Each year T/F adopts a visual theme, and all festival art, including t-shirt designs, are inspired by or reflect that theme.

In 2021 the theme 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. 


  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.”


The 2021 call for entries is now closed. Applicants will be contacted by March 15, 2021. Accepted designers will have a choice of benefits (e.g. passes/merch vouchers) or a small stipend.

Questions? email: [email protected]