Call for Nominations: SSN Arts Prize 2020

Surveillance Studies Network Arts Prize 2020

The Surveillance Studies Network (SSN) is dedicated to the study of surveillance in all its forms. It promotes innovative and multidisciplinary work on surveillance, including research that bridges different academic fields, furthers the understanding of surveillance in wider society, and informs information policy and political debate. As a registered charitable company, the SSN is committed to the free distribution of scholarly products, including the publication of Surveillance & Society, the leading peer-reviewed journal dedicated to surveillance studies.

As part of its mandate, the SSN seeks to encourage creative and artistic practices engaging with the topic of surveillance. As such, the Surveillance Studies Network Arts Prize is a bi-annual award that recognizes and publicly supports artwork centred on critical readings of surveillance. Following the success of the inaugural prize in 2018, the SSN is delighted to announce the call for nominations to the 2020 competition.


All submissions are adjudicated by a committee composed of members of the SSN board. The award for first prize is £250 and up to three honourable mentions will receive £100. Additionally, the winner and each honourable mention will receive a fee waiver for conference registration at the forthcoming SSN Conference to be held 8-10 June 2020 at Erasmus University Rotterdam, The Netherlands, as well as coverage in a Surveillance & Society forum discussing the work. Funds permitting, winning artists will also receive an invitation to showcase their work, or a representation of it, in an onsite exhibition during SSN’s 2020 conference.

The nominated work must be an original art project that was produced or exhibited in the 2018 and 2019 calendar years. The following criteria will be used to adjudicate the nominations:

  1. demonstrates a thematic fit with the critical orientation of the Surveillance Studies Network and Surveillance & Society;
  2. exhibits theoretical sophistication;
  3. produces new and unique ways of thinking about modes of surveillance;
  4. and promotes audience engagements.

The theme for SSN’s 2020 conference is “Lines of Sight—Surveillance 20/20.” Based on metaphors of vision and optics, this conference theme lends itself to thinking through the ways in which creative projects, artworks, and cultural practices highlight notions of surveillant vision, visibilities, transparencies, and opacities. Nominated works are encouraged, although not required, to broadly engage with this conference theme.

Deadlines and Forms

The call for nominations closes on 28 October 2019 at 11:59pm EST, with the selected artworks announced in January 2020. To nominate an artwork for the upcoming competition, please download and complete the following form:

Self-nominations are welcome.

For further information, please contact Susan Cahill, Arts Editor of Surveillance & Society at and include the heading “SSN Arts Prize”.

*Submission forms are hosted by Google. For a PDF version, please send a request to with the heading “SSN Arts Prize form—PDF request”.


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