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Submissions: The Downloadable Brain programme – Cognitive Sensations, closes 11 Apr

In today’s society, people’s decisions, emotions and everyday movements are being tracked through the algorithmic landscape of the technological giants.

This information is key in the economic and social climate of the digital age, profiling predictions around consumer habits, online consumption and behaviour.

Cognitive Sensations seeks to delve a little deeper into the future of these engagements, drawing upon the central interface of this story, the brain.

‘The Downloadable Brain’ is a programme that examines the biological connection between humans and technology, focusing on three technological goals:

To build a machine that can think for itself.

To create a technological copy of a human.

To read a person’s thoughts through their brain data.

The conditions and rules for this digital future have yet to be determined, yet the relationship between human and AI draws increasingly closer.

Progression in BCI and neural-lace technology enable human thoughts to be read and stored by machines, and, in turn, humans can nudge screen activity through the power of their thoughts alone. What can we expect as brain-reading technology becomes increasingly embedded within society?

The Brief

As part of their upcoming season, they are looking for proposals for essays, reviews, online artworks or other experimental interventions that could be hosted on our website. Proposed ideas should explore the developing connection between humans and technology, and the type of future this could lead to (e.g. cyborgs, cryonics, artificial brains).

They welcome submissions from a wide variety of international practitioners at any stage in their career working across art, science, philosophy, digital culture and beyond. We are especially keen for applications from diverse backgrounds.


Cognitive Sensations has been awarded funding from Arts Council England to deliver this programme. Our budget will enable us to fund the following:

1 x Online artwork – artist fee: £400
2 x Online articles (700 – 1200 words) – writer fees: £150 – £250

How to Apply

Please email the following to

–       A short description (100-200 words) of your proposal and in what form (essay, review, online artwork etc)
–       A short bio (no longer than 100 words)
–       1-3 examples of previous work (jpg/pdf)

They appreciate the time and effort it takes in writing and submitting proposals, so thank you for your time and interest in advance. If there is anything they can do to make this opportunity more accessible or support diverse needs, please email them.

Closing date

All submissions must be received by midnight, Sunday 11th April 2021. All work to be completed and published between May-July 2021.

See their website here.

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