Open call for an artist residency on the theme of sustainable robotics

Ohme, Brials, FARI, VUB

Each year, Ohme supports and offers its expertise to five artists in artistic and technical residencies. Through this initiative, and according to the specific needs of each artist, Ohme actively supports the creation, production and diffusion of innovative artistic projects, provides solid technical and scientific support in research and development, networks with experts and researchers, and promotes exchanges between art, science and technology.

Ohme is launching a call for artists on the theme of sustainable robotics in partnership with the Brussels Institute for Advanced Studies – BrIAS, and with FARI – Institute of Artificial Intelligence for the Common Good, both co-founded and co-led by the Université libre de Bruxelles (ULB) and the Vrije Universiteit Brussels (VUB).


FARI is an independent and not-for-profit initiative that studies, develops, and fosters the adoption and governance of Artificial Intelligence, Data and Robotics technologies in an inclusive, ethical and sustainable way. Opened this year, this institute brings together world-leading researchers and experts in those fields to meet challenges at local level. 

The newly founded Brussels Institute for Advanced Studies – BrIAS, aims to expand upon the mission of other IASes as an incubator of ideas and research by focusing on current and urgent themes with a great societal impact. Located in the heart of Brussels, it aims to attract the very best scientists, artists or designers, coming from various fields or countries and with no philosophical or political restriction, and provide the opportunity to work in an atmosphere of complete freedom, collaboration, mutual emulation and cross-fertilisation. In this context, BrIAS aims to facilitate collaborations with countries facing critical challenges pertaining to sustainability.

For its 2024 edition, BrIAS has chosen the theme of sustainable robotics with the aim of exploring how robots and automated devices can contribute to sustainability in a world where they are becoming increasingly present. 

International robotics specialists and experts from various fields will be invited to Brussels on several occasions between January and May 2024 to discuss how robotics can contribute to facing the worldwide challenges identified by the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), such as poverty, inequality and climate change. Particular attention will be paid to issues relating to health, food and agriculture, peacekeeping, sustainable production and the management of electronic waste, as well as those relating to social inclusion, particularly through social robots.

Find out more about the theme

🔗 BrIAS programme
🔗 Sustainable Robotics
🔗 United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals

Laboratories involved in the project

🔗 SMIT VUB (Studies in Media, Innovation and Technology)
🔗 SAAS ULB (Department of Control Engineering and System Analysis)
🔗 R&MM VUB (Robotics & Multibody Mechanics Research Group)
🔗 BruBotics VUV (Brussels Human Robotics Research Center

Description of the residency

The call is open to individual artists or collectives (hereby the artist). The selected artist will take part in the 2024 BrIAS programme, which includes a series of training courses, discussions and work sessions relating to the issues listed above and always in relation to the annual theme of sustainable robotics. The artist will meet and collaborate with more than twenty ‘Fellows’, specialists in their fields selected by BrIAS.
Within this framework, the artist will be involved in an artistic research project linked to the programme, benefiting from the support and guidance of Ohme, and drawing inspiration from and inspiring the programme’s interdisciplinary community. In the second semester of 2024, the artist will be required to participate in a small event of presentation of the work undertook during the residency. The moment, the format and other details will be decided with the artist and the partners.

What we are looking for

We are looking for projects at the early stages of conception, that are in need of structured support in research and contextualisation, and that are aligned with the BrIAS theme of sustainable robotics, in correlation with the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

The artist should demonstrate an interest in and willingness to get involved in the BrIAS programme, and have a keen interest in the use of technology, or in its application in unexpected contexts.

We are open to all media (visual arts, digital arts, performance, dance, theatre, music, video, etc.), on the condition that the use of technology is a key part of the proposed project.

What we offer

– A total budget of €6,000 excluding VAT to be divided between artist remuneration and production costs, depending on the project proposed.
– Access to a world-class scientific programme.
– Access to the ULB and VUB fablabs, as well as Ohme Lab.
– 10 days (to be defined) of support from Ohme’s artistic and technical team, to be divided according to the needs of the artist among: scientific support and technical development with a mechatronics engineer from Ohme Lab, residency days, networking, etc.
– Access to Ohme’s extensive university network and contact with scientists and researchers, depending on the artist’s needs.
– Workspace (location to be determined).


– To be an artist, a collective of artists or an artistic organisation, resident in Belgium.
– A willingness to use technology.
– Fluency in English (language of the programme).
– The ability to demonstrate an interest in the theme of robotics in your artistic practice, as you will have to actively contribute to the BrIAS program, whether in technical terms or in theoretical ones (philosophy, critical theory, ethics, etc.).

Skills in construction, mechanics and robotics are appreciated as the selected artist will be working with robotics specialists during the residency. Nonetheless, we are also open to investigate non mechatronics based forms of propositions.

Fluency in French and/or Dutch is also appreciated.


– 10/12/2023, 23:59: application deadline
– 18 – 20/12/2023: interviews of the shortlisted artists.
– 21/12/2023: announcement of the selected artist.
– From 15 January to 15 May 2024: period of residency. A timetable for this period is to be agreed with Ohme (participation and attendance at the BrIAS programme, possible research and technical development phase in Ohme’s offices, access to fablabs, etc.).
– Between June and December 2024: Research restitution event. The precise date will be agreed with the selected artist and the partners.
– February 2025: presentation of the project within the framework of Ohme’s annual projects presentation.

How to apply

Applications are to be submitted before 10/12/2023, 23:59, including the elements listed below in a single PDF to be sent to the following address:

– A C.V. up to date.
– A portfolio.
– A text of one maximum page, in English, explaining your interest in the residency and the theme of sustainable robotics.
– A statement, of two maximum pages, in English, relating to the artistic research project you wish to develop or refine, including a description of the project
– Images and/or sketches, an explanation of the approach (what questions are raised, the implications, the influences, etc.).
– A provisional budget.
– The completed contact form to download here.

The evaluation criteria will be as follows: innovative character, originality, relevance to the theme and research axes, technical and budgetary feasibility.

Ohme, BrIAS and FARI look forward to hearing about your project and working with you within the framework of the 2024 programme.

For any questions regarding the open call or for further information, please email

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