xCoAx 2020

8th Conference on Computation, Communication, Aesthetics & X

8–10 July, Graz

xCoAx is an exploration of the intersection where computational tools and media meet art and culture, in the form of a multi-disciplinary enquiry on aesthetics, computation, communication and the elusive X factor that connects them all.

xCoAx has been an occasion for international audiences to meet and exchange ideas, in search for interdisciplinary synergies among computer scientists, artists, media practitioners, and theoreticians at the thresholds between digital arts and culture. Previous editions of xCoAx took place in:

The proceedings of xCoAx are archived at proceedings.xcoax.org.

The focus of xCoAx is on the unpredictable overlaps between the freedom of creativity and the rules of algorithms, between human nature and machine technology, with the aim to evolve towards new directions in aesthetics.

In 2020 xCoAx will take place in Graz, Austria, directly adjoining the symposium Algorithms that Matter (ALMAT). On the two days preceding xCoAx, ALMAT gathers artists and researchers to present and discuss the relations between algorithmic agency and artistic research, the practice of algorithmic experimentation and its impact on compositional process. ALMAT has issued a separate call for participation and reduced combi-tickets are available for xCoAx + ALMAT (see Registration).

xCoAx 2020 calls for papers, artworks, performances and research works-in-progress by scholars, artists, performers and students, respectively, working on any of the multi-disciplinary facets of this event, which will take over Graz for 3 days, starting July 8th 2020, at the following venues:

Program

Keynote: Yuk Hui

Portrait of Yuk Hui

Yuk Hui currently teaches at the Bauhaus-Universität Weimar. Between 2012 and 2018 he taught philosophy at the Leuphana University Lüneburg where he also wrote his habilitation thesis. He has been a visiting professor at the China Academy of Art and Visiting Associate Professor at the School of Creative Media of City University of Hong Kong. Hui is initiator of the Research Network for Philosophy and Technology, which facilitates researches and collaborations on philosophy and technology. He is co-editor of 30 Years after Les Immatériaux: Art, Science and Theory (2015), and author of On the Existence of Digital Objects (2016), The Question Concerning Technology in China, An Essay in Cosmotechnics (2017), and Recursivity and Contingency (2019).

Keynote: Špela Petrič

Portrait of Špela Petrič

Špela Petrič (SI) BSc, MA, PhD, is a Slovenian new media artist and former scientific researcher currently based between Ljubljana and Amsterdam. Her practice is a multi-species endeavor, a composite of natural sciences, wet media, and performance. She envisions artistic experiments that enact strange relationalities to reveal the ontological and epistemological underpinnings of our (bio)technological societies and challenge the scope of the adjacent possible.

Doctoral Symposium Chairs

Portrait of Marko Ciciliani

Marko Ciciliani is a composer, audiovisual artist, performer and researcher based in Austria. The focus of his work lies in the composition of performative electronic music, mostly in audiovisual and interdisciplinary contexts.

His work has been performed in more than forty-five countries across Eurasia, Oceania and the Americas. It has been released on five full-length CDs and two multimedia books.

Ciciliani is Professor for Computer Music Composition and Sound Design at the Institute of Electronic Music and Acoustics (IEM) of the University of Music and Performing Arts Graz. Since 2016 he is head of the Artistic Research project GAPPP: Gamified Audiovisual Performance and Performance Practice, funded by the Austrian Science Fund.

Important Dates

Submit

You are invited to submit theoretical, practical or experimental research work that includes but is not limited to the following topics:

Submission Categories

Paper: 5 to 10 pages conference paper, following the formatting in the Word template. Revision of papers will be double-blind. Please make sure that the PDF file is completely anonymised (i.e. omits author-related information in body of text or as explicit self-citations, notes and bibliography). Accepted papers will be published in the conference proceedings and allotted 15 minutes presentation time at the conference in the Orchestersaal in the MUMUTH..

Artworks: 3 to 4 page description paper, following the formatting in the Word template. Revision of proposals will be single-blind. Proposals should provide a clear description of the work, one or more URLs for access to relevant media assets, and a technical rider (layout, setup, required equipment). The acceptance of artworks will not only depend on reviews, but also on their technical requirements. xCoAx has a limited budget, mainly based on the registration fees. Works that require excessive resources on xCoAx’s part may not be accepted. It is fundamental that the proponents are ready to bring their own equipment and minimize their reliance on the xCoAx organisation. All accepted works will be allotted 5 minutes presentation time at the conference in the Orchestersaal in the MUMUTH. Artworks will be part of the exhibition at the Kunstverein and the Forum Stadtpark. The proceedings will publish an extended abstract to be provided by the authors after the conference.

Performances: 3 to 4 page description paper, following the formatting in the Word template. Revision of proposals will be single-blind. Proposals should provide a clear description of the work, one or more URLs for access to relevant media assets, and a technical rider (layout, setup, required equipment). The acceptance of performances will not only depend on reviews, but also on their technical requirements. xCoAx has a limited budget, mainly based on the registration fees. Works that require excessive resources on xCoAx’s part may not be accepted. It is fundamental that the proponents are ready to bring their own equipment and minimize their reliance on the xCoAx organisation. All accepted works will be allotted 5 minutes presentation time at the conference in the Orchestersaal in the MUMUTH. Performances will be allotted a maximum of 20 minutes on stage during the performance night at the Forum Stadtpark. The proceedings will publish an extended abstract to be provided by the authors after the conference.

Special Call: Works for MUMUTH's Ligeti Hall: The Ligeti Hall is KUG’s main concert stage, equipped with state-of-the-art technology for sound and video projection. In particular, the hall provides a system of 32 loudspeakers mounted on independent, custom made motorised suspensions, which allow to adjust height level, azimuth angle and tilt of each individual speaker and to compose custom speaker layouts. Further, an array of 64 speakers spans the hall’s entire ceiling and upper walls. This is a call for works which are especially tailored towards the Ligeti Hall's special infrastructure and its possible aesthetic implication. In particular, we seek contributions with a strong experimental and electroacoustic character that challenge common and established approaches to sound on multichannel setups. Further information regarding this special call can be found here.

Submit a 3 to 4 page description paper, following the formatting in the Word template. Revision of proposals will be single-blind. Proposals should provide a clear description of the work, one or more URLs for access to relevant media assets, and a technical rider (layout, setup, required equipment). The acceptance of performances will not only depend on reviews, but also on their technical requirements. xCoAx has a limited budget, mainly based on the registration fees. Works that require excessive resources on xCoAx’s part may not be accepted. It is fundamental that the proponents are ready to bring their own equipment and minimize their reliance on the xCoAx organisation. All accepted works will be allotted 5 minutes presentation time at the conference. Performances will be allotted a maximum of 20 minutes on stage during the performance night. The proceedings will publish an extended abstract to be provided by the authors after the conference.

Doctoral symposium abstracts: Only Master’s and PhD students can apply to present their work-in-progress and receive feedback from established researchers. Submit a document, following the formatting in the Word template, comprised of a letter of support from your advisor followed by a 2-page research paper with 1) Purpose of the research and its importance to the field; 2) Brief survey of background and related work; 3) Description of the proposed approach; 4) Expected contributions; 5) Progress towards goals. A revised version will be requested for inclusion in the proceedings after the symposium.

Previous xCoAx Doctoral Symposia were chaired by Frieder Nake, Mario Klingemann, Philip Galanter, and Simona Chiodo. The Doctoral Symposium will take place in the Cube at the Institute of Electronic Music and Acoustic of the University of Music and Performing Arts Graz.

Submission Details

Registration

Registrations will open after the notifications of the reviews in March 2020.

We offer free child care service through the university. If you would like to use it, please get in touch with us when you register, as the contingent is limited.

Scientific Committee

About Us

Organising Committee

Local Organising Committee

Past Organisers

xCoAx Proceedings

Proceedings Editorial Board

Graz

View of MUMUTH in Graz, photo by Wolfgang Hummer

Located on the hillside of the Austrian Central Alps border, Graz offers a unique southern charm. Visitors may walk through narrow hidden alleys, picturesque courtyards, palazzi and playful squares. The renowned old town, with its cobblestones and red tiled roofs, is one of the best-preserved historic centres in Europe, part of the UNESCO list of World Heritage Sites since 1999. Buildings designed by architects from the Gothic, Renaissance and Baroque period, and artworks influenced by the Germanic, Balkans, and Mediterranean cultures closely co-habit the urban space in a peculiar synthesis. In-between, new architecture stands out, enhancing and contrasting the older buildings. In 2003, Graz was designated European Capital of Culture, and since 2011 it is UNESCO City of Design. Graz, with its various venues and international festivals for art (such as Steirischer Herbst, Musikprotokoll, Elevate, La Strada, Architektursommer and Diagonale) and its universities for various academic disciplines, has become a centre where research and contemporary arts intertwine. In 2020, Graz hosts a special Year of Culture, providing many cultural activities on the future of urban living, including the project "Algorithmic Segments" which networks several sites through digital and sound art exhibitions.

Travel to Graz

By train: The main railway station in Graz, Graz Hauptbahnhof, is one of the most important stations in Austria and is not far from the city centre, which can be reached by tramlines 1, 3, 6 and 7 in a few minutes. Ticket prices are lower if you book ahead of time ("Sparschiene"). oebb.at

By car: Graz is located on the A2 and A9 Austrian motorways and easy to get to: about 2 hours from Vienna, Ljubljana or Zagreb, 3 hours from Trieste, and 4 hours from Munich. Affordable coaches are also operated by various companies.

By plane: Graz international airport provides multiple daily connections to all main airports in Europe, e.g. Vienna, Munich, Frankfurt, Berlin and Amsterdam. The city centre can be reached by bus in 20–25 minutes (Bus 630/631, destination Jakominiplatz, ticket €2.50) or by urban railway (S5 to Graz Hauptbahnhof). A taxi ride from the airport to the city center costs around €30. The airport of Vienna, the nearest major hub, offers a 3 hours direct train to Graz central station with hourly departures (around €14 to €25 if bought in advance), and a 2 1/2 hours coach connection (Flixbus, around €19 to €23).

To the venue: The main venue of xCoAx 2020 is MUMUTH (the House of Music and Music Theatre), a building of the University of Music and Performing Arts (KUG). The easiest way to reach it is with tram 1 or 7, stop Lichtenfelsgasse/Kunstuniversität. A single ticket costs €2.50 and is valid in trams and buses for one hour after validation. Tickets can be bought inside the tram or from the bus driver. Jakominiplatz is the central hub for all tram lines. If you limit your route to Jakominiplatz and Hauptplatz plus one extra stop in either direction, you can travel for free on the tram (stops included are designated by the sticker "Altstadt Bim"). For example, you can take the tram between Kunsthaus (contemporary arts museum) and Kaiser-Josef-Platz (an 8 minute walk away from MUMUTH). Tram and bus information at holding-graz.at

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