CLTC Cybersecurity Arts Contest

The Center for Long-Term Cybersecurity (CLTC) is launching a contest that seeks artistic proposals that engage substantively with cybersecurity in themes, topics, audience, and/or materials.

The conceptual and practical aspects of the term “cybersecurity” are evolving rapidly, as what we mean by “cyber” and “security” is changing in ways that would have been almost unimaginable a few years ago. Contemporary tropes of security’s representation (e.g., the “hacker in the hoodie,” the “scrolling green code,” etc) fail to capture the gravity, impact, and reach of security in daily life. As such, a transformative cybersecurity research program should grapple with security’s representation and discourse in the public sphere.

Some questions on our minds: What are new ways of representing the human impacts of security? How might critical alternatives to contemporary tropes reshape the way policymakers, technical practitioners, and the general public make decisions about security? What aspects of information security are missed in discussions of “cyber” security?

Through this prize, CLTC hopes to expand public dialogue around—and awareness of—cybersecurity.


The primary goal of this prize is to expand and refine representations and portrayals of cybersecurity, broadly defined. CLTC seeks proposals for interdisciplinary work produced and shared as single-channel media or web-based work. CLTC encourages the submission of proposals from cross-disciplinary teams. Applicants may propose installations of existing work and commission of new work.

We expect to work with the selected artists to show this work throughout 2020.  Venues will depend on submissions, but could include salons, artist talks, and/or installations. Example audiences of interest include participants at the Eyeo Festival, RightsCon, the Internet Freedom Festival.

CLTC will prioritize proposals that have the potential to make a meaningful, longer term impact on the representation of cybersecurity through means including (but not limited to) performances, gallery showings, film, video, photography, fiction, and storytelling. Prize amounts range from a minimum of $5,000 to a maximum of $25,000.

Submission Process

Proposals will be reviewed by an interdisciplinary committee and judged for artistic merit, relevance, feasibility, and potential impact. Impact here should include potential downstream effects from the work (e.g., influencing other artists, reaching particular audiences, etc).

Proposals that demonstrate a plan for completion of work by January 2020 will be prioritized. Submit proposals through this form.

Proposal Body

Please include a description of the work, including any current or future plans to show the work, and your intended audience for this work.

Describe this work’s potential impact on its intended audience. How will this work influence its viewers? How will it influence other artists, gallery owners, art practitioners?

Proposals should demonstrate author’s ability to execute artistic projects.

Timeline and Budget

Finally, include a timeline for execution, and a 1 page (maximum) budget summary.


Proposals are due on July 30, 2019 by midnight, California time.

Prizes will be distributed starting September 2019.

Prize winners will be invited to attend the CLTC Research Exchange on October 3rd, 2019 in order to engage with the cybersecurity research community at Berkeley.

CLTC will work with the winning artists to show, and facilitate engagement with and discussion of resulting work in relevant venues (TBD) throughout 2020

Note that recipients must be individuals rather than entities.

Example Works

These pieces and artists were identified by members of our jury as high-quality and potentially relevant. We include them not to limit the imagination, but to provide scaffolding for those considering submitting proposals.

Julian Oliver, Bengt Sjolen, Danja Vassiliev (Critical Engineering Working Group)

Adam Harvey

Laurie Frick

Hasan Elahi

Natalie Bookchin

Lauren McCarthy

Trevor Paglen

For more information, please contact

Link for Submissions