and thought. We do not provide studio space, but the artist is invited to make use of an extensive library, will be part of an international community of evolution and sustainability scientists, and may participate at our scientific colloquia and discussions throughout the months. The interdisciplinary workshop and the art interventions will be documented and distributed through our media and scientific channels. Scientific papers are envisioned.


Portfolio of no more than 10 pages (pdf, max. 5MB)

Resume (pdf, max. 1MB)

Brief statement on your experience and/or approach to participatory, interactive and/or socially engaged art projects (max. 200 words)

Optional: links to media/website

A contract regarding the art production will be formulated with the artist. The artist is also required to participate actively in the workshops, interactive sessions, exhibition, finissage and internal focus meeting as outlined in the timeline.



December 13th, 2020 (23:59 CET)


Please send all above mentioned materials to:

A notification will be send unexceptionally at a positive conclusion of selection.  An image of the timeline of the proposal.

Please note that above workshop and exhibition dates are yet to be confirmed during the following months. All governmental guidelines regarding COVID-19 will be followed.


We do not accept proposals submitted by political parties.

We do not tolerate hate speech, bullying or harassment. We are striving for open minded, positive people for a better world.

Let’s shape the future together!

Download this call as a PDF.