Call for Papers & Participation


Zayed University’s College of Arts and Creative Enterprises has been chosen to host the prestigious International Symposium on Electronic Art (ISEA) in the fall of 2014.

ISEA is one of the most important international academic arts/technology event for the interdisciplinary discussion and showcase of creative productions applying new technologies in art, interactive, electronic and digital media. It’s an event that annually brings together artists, academics, scientists, and new media practitioners. The symposium consists of three aspects of peer reviewed conference, internationally juried exhibitions, and various in-conjunction and other partner events—from video screenings to performances.

Dubai is a location with exquisite contradictions.

For presenters and attendees of ISEA2014, it will be an experience like no other. Dubai is a location surrounded by massive change—socially and politically.

Dubai offers a platform for its neighbors in the Middle East and South Asia (MENASA region) to come and share not only their research, but to have access to the wide range of ideas that ISEA2014 brings with its symposium.

ISEA2014 participants from beyond the MENASA region will have the opportunity to engage with an audience outside of their usual practice within a framework of conceptual relevance both in and outside of the Middle East.

Join us for complex conversations around the theme Location. Lectures, workshops, panel discussions, exhibitions, keynote presentations, and more will create a vibration in Dubai sure to be felt around the globe.


Beginning in 2013 there will be an ongoing program of events organized throughout the UAE leading up to ISEA2014. Zayed University will host a series of workshops, both in Abu Dhabi and Dubai, that introduce the ZU community and the broader UAE community to the breadth of electronic media artworks as well as cutting edge and innovative technologies in the context of art making, sponsored by the Abu Dhabi Music and Arts Foundation. It will present EMERGE II: Radiating Ports, an exhibition of faculty and student collaborative works developed from a workshop given by Italian video artist Fabrizio Plessi. New media artist Myfanwy Ashmore will be working with students in “The Mouse Hack Workshop”, where results will be showcased at SIKKA ( in the ISEA2014 exhibition house in March. Artist Juliana Espana Keller will be working with students on a digital video project, and will also establish WWKA Dubai (Women With Kitchen Appliances), with a performance expected at thejamjar Dubai in late May.

There will also be several artists in residency opportunities available to provide international artists an immersive creative experience in the United Arab Emirates.

 Please visit for complete guidelines, submission information, partners, events, and more.


1. Site Responsive & Specific/Unique Sessions

Dubai is a diverse city with a wide range of interesting sites that could be used for presentations and sessions outside of the conference venues. ISEA2014 will confirm specific sites for use by June 2014 for your consideration, but other locations can be proposed and examined. Site examples include abras, parks, desert dunes, creekside, malls, the beach, and more. Please propose your concept and the ISEA2014 committee will work with you to locate an appropriate site.

2. Roundtables

Please propose an idea to begin a conversation for a roundtable discussion. These are opportunities for the participants to get together in an informal setting and examine critical issues within their disciplines. There is no formal agenda, however a topic will be assigned as a starting point and the session will be lead by a “facilitator.” We will accept ideas for full session topics. If your idea is chosen you will act as the facilitator for this session. We will provide you with guidelines to assist in the facilitation process.

3. Workshops

These sessions are best suited for teaching or demonstrating particular procedures, skills, or techniques. Session content may include: hands-on demonstrations, presentations of a technology or technique, or an extended dialogue with participants. Workshops will be structured to provide ample time for interaction, participation, and involvement. Workshop conveners should submit a formal description of the proposed workshop along with a list of required resources.

4. Panels

Panel discussion proposals are to be submitted by the participant panel chair. Panel sessions as determined by the panel chair in their proposal, should include 3-6 presenting participants. Panel sessions should be proposed on a shared theme (the abstract) and with all participants pre-selected by the panel chair. The format for presentation is entirely up to the organizing panel chair.

Please submit your abstract for consideration by the ISEA2014 committee for a presentation within a panel discussion. The committee will place individuals in panel discussion by themes submitted.

5. Peer Reviewed Paper Sessions

These sessions are best suited for scholarly work and reports on current or completed research. Authors present summaries or overviews of their work, describing the essential features (related to purpose, procedures, outcomes, or product). Presentations will be grouped according to topic or perspective, with time provided after all of the presentations for Q&A and group discussion between Authors and other paper session attendees. Presenters are welcome, and highly encouraged, to include any visual support to assist delivery of their oral presentation. The time allotted will be in relation to the number of presenters in each session, but it is recommended that papers are within a 30-45 minute timeframe.

Individual abstracts will be accepted. Authors who would like to chair a session related to the theme of their research will also be considered.

6. Paper Presentation/Lecture (this could be off site)

A certain number of papers will be selected for 60 minute dedicated presentations. Those submitting papers will have the option of placing their paper into consideration for this type of presentation. These presentations will ideally be reserved for engaging summaries of completed research or the presentation of novel ideas that need a dedicated session.

7. Location Extrapolation

The ISEA2014 Dubai symposium is extremely excited to connect to cities, towns, villages, classrooms, labs, apartments, and other locations that cannot be transported physically to the United Arab Emirates. With the theme “location,” the planning committee is looking at bridging as many places as possible. Various collaborations that lead-up to ISEA2014, throughout, and following the event will be considered. The technical format and platforms used to carry out these sessions need to be easily available and robust enough to function in the symposium settings. However—other than live video streaming—recorded, texting, tweeting, classroom interactions, and other suggestions can be considered.

8. Arabian Nights

Arabian Nights will be an evening of campfire dialogues and projection in the Sharjah desert at Fossil Rock. Presentations will be projected on the dunes and rocks while presenters take their turn with a short dialogue/verbal presentation. Think of this session as a panel discussion under the stars with the addition of projection on the dunes. Transportation will be provided to and from Fossil Rock (approx. 35 minutes from Dubai).

9. PechaKucha Night

PechaKucha Night was devised in Tokyo in February 2003 as an event for young designers to meet, network, and show their work in public. It has turned into a massive celebration, with events happening in hundreds of cities around the world, including Dubai.

PechaKucha 20×20 is a simple presentation format where you show 20 images, each for 20 seconds. During ISEA2014, symposium partners will be hosting 2 PechaKucha events (1 for students and 1 for professionals).

Please submit your idea for these events and clarify if you are a student or professional.

10. Poster Island 

Abstracts can be submitted for Poster Island during ISEA2014. This will include both physical and online posters that present your original research. The posters could include text, graphics, and animations (for online PDF’s). Please consider the difference of audience within physical, public spaces (university conference setting) versus online space.

Please design the printed poster no larger than 3 feet width x 6 feet height. They must include the title of the research, the presenter’s name(s) along with the necessary explanatory content.

Online posters must be provided in PDF format.

• Please use the following link to upload your proposals:
• Submit a 300 word abstract proposal.
• Please take the below sub-themes into consideration and feel free to think beyond them under the overarching theme of  Location.
• Deadline for submissions: September 30, 2013.
• Projected Date of Notification of Acceptance: December 1, 2013.
• Please see the open call form for details. Please submit your proposal online at:
• Below you will find the formats and subthemes for participation in ISEA2014.
• For questions please contact:

ISEA2014 Committee:


We ask that you consider the ISEA2014 theme and sub-themes outlined below. You will be required to allocate your proposal to one of these eight sub-themes on submission:


Theme – ‘Location’

Dubai is a location with exquisite contradictions. Its location not only provides a place with world- renowned architecture, but also boasts its development along the waters, its original trading ground. For presenters and attendees of ISEA, it will be an experience like no other. Dubai is in a location, where everything around it is going through massive change—socially and politically.



The media plays a primary role in our perceptions of the world around us. It can be argued that in some ways the media helps to create the world around us. What is our role as new media artists and manipulators? How do we engage in the world around us through the media? How do we move beyond speculations and get to truth? Should we disclaim our personal bias within our work? If so, how?


From the very zero that makes possible the binary data that the information age is built upon to the recursive geometries of Arabesque patterns, the long history of mathematical, scientific, and artistic contributions from the Arab world is well known. Within the context of the current state of geopolitical flux, speculation is solicited with regard to the contemporary and future balance of technological progress between East and West and the prospects for trans-global cooperation and project collaboration.


Dubai has been the emerging economy to watch over the past 15 years. Both the unprecedented triumphs and dramatic overreaches have played a role in shaping identity, and in many ways the reverse is also true. How has the course of emerging economies like Dubai’s at the turn of the 21st century played into the identity of the developed world and in the world that has yet to emerge? In what way has this influenced the work of artists?


The rich history and cultural identity of the Emirati people is closely tied to nomadic lifestyle. Microclimate, geography, and biology of the region are the generative cause of the nomadic life of the Bedouin. Today, the idea of the nomad has taken on a multitude of diverse connotations with new generative causes. How do these new notions of nomadic existence affect the practice of new media art?


Digital tools and applications are being used to recreate lost communities and to better understand spatial and cultural histories. In architecture and planning, virtual worlds create the opportunity to push the boundaries of materials and concepts (chaos, uncertainty, responsive environments)—that may or may not be realized. How does this practice impact the evolution of social systems? How has this practice influenced education and collaborations across disciplines?


Trading states along the Silk Road, by their nature as wealthy cross-cultural meeting points, played a catalytic role in advancing the evolution of luxury or exotic goods. In Nomadic societies, fabrics—whether for clothing or housing—were developed from products in their surrounding environments. Today, technology has advanced to allow fibers and fabrics to engage upon our senses through optics and feedback response. This theme explores the rich history of, and the future possibilities for the influence of textile and related materials by digital technology.


Social networks have played a pivotal role in the success of the Arab Spring. The Internet and other digital media are indispensable in the effort to illuminate and advance the public discourse on complex social themes and political systems (take for example Ahmed Basiony’s “30 Days of Running in the Place” documenting his demonstration of running alongside his footage of the Egyptian revolution prior to his murder). This theme aims to provide a forum for the exploration of the future of social media in art and its potential influence on the evolution of social ecologies.


As professors try to provide a better learning platform for students, to diversify their subject matter and engage interdisciplinary platforms, this theme focuses on the connection between art and science in the classroom.


For information on the ISEA2014 Academic Committee and selection process, or for general information about ISEA2014, please see our website or contact us at

Sue Gollifer is currently the Director of the ISEA International Headquarters. She is an artist, a Principal Lecturer in Fine Art and the Course Leader for Digital Media Arts MA and a researcher and curator at the University of Brighton, UK. She is on a number of National and International Committees, including (CAS) the Computer Arts Society, (DAM), Digital Art Museum, and (DAC) the ACM SIGGRAPH Digital Arts Community. She is currently the ACM Chair of ‘The Distinguished Artist Award for Lifetime Achievement in Digital Art’.

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