The Octopus Programme Announces Selected Artists for the Main Phase: 2021/2022

Through a unique partnership with 11 international institutions from seven countries, the Octopus Programme has selected 10 outstanding artists to take part in the programme during the academic years 2021/2022. 

From a rigorous, multi-institutional application process with five interconnected evaluation committees, the winning candidates’ research-based proposals were selected from a pool of applicants from Austria, Finland, Tunisia, Palestine, South Africa, Sweden and Turkey.

The participating artists selected and appointed to the programme are Alina Rentsch (DE/SE), Bengü Karadumann (TR), Bochra Taboubi (TU), Els van Houtert (NL/AT), Jannis Neumann (DE/AT), Kim M. Reynolds (US/SA), Maarit Mustonen (FI), Nondumiso Lwazi Msimanga (SA), Noor Abed (PS),and Sofia Priftis (SE).

The Open Call for the Main Phase: 2021/2022 has ended!

The Open Call

This call was open to all Diploma Students, Master’s and PhD students at the University of Applied Arts Vienna, Konstfack University of Arts, Crafts and Design Stockholm, and artists from or based in South Africa, Palestine and Tunisia.

The Structure and the Duration

The programme is designed and attached to a two-semester course “Spectral Encounters” (a 3-credit course per semester, presented by the University of Applied Arts Vienna) that takes place simultaneously in different cities with a joint curriculum, designed and prepared by 8 institutions from Europe, The Mediterranean and Africa. The language of the course is English. 

The programme includes peer-to-peer educational sessions, talks and tutorials by guest lecturers, online and class discussions, research field trips and work groups, collaborative production-based workshops in Birzeit, Istanbul, Johannesburg, Helsinki, Pretoria, Stockholm, Tunis and Vienna. Futhermore, guest artists and activities will accompany the programme. Led by Assoc. Prof. Dr. Basak Senova, Visiting Professor at Art and Communication Practices, the University of Applied Arts Vienna, the course is run by 7 curators.

The travel and production expenses of the winning participants are covered.

The Selection Committee for Sweden and Austria

Maria Lantz, Vice-Chancellor, Konstfack University of Arts, Crafts and Design Stockholm
Barbara Putz-Plecko, Vice-Rector for Research and Diversity, University of Applied Arts Vienna
Magnus Bärtås, Head of Research/ Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Konstfack University of Arts, Crafts and Design Stockholm
Basak Senova, Visiting Professor, University of Applied Arts Vienna
Anne Klontz, Head of Exhibitions, Konstfack University of Arts, Crafts and Design Stockholm
Konrad Strutz, Senior Lecturer, University of Applied Arts Vienna
Marti Manen, Director, Index – The Swedish Contemporary Art Foundation

The Selection Committees for Tunisia, Turkey, Palestine, and South Africa and Finland

These committees are individually organized by Kamel Lazaar Foundation in Tunis; The Centre for The Less Good Idea in Johannesburg; the Palestinian Museum in Birzeit; Khalil Sakakini Cultural Center in Ramallah; SAHA Association in Istanbul; Publics and Saastamoinen Foundation in Helsinki in collaboration with University of Applied Arts Vienna.


++ This call is open to all Diploma Students, Master’s and PhD students at the University of Applied Arts Vienna and Konstfack University of Arts, Crafts and Design Stockholm or artists based in South Africa, Tunisia, or Palestine.
++ Oral and written proficiency in English.
++ To be able to travel abroad twice between June 2021 to June 2022 (5 to 7 days).


+ The required items below should be submitted as one PDF to  by 08.03.2021, 17:00 (CET)Late submissions will not be accepted.

The following information should be included:

++ Contact info (phone and email)
++ A statement of motivation (150-250 words)
++ Maximum two A4 pages project proposal including text and images (should be on-going research and project which is in progress/incomplete)
++ 3 to 5 project samples (portfolio) one A4 page for each project including text and images
++ Artist bio (150-250 words) including date and place of birth and educational background

[The size of the submitted PDF should not exceed 6M].

Please note that links embedded in the PDF for video files are accepted, however, WeTransfer link, web link or printed documents are not accepted and/or taken into consideration for the application.


+    Announcement: 20.01.2021
+    Deadline for the submissions: 08.03.2021, 17:00 (CET)
+    Notification the short-listed applicants in Austria and Sweden: 12.03.2021  
+    Interviews with the short-listed applicants: 16.03.2021
+    2-day curatorial meeting for the joint curriculum: 22/26.03.2021    
+    Notification of the new applicants: 26.03.2021

+ The first semester course Spectral Encounters I: 02.03.2020—30.06.2020
+ The second semester course Spectral Encounters II: 05.10.2021 – 28.02.2022
+ 20/30.06.2022 Additional presentations