photocracy: defining democracy through stories & art

This project is made possible by a grant from the Arts Initiative at the University of Michigan and the Democracy & Debate Theme Semester.

collecting stories & art

this is what democracy means to me

During the next few weeks leading up to the Presidential election on November 3rd, Photocracy invites members of the U-M campus community to share what democracy means to them by submitting an image along with a short written or audio- or video-recorded explanation of the personal meaning of that image. Submissions will be showcased online in an ever-growing collage of images and videos, where viewers can view a diverse and wide-ranging collection of submission in a gallery of images to see and hear more about the unique perspectives of our campus community. In this way, Photocracy becomes a community platform whereby each of us can speak and each of us can listen as we prepare for the election.

During the submission process, you will have the opportunity to select your sharing preferences so that even those that may want to remain anonymous, or not have their voice used, will be able to be heard through shortened naming conventions (Monica C., Robert M.), or student actors stepping in to make audio recordings as “readers theatre” (see details and apply for these positions HERE).

Interactive submission gallery coming soon!

retelling stories as art

The Photocracy: Call for Artists and Designers is asking our faculty and graduate students artists and designers, either as individuals or teams, to propose a commissioned piece that will be developed using the collected images, text, and recordings as source material and inspiration for an interactive work that will be commissioned November 1, 2020 and initially displayed or presented in January 2021 during the week of the presidential inauguration. Proposals may be for any genre of creative work in any format – installation, exhibition, performance, composition, etc. – and must include an interactive community element that can be experienced in connection with the exhibited or presented piece. Whatever the outcome of the November 2020 election, our community will benefit from interacting with the pre-election inspired work and reflecting on their evolving ideas of democracy and the American experiment through that interaction. The presented work can be in a final form when exhibited or presented in January, may continue to be exhibited or performed throughout the Winter 2021 semester, or may continue its creative development through April 2021. Note: Proposals that include interdisciplinary collaborations, teams, or strategies; use of technology; or UX/UI considerations are encouraged. 

A $7,500 honorarium will be awarded to the selected artist(s), designer(s), or team(s), and an additional $2,500 will be available for materials and other expenses. ArtsEngine will work with the selected artist(s), designer(s), or team(s) to secure exhibition or performance space, or any additional identified needs.

Proposals must be received by 11:59pm deadline on Monday, October 19, 2020. The successful applicant(s) will be notified by November 1, 2020. The work is expected to be presented in an initial or final form starting January 18, 2021.

Applications will be reviewed and final selection of 1-2 proposals will be made by a panel of faculty, staff, and students from the five North Campus schools and colleges. If you have any questions around the Photocracy: Call for Artists and Designers, or would like to schedule a consultation, please contact us.