Open Call CODE 2023

Call for artists and non-artists to help reclaim our digital agency

Are you an artist, designer, researcher, software developer or designer? Or are you working in marketing, law, technology, policymaking or politics? Or are you interested in human rights and equality? Regardless of what you do, if you are concerned about our digital rights and the lack of agency over the platforms and devices we use, we are looking for you! The deadline to apply is 11 december.

What is CODE about? 
We want to make sure the general audience, politicians and policymakers are aware of the digital challenges of our time. We want big tech companies to be regulated, curb their power, and protect our digital rights. What role should governments play, and how can we make them understand the urgency to act? What can we as concerned citizens, researchers, and artists do to support this process?

Through this open call we invite creative professional and non-professional artists and all other concerned citizens from the Netherlands, Belgium and Germany to embark with us on a five-month journey of dialogue, critical discussion and co-creation about digital rights. Between February and June 2023 you will work with other participants on group artworks to be presented at international festivals and events. 

CODE was initiated in 2021 as a response to growing concerns that we are losing agency over the digital tools and platforms we use on a daily basis. We believe in the need for better laws and legislation that will protect us as digital citizens and consumers. By creating creative and artistic interventions, our aim is to influence public policy on a national and international level and to create awareness for issues at hand. We want to inspire and facilitate cross-disciplinary collaborations, which have the potential to catalyse system change. CODE 2023 will be the third edition. In the past two editions we supported almost 50 artists and non-artists to work together and create projects. We also brought together national and European politicians and experts in interviews, panels and presentations, and we presented the participants’ projects at international events including Ars Electronica, Dutch Design Week, Dutch Media Week and the CPDP Conference. The results and all interviews and talks can also be seen at 

CODE 2023 is an international programme organised by IMPAKT [Centre for Media Culture] in Utrecht (the Netherlands), Werktank in Leuven (Belgium), Privacy Salon/Privacytopia in Brussels (Belgium) and transmediale in Berlin (Germany).

We are happy to invite participants to join us for an exciting collaborative series of CODE events throughout 2023!

What will you be doing?
Selected participants will work closely together in a co-creation process. Throughout the programme, we invite established Dutch, German, and Belgian artists and experts to provide inspiration and feedback. CODE consists of a series of online and onsite events, including:

  • Kickoff meeting (online)
  • Three workshops (online)
  • One symposium (online)
  • 2-3-day hackathon (onsite)*
  • Group meetings and feedback sessions (both online and onsite)*
  • Online exhibition
  • Presentations at international festivals

* Onsite events take place at the fours organising institutions in Utrecht, Leuven, Brussels, Antwerp and Berlin. The hackathon will take place with all participants physically together in one, to be determined, location.

See below for a preliminary schedule of event

The events are spread over several months: from late January till June, with presentations of the project’s outcome expected in September. As a participant, we expect you to be actively engaged in these events, which are aimed at bringing to light the most pressing issues we face in digital culture and public policy. We are looking for people who can participate in all events for the duration of the CODE 2023 programme. The programme is in English.

Final works
Group artworks will be conceived over the five-month period from February to June. During this period, there will be workshops and a physical hackathon where you will have the opportunity to discuss and receive feedback from policy makers and established artists. The final works created throughout the events will be exhibited in an online exhibition meant to engage continuous critical discussion beyond the duration of the programme. We will also facilitate presentations of the works at international events and in the public realm to stir debate and foster change, like emerging projects from past years have done as well.

You can have a look at a selection of projects from the previous editions at

Selection and stipend
Participants will be selected mainly based on their motivation. In making the selection, we also aim for a diverse group in terms of expertise and backgrounds. We will select a group of participants from all participating countries. Everyone is welcome to apply, and no prior experience is required. 

Participation is free of charge.

There is a small stipend for groups that produce a work for international presentations and for the online exhibition.
Travel costs to attend onsite meetings and international presentations will be covered.

Who are we looking for?

  • Applications are open to professional and non-professional artists, researchers, policy makers and concerned citizens
  • We highly encourage people who don’t identify as artists to apply as well, this includes people from the corporate, tech and/or law areas, from research, or working at governmental institutions
  • Participants should be living in the Netherlands, Belgium and/or Germany
  • People with an interest in learning from and collaborating with professional artists to create artistic interventions to influence policy makers
  • We seek applicants from all backgrounds (including, but not limited to, LGTBQ+ and POC)
  • No prior experience is required


Application Deadline
Are you worried about the power of big tech companies? Would you like more transparency in the way your data is used? Are you an artist, activist or simply a concerned citizen? 
Please apply by filling out the following form before Sunday 11 December, 23:59 CET

Apply here


Preliminary schedule of events
We are working on finalising the schedule. Please keep an eye on our website for updates.

  • Early December 2022: Selection participants and applicants informed about their selection
  • January 2023: Kick-off meeting (online) to introduce the programme and to get to know each other
  • Early February 2023: online introductory session organised by transmediale. The event can be followed online, but participants are encouraged to get together at one of the organisers spaces
  • End February: 2-3-day Hackathon (physical presence mandatory)
  • Late March 2023: Workshop #1: Working groups are formed and you start working out ideas for the final work together
  • April 2023: Groups hand in their final works proposals 
  • May 2023: Workshop #2 (checking in on the progress final works and feedback session)
  • Mid-June 2023: Workshop #3 and feedback session (online)
  • End of June 2023: final works
  • September – December 2023: Presentations final works at international events and festivals
  • December 2023: Launch CODE 2023 online exhibition


Questions & info sessions
If you have any questions regarding this open call, we organise two info sessions.
The first one will take place during the IMPAKT Festival 2022 The Curse of Smooth Operation on:

Saturday 5 November
13:30 – 14:30
Location: Het Huis Utrecht (Boorstraat 107, Utrecht)
Register for the info session

The second session will take place online:

Thursday 1 December
17:00 – 18:00
Location: Online
Register for the info session

You can also write us a message at 

To read more about last year’s CODE 2022 Programme, click here
To see the 2021 online exhibition, click here


Residencies & projects archive

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