Call For Proposals The HTMlles 12 : Terms Of Privacy

The HTMlles: Feminist Festival of Media Arts + Digital Culture
12th Edition, November 3 – 6, 2016, Montreal

Deadline: January 4, 2016

Since 1997, The HTMlles has brought together artists, scholars, and activists passionate about critically engaging new technologies from a feminist perspective. The festival takes place biannually in Montreal, and its aim is to showcase cutting-edge projects produced by local and international artists. Each edition focuses on a specific theme and addresses urgent socio-political questions by pushing the boundaries of artistic and feminist practices.

The 12th edition of the festival will coincide with the 20th anniversary of Studio XX! To celebrate such a collective accomplishment, we launch our open call for proposals to local and international artists so that, together, we can continue to enact creative and critical feminist interventions in media arts and digital culture.


Current discussions around privacy are shaped by the role new technologies play in enabling modern forms of individual, corporate, and state surveillance. In 2013, Edward Snowden revealed that the U.S. National Security Agency (NSA) operates numerous global surveillance programs targeting governments, corporations, and civilians in the United States and abroad, and thus what everyone suspected became official: that we—tech consumers—are watched, listened to, traced, and monitored in real time via our gadgets and personal computers. As we speak or type, programs of mass surveillance gather our personal data and mega-data. Further, Snowden’s leaked classified information revealed that the problem goes beyond the NSA, linking Australia, Canada, New Zealand, the United States and the United Kingdom in an intelligence alliance known as the “five-eyes”.

Snowden’s revelations opened the lid on a broad range of concerns regarding privacy in the 21st century, at the state level certainly, but also within the more intimate spheres of everyday life. In this 12th edition The HTMlles invites artists, scholars, and technologists to creatively engage with the concept of privacy and to image and imagine the “terms” of individual and collective privacy necessary to resist old and new forms of marginalization and oppression.
Possible approaches may include, but are not limited to:

  • Surveillance and privacy violations: past to present
  • Control : (Re) gaining or letting go?
  • Intimacy and care


Snowden’s revelations paint only a partial picture of the privacy invasions that precedes new media, September 11 and the War on Terror. Earlier technologies (such as photography, data gathering, medical protocols, policing, prison systems or residential schools) reveal a longstanding history of privacy violations as instruments of colonial and capitalist control. Marginalized communities—such as women, racialized bodies, people with disabilities, as well as immigrants and refugees—have had (and still have) their privacy invaded by numerous state and non-state actors. As feminist scholars remind us, privacy is a form of privilege, a right not equally granted to all. We invite projects that elucidate and intervene in concepts of surveillance and privacy across a broad historical and geographical spectrum.


When we click the “agree to terms” button on software updates, mobile apps, and credit card applications, we accept the terms of privacy established in the codes, hardware, and company policies of our most proximate commodities. How does this performance of assent mask deeper questions of control and agency? In what manner have new technologies enabled the “society of control”? Or, conversely, opened the door to broad-based and decentralized movements for social justice? We seek projects that explore how control and agency are articulated through new technologies, medias and bodies, and how the terms of privacy are negotiated in daily life.


What is at stake when we voluntarily “share” our privacy? When we “like” the terms of our exposure? How do we define intimacy in the contemporary moment and how can we open up a more complex ethical dialogue about our decisions and impositions? What violations of privacy are we willing to accept in order to connect with a larger community, or even just for convenience (e.g. location data)? Further, what might we conclude about our current moment we decide not to fight to define our “terms” of privacy and intimacy? We invite projects that examine in personal and interpersonal dynamics of privacy in contemporary mediated life.
Overall, the Festival asks: What is privacy? How has this notion been reformulated in the last decades and how can we connect it to the long history of infringement of privacy rights for vulnerable communities and to histories of “old” media? How can feminist, queer, and anti-oppressive approaches inform issues around control and agency? How can our collective and personal practices and thoughts become the means to define the terms of privacy and intimacy here and now?


The HTMlles 12 is seeking crazy, critical, funny, and poetic submissions that—in this era of overexposure and hypervisibility—creatively engage with debates around privacy. We are interested in projects that evaluate and articulate the ‘terms’ of our privacy, as well as its costs. We seek critical and creative propositions inspired by (but not limited to) feminism, cyberfeminism, queer studies, critical race studies and disability studies. We believe feminist practices and methodologies can reframe the ‘terms’ of privacy debates in the contemporary moment and can assist in the shaping of user terms governing anonymity and privacy online as well as offline.

The HTMlles 12 welcomes project proposals from self-identified women, trans and gender non-conforming artists, curators, activists, collectives, and organizations.
Examples of media/formats: net art, audio and electronic art, interactive pieces, radio art, video art, installation, locative media, 3D animation, game art, augmented reality, digital storytelling, short film, bio art, public interventions, open source and community-based practices, performance and interdisciplinary practices, workshops, roundtable discussions, or something so cutting-edge we haven’t even heard of it yet…


The HTMlles in collaboration with the Institute for Gender, Sexuality and Feminist Studies (IGSF) of McGill University will also organize a conference as part of the festival. A call for papers will be published in January 2016.


The HTMlles is a non-profit festival that relies on the support of a vibrant community of artists, cultural managers, friends and volunteers and its aim is to remain accessible (with no or low entrance fees). We cannot financially contribute to production costs of artworks but can offer in-kind support, access to some equipment, and letters for participants who apply for funding.

The HTMlles offers artist fees based on CARCC/CARFAC.

The HTMlles is a great opportunity to meet like-minded people through a unique series of events and a diverse set of copresentations. Partners of The HTMlles 12 currently include: articule, La Centrale, CQAM, Eastern Bloc, Groupe intervention vidéo (GIV), OBORO, Perte De Signal (PDS), McGill University’s Institute for Gender, Sexuality and Feminist Studies (IGSF), Concordia University’ Feminist Media Studio, and Technoculture, Art and Games (TAG).


To submit a proposal to The HTMlles 12, please send the application package enclosed in a zip or pdf file (max. file size 5 MB) to by Monday, January 4.

Please download and complete the application form and include the required documents.
Only complete applications will be considered. Applicants will get a confirmation of receipt. The HTMlles 12’s Programming Committee will notify selected participants in February 2016.

For more information: +
For questions and further inquiries, please contact us


The HTMlles is produced by Studio XX, a bilingual, feminist artist-run centre for technological exploration, creation, and critique, founded in 1996. The festival began as an international platform for introducing women’s web art. Nearly two decades later, The HTMlles has grown by collaborating with partner organizations and has become a multi-site festival dedicated to the presentation of women’s, trans, and gender non-conforming artists’ independent media artworks in a transdisciplinary environment that strives for anti-oppression.

The HTMlles’ three driving forces [art + technology + feminism] have since 1997 inspired and injected one another, and have creatively reflected on the past, present and future of our tech-oriented everyday life from a feminist approach.