Medialab Prado


Interactivos?'08: Technologies of Laughter

Medialab-Prado and the Centro Cultural de España en México issue a call for the presentation of projects to be developed within the Interactivos?'08: Technologies of Laughter workshop, to be carried out at the Centro Multimedia Centro Nacional de las Artes) from 1 to 15 August 2008. CLOSED CALL

> List of selected projects

> Call for collaborators (closed)

Aecid Centro Cultural de España en México

In collaboration with the Centro Multimedia – Centro Nacional de las Artes

Project development advanced workshop

Lead by: Zachary Lieberman (EEUU), Leslie García (México) y Alejandro Tamayo (Colombia)

Organized by:

Medialab-Prado – Área de Las Artes del Ayuntamiento de Madrid

Centro Cultural de España en México – Agencia Española de Cooperación Internacional para el Desarrollo

With the collaboration of: Centro Multimedia – Centro Nacional de las Artes

Dates: August 1 through 16, 2008


Centro Multimedia – Centro Nacional de las Artes, México D.F.

Centro Cultural de España en México – AECID, México D.F.


Purpose of the call

The purpose of this call for projects is to select no more than 10 projects to be carried out in a workshop held at the Centro Multimedia (National Arts Centre) from 1 to 16 August 2008. At the end of the workshop, the projects will be exhibited at the Cultural Centre of Spain in Mexico from 16 August to 14 September 2008.


The workshop aims to use open hardware and software tools to create prototypes that explore the relations between machines and humour/laughter

Laughter is a psychological phenomenon that is a human characteristic. Frequently associated with fun, play and pleasure, it serves as a way of communicating moods that are not always positive or pleasurable. Laughter can be intelligent or stupid, liberating, forced, nervous, contagious or sinister. The incongruent and the unexpected provoke laughter; however, depending on the context, they can also cause terror. Laughter is also a social phenomenon. To be shared, a common cultural milieu is required. As a result, it can reinforce belonging to a group and also exclude “others”.

In this sense, the workshop aims to explore questions such as:

What mechanisms lead to laughter? What are the social and political implications? What happens if we understand laughter as a possible form of communication between humans and machines? Can machines have a sense of humour? How can machines make us laugh? What is a machine or software programme’s cultural milieu? How can a machine handle the unexpected? What kind of narratives/machines can be built to provoke various feelings related to laughter?

General characteristics of the workshop

The participants in the workshop will have the opportunity to work in the production of advanced projects hand in hand with a group of well-known artists with a wide experience in leading workshops which focus on different issues related to the proposed subject matter: Zachary Lieberman, Leslie García and Alejandro Tamayo.

The call is aimed at artists, magicians, engineers, musicians, programmers, designers, architects, hackers, psychologists, or any other person interested in presenting a project on this topic.

The proposals can be presented individually or as a collective. Each participant or team can present as many projects as they would like.


This workshop aims to be a collective platform for research, production, and learning, offering substantial help and support in developing the projects selected. The proposals will be carried out in multidisciplinary task groups comprised by the author(s) and interested collaborators, with conceptual and technical advice from the teaching staff.

The selected projects must be open to the participation of other interested collaborators, who will be able to contribute to the production of the pieces during the development of the workshop. Therefore, there are two levels of involvement with the workshop:

1 - as a project leader

2 - as a collaborator in any one of the selected projects.

Once the projects have been selected, the second step in the process will involve a new call for those people who would like to participate in the projects' production. The call for collaborators will be published on the 23rd June at the Medialab-Prado and Centro Cultural de España en México websites.

Medialab-Prado and Centro Cultural de España en México will do their best to provide the materials needed to carry out the selected projects.

Technical Requirements

The jury will carefully examine the technical viability of the projects. For this reason, a clear specification of the technical and spatial requirements of the projects will be positively received.

The Centro Multimedia and the Centro Cultural de España en México will only provide the equipment and means of production for the selected projects if previously requested by the project authors.

In case of any doubt regarding the technical requirements, the jury will contact the project's author.


The work space at the Centro Multimedia and the exhibition sapce at the Centro Cultural de España en México will be shared by all the selected projects. Each project will have a designated space depending on its technical and spatial characteristics. Only the projects which can adapt to the characteristics of this shared workspace will be selected.

In case of any doubt regarding the spacial requirements of a project, the jury will contact the project's author.

Working language

The workshop will be held in English and Spanish without translation.

Lodging and travel

Pending application and for participants residing outside Madrid, lodging will be provided at a hostel for the authors of the selected projects.

Travel expenses will also be covered for one person for each of the selected projects.

Registration: deadline June 8th

All those interested in taking part in the workshop must fill in and send the application form published at Medialab-Prado website (

Further information:

For further information contact:

Contact in México:

Final Decision

Selection committee

The selection committee will comprise the workshop instructors, Medialab-Prado, Centro Cultural de España en México and Centro Multimedia.

Project assessment

Projects will be selected based on the following criteria:

  • Project quality
  • Suitability to Interactivos? general objectives and the specific theme of this call for projects.
  • Technical feasibility and clarity
  • Willingness to collaborate with others in project development

Date and place of publication of the final decision

The final decision will be announced on 17 June on the websites of Medialab-Prado and Centro Cultural de España en México, and all applicants will also be notified of the decision by e-mail.

Exhibit of results

After the workshop has ended, the projects developed will remain on public exhibit on the premises of the Cultural Centre of Spain in Mexico from 16 August to 14 September 2008.

Winners’ obligations

The winning individuals or groups agree to attend the encounter from 1 to 16 August 2008. They also agree to finish their proposed projects, as far as possible.

The winning individuals or groups may use equipment, pending prior application and approval. Any expense not previously planned or approved in material or equipment rental will be paid by the project authors.

Projects carried out will be the property of their author(s), although whenever said projects are shown at festivals or exhibits, and whenever images of said projects are reproduced in catalogues or websites, their relation with the Interactivos? project organized by Medialab-Prado and Centro Cultural de España en México should be mentioned. The names of the people who collaborated in developing the projects should also be shown.

Projects exhibited may be shown in printed catalogs and the Centro Cultural de España en México, Centro Multimedia and Medialab-Prado websites.

Entry constitutes acceptance of all contest rules.

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