Flash Fiction Open Call: Alternative Networks

Sat 13 Feb 2021 - Sat 13 Feb 2021



Flash Fiction Open Call: Alternative Networks

Flash Fiction Open Call: Alternative Networks

Sat 13 Feb 2021 - Sat 13 Feb 2021



This event is part of our Past Programme

Flash Fiction Open Call: Alternative Networks

We’re looking to publish image-text short stories on Alternative Networks created using human-machine collaboration.

Imagin(in)g Networks is a programme exploring the existing and potential networks that use images to enable human and machine interactions. Over the course of a year, the social, political, technological and environmental impacts of image networks will be examined through artist commissions, texts, workshops and events. 

As part of this programme, the Flash Fictions Open Call aims to explore the potential of fiction in developing a wide range of responses to both real and imagined networks. The development of machine learning has provided a new field of collaborative human-machine projects capable of creating fictional ‘synthetic’ images and automated texts. This new arena is full of accessible, experimental projects offering plenty of possibilities that this call encourages applicants to playfully investigate.

The Flash Fictions might address ideas such as:

  • What is a standard network and what is an alternative network?
  • What does an alternative look like and how good, useful, harmful, useless, interesting, boring or creative can it be? 
  • Are alternative networks needed now, were they needed in the past, will they be needed in the future or in any other parallel reality?
  • How differently could images circulate through a network?

The Photographers' Gallery will select and publish up to 15 Flash Fictions on Unthinking Photography, paying £150 to each of the selected submissions. Online applications will be accepted between 2nd December 2020 and 13th February 2021.


  1. Each submission will include a combination of images and words in any of the following two options: Between 1 to 10 still images (or short GIF animations) and 6 to 600 words in any possible arrangement, i.e. 1 image and 6 words, 10 images and 600 words, 5 images and 300 words etc.
    OR One video of up to 20 seconds and 6 to 600 words in any possible arrangement, i.e. 1 video and 6 words, 1 video and 600 words, 1 video and 300 words etc.
  2. The selection of the text will be in English; creative variations and transformations of the language will be accepted.
  3. A minimum of 1 still image/animation/video or 6 words must be created using a human-machine collaborative project. A list of freely available and accessible collaborative machine-human projects is provided at the bottom of this page. Submitters are also allowed to use human-machine collaborative projects of their own creation.
  4. A mínimum of 1 still image/video or 6 words must be created by a human submitter.
  5. The collaborative human-machine project used to create automated image or texts and the name of its creator must be credited on the submission.
  6. All submissions must creatively re-signify and mix the images and texts created in collaboration with the machine. Fully automated submissions will not be accepted.
  7. Up to three submissions by each person or group will be accepted.
  8. All submissions are free.

List of synthetic image making and automated writing projects*

Synthetic Image Making Projects:

Automated Text Making Projects:

How to create your own collaborative human-machine projects

* many of the projects where selected from This X Does Not Exist and GPT Crush, please contact digital.programme@tpg.org.uk if you would like to share a tool