Open Call

Open Call: dm Award “connecting worlds” – apply now!

24. October 2023

Since 2015, the SCHLOSSLICHTSPIELE Light Festival has inspired artists to explore new and innovative ways to captivate audiences. From 2024, the dm Award “connecting worlds” will be given to projects that connect the digital space of projection mappings on the façade of the palace with the analogue space of the palace forecourt.

At 170 metres long, the façade of Karlsruhe Palace becomes one of the largest projection surfaces for media art in the world every year. In previous projection mappings, the architecture of the palace has already been deconstructed, plants have grown out of the stone façade and avant-garde works of art have raced across the side wings. The dm Award “connecting worlds” is given to a project that manages to overcome previous boundaries and bring the shows that have already thrilled over 2 million people into the analogue space in front of the palace.

“Our experiences in cooperation with other ‘UNESCO Cities of Media Arts’ have shown that media art is thought of and perceived in very different ways all over the world. We want to promote this diversity through the international award. We look forward to exciting entries that prove that media art is a constantly evolving art genre at the forefront of innovation and future-oriented thinking. Together with dm, we have a strong local partner at our side, who will join us on the path to this future.”

Dominika Szope, Head of the Office of Cultural Affairs of the City of Karlsruhe

In a pilot project with Jonas Denzel this year, there was already a glimpse of what a possible “connecting worlds” award-winning project could look like. His show “Hands on”, which has been one of the most popular shows at the SCHLOSSLICHTSPIELE since 2018, was extended into the space in front of the palace with an interactive light installation.

Jonas Denzel “Hands on”, pilot project for the dm Award “connecting worlds”, SCHLOSSLICHTSPIELE 2023, photo: ARTIS-Uli Deck

What are we looking for?

The call for entries for the dm Award “connecting worlds” is open until December 15, 2023 at 12 a.m. CET and encourages applicants to transcend the boundaries of the palace and think in new directions. We are looking for innovative projects that deal with the connection of the digital space of the SCHLOSSLICHTSPIELE projection mappings with the analogue space in front of the palace. The submitted projects must take place outdoors, be publicly accessible and can, but do not have to, be shown for the entire duration of the SCHLOSSLICHTSPIELE Light Festival 2024.

Examples of possible projects include the installation of a media artwork that refers to the palace, a complementary staging of the square in front of the palace, the combination of other art forms with projection mapping, such as concerts or performances over several days, interactive projects with audience participation, the integration of new technical possibilities or the creation of a new spatial experience.

The dm Award “connecting worlds” is endowed with 10,000 euros and is supported with up to 20,000 euros for production costs. In addition, KME Karlsruhe Marketing und Event GmbH and the ZKM | center for art and media are providing support in the form of curatorial and technical advice.

Application process and selection

Comprehensive information on local and technical conditions during the SCHLOSSLICHTSPIELE is available for the planning of the projects that are to be submitted. More detailed information on the application, data protection and production guidelines can be found in the open call.

A special jury will select the winners of the award from the submitted projects. The jury is chaired by Dominika Szope, head of the Department of Cultural Affairs of the City of Karlsruhe, and consists of the Lord Mayor of the City of Karlsruhe Dr. Frank Mentrup, Christoph Werner, CEO of dm-drogerie markt GmbH + Co. KG as award holder, representatives of the UNESCO City of Media Arts Karlsruhe, ZKM | center for art and media Karlsruhe as curator and KME Karlsruhe Marketing und Event GmbH as organiser of the SCHLOSSLICHTSPIELE Light Festival Karlsruhe.

As part of the UNESCO Creative Cities Network, Karlsruhe is committed to the UN’s sustainable development agenda. Inclusion, empowerment of marginalised groups and equal rights for all people are important pillars for this development. In the spirit of the international network, this call is explicitly open to all applicants worldwide, regardless of gender, sexual orientation, cultural, ethnic and social background.

Further information here.

UNESCO City of Media Arts
The city of Karlsruhe was awarded the title “UNESCO City of Media Arts” in 2019 and is a member of the worldwide “UNESCO Creative Cities Network” (UCCN). As a well-networked city of media arts, Karlsruhe supports the local media arts scene both in the context of project funding and with presentations and events, as well as cooperations on an international level.