Open Call dm Award „connecting worlds“ 2024

19. October 2023 — 15. December 2023

© Ira Dreisigacker

Since 2015 the SCHLOSSLICHTSPIELE Light Festival Karlsruhe inspires artists to create new ways to excite audiences. For 4 weeks, every evening in August and September, the more than 170-meter-long façade of the Karlsruhe Baroque Palace becomes a big stage for artistic contributions of projection mapping. From 2024 onwards, the dm Award “connecting worlds” will be rewarded to an outstanding project, that connects the digital and analogue space and carries the projection mappings from the façade of the palace to the city center.

dm Award “connecting-worlds”

As a city of the Creative Cities Network of the UNESCO Karlsruhe commits itself to the sustainable development agenda of the UN, for which we have the perfect partner in dm drogerie markt as award holder, a sustainable and forward-thinking company from Karlsruhe. The open call for the dm Award “connecting worlds” is an internationally announced award, for which artists or artist groups from all around the world can apply for. The SCHLOSSLICHTSPIELE take place 4 weeks every evening from dusk until approx. 23:30 p.m. On each evening several projection mappings with different contents and lengths between 3 and 15 minutes will be shown as well as sponsored and advertising clips. The project submitted for tender can be integrated into this sequence of events but can also function as a separate program item.

With the open call we are looking for innovative projects that address the connection of the digital space of the SCHLOSSLICHTSPIELE projection mappings with the analogue space in front of the palace expanding to the city center. The projects submitted must take place outdoors, be open to the public and can, but do not have to be shown for the entire duration of the SCHLOSSLICHTSPIELE Light Festival 2024. Conceivable, for instance, would be the interaction of the audience with the façade, the installation of a media artwork that refers to the palace, a complementary staging of the space in front of the palace, the combination of other art forms with projection mapping (such as concerts or performances on several days), interactive projects with public participation, the integration of new technical possibilities or the creation of a new spatial experience.

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

The office of UNESCO Creative City of Media Arts of the department of cultural affairs of the city of Karlsruhe is awarding the dm Award “connecting worlds” with a prize money of 10,000 Euro, in partnership with dm-drogerie markt as the award holder, ZKM | Center for art and media Karlsruhe and KME Karlsruhe Marketing und Event GmbH as organizers of the SCHLOSSLICHTSPIELE Light Festival Karlsruhe. In addition to the prize, the production costs of the winning project will also be financially subsidized of up to 20,000 Euro net, with which the winner realizes their concept. Curatorial support and technical assistance by KME and ZKM are included in the prize. The production costs allowance covers all costs incurred during production, for example, fees and technical equipment, as well as travel expenses for the winner, e.g. for the attending of the awards-ceremony. The technical conditions as well as the existing infrastructure of SCHLOSSLICHTSPIELE are listed in the production guidelines. Any changes or additional technology must be planned in by the participants themselves.

Production Guidelines
Model Data and Photos

Conditions of participation

The application period begins at October 19, 2023, and ends on December 15, 2023 at 12 a.m. CET. Before submitting your application, please read the following information carefully.

Terms and conditions:

  • The application must be submitted in English by December 15, 2023 (12 a.m. CET), and include
    • personal information of the artist or artist group (name / company name, e-mail address, postal address, telephone number, nationality / headquarters, short biography);
    • a short, but meaningful and well comprehensible project outline, including a storyboard, ideas for the presentation of the project or work (maximum 1,500 characters including spaces) as well as a list of required materials, technical equipment, granting of rights and staff (security, supervision, etc.);
    • visual material in the form of renderings, photos, illustrations or video footage: A maximum of 5 images, 3 video clips or sound samples with a maximum length of 5 minutes each or up to 5 links.
  • Excluded are works that are performed in the context of a school or university education (e.g. term papers or theses), as well as projects that have already been realized.
  • Employees of the organizing institutions, sponsors, and presenters of the award as well as members of the jury are excluded from participation.
  • Applications must be submitted to: Due to filesize, the application must be sent via download link.
  • Submissions that do not fulfill the above-mentioned requirements will not be admitted to the competition and will not be presented to the jury.

We welcome applications from all people, regardless of gender, sexual orientation, cultural, ethnic and social background.


  • Participants must be reachable at the address they supply.
  • The award recipient is obligated to attend the Awards Ceremony on a date that will be announced in the future, to personally accept the award.
  • By applying to this call for entries, you agree to the publication of any information you provided concerning the submitted artwork.
  • The winning work will be published across various media and communication channels. Therefore, we kindly ask participants to assemble the audio, visual, and textual components with the utmost precision and diligence.
  • All submissions will be preserved and stored in our archives; participants in the competition implicitly consent to the archiving of their entries. We process the data participants have sent us in connection with the submission in order to conduct the competition. Granting of Rights
  • The project realization can be started after notification and in consultation with the office of UNESCO Creative City of Media Arts of the Department of Cultural Affairs of the City of Karlsruhe.
  • The project must be completed by July 31, 2024 so that it can be presented in time for the SCHLOSSLICHTSPIELE Light Festival. Even if the project is not shown at the start of the SCHLOSSLICHTSPIELE on August 14, 2024, it is requested that it be completed in time to allow sufficient time for the installation of the artwork and any planning.

Important dates

  • October 19, 2023: Start of the application period
  • December 15, 2023, 12:00 a.m. (CET): Application deadline
  • January 22 – February 9, 2024: Notification of the applicants
  • Beginning of February 2024: Public announcement of the winner
  • August 14 – September 15, 2024: SCHLOSSLICHTSPIELE Light Festival 2024

Selection Process

A jury of experts will select the winner of the award from the projects submitted. 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, representatives of dm as award holder, the UNESCO City of Media Arts Karlsruhe, the ZKM as curators, and the KME as organizers of the SCHLOSSLICHTSPIELE.

Decisions are not made in public. There is no right of appeal. The applicants will be notified at the beginning of February 2024. The winner will be announced publicly.

Contact and further information

If you have any questions regarding the open call, the SCHLOSSLICHTSPIELE Light Festival or further, please don’t hesitate to address your questions to our team:

Daniela Burkhardt
Executive Coordinator
Tel.: +49 721 133 4003

Dirk Goldhorn
Project Manager
Tel.: +49 721 133 4017