State of the ART(ist) 2023

(Vienna/Linz, March 15, 2023) The second edition of the Open Call is aimed at artists around the globe whose creative freedom is threatened. Projects can be submitted from now until April 28.

The most important facts at a glance:

State of the ART(ist) was launched jointly by Ars Electronica and the Austrian Ministry of Foreign Affairs in 2022 – as a reaction to the Russian war of aggression on Ukraine and as a living solidarity with and support for artists in Ukraine who, due to political or social circumstances, are unable or barely able to visibly pursue their work. In 2023, the initiative is now broadened.

State of the ART(ist) 2023

This year, State of the ART(ist) addresses artists worldwide who are working under existential uncertainties and risks. As diverse as the global threat scenarios are – repression, lack of freedom of expression, political persecution and acts of war, exploitation, climate crisis and natural disasters – they all impose precarious and dangerous living and working situations on artists. Furthermore, they limit their critical power of reflection and prevent them from playing their role in society. State of the ART(ist) wants to set an example and give threatened artists financial support, but above all visibility and a space to act for their work.

“We experience that our way of life, our model of life based on individual freedom, democracy and fundamental rights under the rule of law is seen by some as a threat, even as an aggressive act. This creates disillusionment and uncertainty. Especially in a situation where so much seems to be called into question, art and culture have a special task. Art is both an encouragement and a challenger. With State of the ART(ist) we support the call for freedom of artists around the world of suppressed art,” says Foreign Minister Alexander Schallenberg.

Festival exhibition and virtual art gallery

Submissions are invited for works, actions, projects and collaborative activities at the intersection of art and human rights. A jury will review all submissions and select 10 projects: 3,000 euros in prize money will be paid for each of the two main prizes, and 750 euros for each of a further eight Honorary Mentions. All 10 projects will be presented in an exhibition at the Ars Electronica Festival in September 2023 and in a virtual art gallery. This gallery is intended not only as an invitation to explore, but also as an inclusive place of expression and exchange for all those artists whose situation does not allow them to express themselves freely. In addition, there will be lectures and discussion panels on “State of the ART(ist)” via festival stream.

“State of the ART(ist) is a format with special significance. Together with the Austrian Foreign Ministry, we can give artists in adverse and often existentially threatening political, social or economic living conditions an opportunity to lend expression and international impact to their art. State of the ART(ist) thus follows one of the maxims that Ars Electronica has been committed to since its inception: To make art at the interface with society as broadly public as possible, i.e. to make it visible and tangible,” says Gerfried Stocker, Co-CEO and Artistic Director of Ars Electronica.

Art and culture projects can be submitted online at from now until including April 28, 2023.

Credit: I Will Close the Sky So You Could Breathe / Daria Pugachova (UA), Photo: Ivan Nikolov