Art Installations

Every year, True/False brings a multitude of talented visual artists from near and far to reinvent venues and transform public spaces. What began as a visual backdrop for our fest seventeen years ago is now an integral part of every aspect of what we do. We seek out creative, ambitious people and provide the tools to remake ordinary spaces into magical, ethereal environments; in 2021, our core venues will be outdoors.

Additionally, we strive to provide a strong platform for expanding visual artists’ ability to create site-specific installations in unconventional spaces, providing a challenge for artists to explore beyond the traditional gallery atmosphere. We are excited to work with artists at all stages of their careers, from emerging artists to well-established exhibiting artists.

We encourage all interested artists to learn more about the Fest as a whole by exploring our website, and to read through the overarching Mission for the Ragtag Film Society, which speaks to our goals for Art Installations exhibited during the Fest.

We welcome questions at any and all points during the application process; please feel free to contact us at [email protected]

WHAT ARE WE LOOKING FOR IN A PROPOSAL

True/False is looking for dynamic, original, large-scale installations, sculptures, experiential work, and venue designs that can function outdoors. This year, with our venues being almost exclusively outdoors, our venues are quite flexible, and we’re excited to explore the possibilities in these new locales. However, we will be very cognizant of the environment, ensuring that we are not harming the trees or landscape we’ll reside within.

Aesthetically, we encourage artists to use as inspiration the overarching ideas and mission of the festival (broadly, an immersive artistic experience that seeks to transform the everyday) and/or the year-specific theme (see below).

In short, our ideal proposal embodies flexible specificity. That is, we are looking for proposals that have the flexibility to be modified to work in a variety of outdoor locations (on the ground! in the trees! maybe even in a lake!), but are rich in logistical details such as construction plans, aesthetics, intent, installation logistics, budget, and other relevant details and information. We have included examples of the required proposal narrative and the required budget below; we’re happy to provide additional examples upon request, and are always happy to answer any questions that you might have as you develop your proposal.

Due to the nature of our festival, T/F art installations tend to be both temporary (the 2021 Fest is 5 days; art installations are unlikely to be up for longer than a week) and site-specific. Every installation this year will be exterior; some sites require that the art be placed or secured to the ground, others allow for art to be suspended, and some have the potential to combine both — we also have the opportunity to present work in a lake, for those of you for whom that’s an appealing challenge. Some locations have access to power; others do not. We will not have space for traditional gallery work in 2021, and will have limited options for video installations. All of the art installations we exhibit are located in outdoor spaces that large groups of people move through or spend time in; this knowledge should inform your construction plans and design.  

To view past work created for T/F, please see our Instagram feed (@truefalseart), which showcases a variety of pieces both in progress and installed. If you have questions about specific past pieces, please don’t hesitate to contact us.

Please note that all of the spaces we inhabit are either public spaces or are privately owned by organizations or individuals other than the Fest, and in some situations this may require additional information, permissions, or considerations. Once your proposal is accepted, we will work with you to determine (and prepare) any additional information, permissions, or considerations needed to install your piece.

Feel free to submit multiple proposals.

Collaborative proposals are permitted and encouraged.

We will accept proposals from anywhere in the world.

We have provided a Sample Narrative (actual proposal from T/F 2018; shared with permission from the artist) and a Sample Budget (totally made up) to assist you in the creation of those documents.

2021 THEME

Each year T/F adopts a visual theme and in 2021 it is THE NATURE OF UNCERTAINTY. Within this theme lie a number of seeming dichotomies – risk/reward, nature/technology, order/chaos. But we take up the challenge to see past the binary and explore the unstable, uncertain middle ground. 

If 2020 has taught us anything, it’s that we can handle a lot more of the unknown than we think we can. But is there a downside to our ultimate adaptability? Does our extraordinary ability to normalize the unforeseen send us down a conveyor belt towards a dystopian future? As always, we look to artists as the vanguard of discovery. 

To that end, we invite artists of all flavors to join us in unearthing the unpredictable and becoming in tune with the infinite. Our theme reimagines the unknown and gives consciousness to the unmanifest, pushing for an in-the-moment recalculating of internal dynamics and external environments. At T/F 2021, we ask visual artists to bathe in a fractal universe of probable equations and fortuitous phenomena. As Walt Whitman said, “The future is no more uncertain than the present.”

Artists, choose your tools wisely. Embrace ambivalence through acts of speculative instinct. Be the torchbearers in the ever-evolving realm of possibility. Dive deeply into the prompts and links below.

PROMPTS FOR ARTISTS:

  1. Limitations create uncertain probabilities, rather than arriving at immutable truths. How does this serve knowledge? Creativity?
  2. Mediate the tensions between chaos and order.
  3. How do we reconcile randomness? For example, what do all possible patterns of a murmuration of birds look like? 
  4. What are unknown knowns? 
  5. Risk does not always signify uncertainty. 
  6. The synchronicity of metacognition in animals and children.
  7. What does the machine world borrow from the natural world? And how does the natural world respond?
  8. Fractals – a natural pattern that repeats at different scales – explore “the art of roughness” of physical phenomena and “the uncontrolled element in life”.
  9. How could you describe a range of truths? Are there degrees of truth? Partial truths? 
  10. The more we understand one thing, the less we understand another. 
  11. Ritual as the antidote to uncertainty.
  12. Om Mani Padme Hum. “The unmanifest form is like a jewel in the middle of a lotus.” 

TIMING AND DEADLINES

For T/F 2021, we will have one Open Call period, which will open November 10th, 2020.

Proposals are due no later than January 20, 2021; we welcome early submissions.

Applicants will be notified via email by early February 2021.

The Fest will be held May 5 through 9, 2021. All accepted work will need to be complete (ready for install) by Friday, April 23rd, 2021; installation will occur no later than Tuesday, May 2, 2021 (install dates will depend on location) and tear down will occur on May 10, 2021. We expect that all artists will install and take down their work, though we can provide assistance if needed.

All artists whose work is accepted will receive an Artist Pass to the Fest, which includes admission to films, events, and other benefits.

There is a small submission fee: for submissions received prior to December 1, 2020, the fee will be $15.00; for submissions received December 1, 2020, or later, the fee will be $25.00.

APPLICATION

The open call for submissions for T/F 2021 is now closed. Please contact [email protected] with any questions!