The International Symposium on Electronic Art (ISEA) is a prominent event that brings together scholars, artists, and scientists from around the world to explore the intersection of art, science, and technology. The symposium was first held in 1988 and has since become one of the most significant forums for exchanging ideas and presenting cutting-edge work in electronic art and related fields. What makes ISEA unique is how the symposium combines an academic conference with a creative program of exhibitions, performances, and workshops – bringing together artists, academics, theorists and creative technologists to share their research along with their latest prototypes, technological developments and creative works.
ISEA is a nomadic event held in a different location every year. Recently ISEA has been held in South Korea in 2019, Montreal in 2020, Barcelona in 2022 and Paris 2023. The symposium was last held in Australia in Sydney in 2013. (For the complete list of ISEA symposia, see http://www.isea-web.org/symposia/past-isea-symposia/.)
In 2024 the 29th Symposium will be held in Meanjin, on the lands of the Turrbal and Jagera peoples, the First Nations custodians of the lands and waters of Brisbane, the capital of Queensland, Australia. ISEA2024 will provide a platform for individuals and organisations from around the world to engage in a conversation about the relationships between art, science and technology and diverse cultural approaches to knowing, sharing, and understanding our place and time within a rapidly changing world.
ISEA2024 sets out to explore human perception of timescales and challenge our understanding of past, present and future in the days of singularity and climate change – the Everywhen.
The Everywhen is the concept of all time simultaneously present in a place and describes the notion that past, present and future are co-habiting any given location. Where many western cultures believe time is the constant and travels in a linear progression from now to then, First Nations Australians describe the before then, then, now and the future then existing in the constant presence of place: The Everywhen.
It is believed that in the time before time, all creation was made and manifest in the landscape; that all stories, art, song, dance, imaginative thought, creative inspiration, technology or invention was made complete in the time before time and can be seen in the topography, plants, animals and natural world. Some have described this concept as the Dreaming or Dreamtime where a web of stories and songs hold the landscape together (as described in Songlines by Bruce Chatwin). Still, by co-opting the phrase Everywhen as applied by Australian Anthropologist W.E.H. Stanner, we can better expand the more sophisticated scientific notion of time and space, that all time is accessible at every point in time. By sitting on country you can access all of creation.
In this concept the creative act is not a process of unconnected inspiration, solo achievement or act of individual hubris but rather the process of timely connection to the landscape, accessing the already laid out ‘creation’ and relaying this to others. The role of the artist is to be the interlocutor between past, present and future through their deep relationship to place.
Art is an act of memory
The destruction of the environment is the destruction of creation and builds obstacles to accessing inspiration and ‘new’ thought. The busying of yourself removes you from the state of mind where you find deep connections to place. The western concepts of personal ownership and copyright can be antithetical to notions of collective responsibility, collaboration and social and environmental ecological connections.
We see the Everywhen as a way of accessing notions of Deep Time, the Metaverse and the Multiverse through rooting ourselves to a specific Where. In a time of globalisation, how can we value where we are and make art that connects through time.
 Chatwin, Bruce. 2012. The Songlines. New York, N.Y: Penguin Books.
 Stanner, W. E. H., and Robert. Manne. 2009. The Dreaming & Other Essays. Melbourne: Black Incorporated Agenda.
To guide academic submissions for ISEA2024, the following sub-themes have been developed to explore concepts related to Everywhen and connect with the ongoing conversations, research and intellectual inquiry within the ISEA community.
We welcome diverse approaches and methodologies that reflect the concept of Everywhen, and encourage participants to explore the boundaries of art, technology, and culture while embracing the interconnectedness of past, present, and future.
Ecologies of Place
This sub-theme considers the interplay of physical, digital and ecological elements that shape our understanding and experience of place. Participants are encouraged to submit work that explores and interprets these layered ecologies, considering the interactions of human, non-human, and technological actors in shaping sustainable and interconnected places in the digital age. Inspired by the concept of the Everywhen, this subtheme explores how creative practices can engage with the rich tapestry of place-based narratives and the entangled nature of spatio-temprality. The subtheme seeks submissions that address ethical considerations surrounding place-making practices, considering inclusivity, sustainability, and respect for diverse cultural perspectives. As such, we encourage submissions that investigate how art and technology can uncover hidden stories, amplify marginalised voices, and foster deep connections with the places we inhabit.
Indicative Keywords: Digital Ecologies, Place-making, Interactions, Sustainability, Human and Non-human Agents, Acoustic ecologies, Technological Infrastructures, Ecological Consciousness, Spatiality, Location-based media, Virtual environments, Augmented reality, Site-specific art, Place-based storytelling
This sub-theme takes root in the Australian context, where contrasting perceptions of time are evident in a shift to a post-anthropocentric consciousness that respects the depth of Indigenous temporal understandings. The subtheme explores these intersections between deep time, the metaverse, and the multiverse, aiming to question conventional temporal boundaries and the relationships time, perception, and creative expression within the context of rapidly advancing technologies and cultural changes. This consideration of time opens space for investigating the intersection of the Everywhen with cultural heritage, collective memory, and decolonisation, considering the role of art and technology in reimagining and reclaiming diverse temporal narratives. Similarly, Everywhen reveals connections between time, climate change, and ecological consciousness, highlighting the potential of art and technology to raise awareness, inspire sustainable practices, and foster connections between human and non-human temporalities.
Indicative Keywords: Deep time, Real-time, Temporal dynamics, Temporal intersections, Temporal aesthetics, Non-linear narratives, Cultural memory, Cultural heritage, Virtual realities, Chronopolitics, Temporal shifts, Time-based visualisation, live performance
Resilient stories considers the relationship between storytelling, the concept of the Everywhen, and its implications for narratives in art, technology, and culture. Stories hold the potential to cultivate new imaginaries, inspire ecological awareness and envision alternative narratives of sustainable futures. This subtheme invites artists, scholars, and researchers to explore the diverse ways stories transcend temporal boundaries and connect us to the multidimensional nature of human experiences. Topics of interest include interactive narratives that transcend linear time, non-linear story structures, time-travel narratives, the intersection of oral traditions and the Everywhen, and how the Everywhen can reshape our understanding of history and memory. Through emerging practices in digital arts and culture, this sub-theme explores the role of narratives in fostering resilience, challenging existing paradigms, and inspiring collective action for a more sustainable and regenerative future. We encourage diverse perspectives and innovative approaches to story that reflect the concept of Everywhen.
Indicative Keywords: Narrative, Non-linear Narratives, Interactive Storytelling, Futures, Sustainable Narratives, Ecological Awareness, Resilience, Collective Action, Intangible Cultural Heritage
This sub-theme invites participants to submit work that presents innovative practices, transdisciplinary collaborations, and artistic and practice-based research methodologies. Drawing inspiration from the concept of the Everywhen, we welcome explorations that embody its fluidity and cyclicality, thus challenging teleological methods of knowledge creation. Participants are encouraged to critically reflect upon methodologies employed through research, artistic work, and interdisciplinary collaborations. We invite submissions that explore the embodied nature of practice in digital art, interactive art, VR/AR art, generative art, BioArt, AI in art, sound art, and data art. By adopting the dynamic and holistic perspective of the Everywhen, this sub-theme aspires to foster a vibrant interdisciplinary dialogue, stimulate innovative collaborations, and nurture transformative thinking at the nexus of art, science, and First Nations’ ways of knowing. It seeks to challenge and expand our understanding of the creative and research processes of knowing about ourselves and the world around us.
Indicative Keywords: Artistic Practice, Practice-based research, Practice-led research, Transformative Methodologies, Experimental Art, Social Practice, Collaborative Approaches, Participatory Art, Interdisciplinary Exploration, Transdisciplinary.
Submissions for creative works will close at 5:00pm on Thursday 24 August 2023 AEST.
Submitting authors will be notified the status of their submission by late September 2023 AEST.
The call for academic submissions will close at 5:00pm on Monday, 16 October 2023 AEST.
Submitting authors will be notified the outcome of their submission by mid-December 2023.
All peer-reviewed submissions will have until midnight on Thursday, 29 February 2024 AEST to resubmit a final version for publication.
All presenting authors will be required to have a paid registration by Friday, 22 March 2024. If any presenting authors have not registered by this date the presentation will be withdrawn from the program.