Project Proposal Format

Proposal instructions:

The description of your project will be a maximum of one page and a minimum of a half a page. The rest of the information (budget, work schedule, references/influences, and images) can be added on as a separate sheet if appropriate. Three pages are allotted for images and drawings that illustrate your idea for a total of four pages. If your work is experimental, you can include a video or audio file that will not exceed 3 min. You must edit your work and have at least one other person read your proposal. The difference between a great proposal and a poor one is the work that is put into clarifying your ideas.


The introduction paragraph:

In your first sentence, you will indicate what you are doing going to do by answering this question: are you creating a performance, a time-based installation, or a video installation? You will also describe what your piece looks/sounds like.

In your second sentence, you indicate the theme that your work is addressing and the reason why youʼre making this work. This is a big idea that compels you to create something.

Your third sentence will indicate what part of your big idea you have chosen to focus on for this piece.

Your last sentence will indicate how the main visual component of your piece demonstrates your concept.

Project description:

Your next paragraph will describe what the work will do. This is the experience document edited and finalized. Vagueness in this part of the proposal will not be accepted. This paragraph must be concise and straightforward with no jargon. All the elements in your piece must be clearly thought out. If there is something that you are not sure about, you must provide a research strategy that will answer the aesthetic and technical element in question.

To create a good description of the experience when seeing your work of art, you must clearly convey an image in the mind of the reader of what youʼre talking about.

Do not use any sentences like the following in the submitted version:

“The feeling I want to convey is sadness.” — Describe how sadness is conveyed using evidence from material elements in your project to prove your point.

“I am going to have an audio element to fill the viewer with wonder.” — Explain how I will be filled with wonder. What is your sound going to be like? Provide an example.

“The robotʼs reaction to the user will show them fear and curiosity towards a greater being.” — What is the robot doing that would give the user this idea? Prove it.

If you have these types of sentences in your proposal, you have to think of visual elements in your idea that will clearly explain your ideas.

Conclusion paragraph:

To create a strong conclusion, you must ask yourself why did I do that for every single element youʼre thinking of putting in your work. In this process, you will begin to understand your big idea and the concept you want to convey.

The first sentence shall describe your piece to someone who works with your chosen media and tells them how your piece relates to your big idea by using a major element in your piece as a way of making your point.

The second sentence will introduce your concept to those not familiar with your chosen media and describe to them why your media is the most appropriate way to convey your concept.

The last sentence will explain the importance of your concept and why it should be presented to the public.

The conclusion paragraph and content visually represented:

Largely based upon a document written by Jessica Field.


As an artist working in artificial life, I let go of my control over the robots and allow the installation to take on its own nature rather than trying to create a single experience for the public. In essence, I teach the robots how to make their own way in the world rather than create a controlled environment. This is important in my practice as it allows me to see how robots are naturally driven by their desire-structured program into ceaseless dichotomy. In the framework of art that is circulated in numerous public spaces my work is like an exhibit at the zoo, I show people an ʻartificial social experienceʼ rather than representing through symbols a still collection of objects. This artificial social experience encourages the public to interactively engage with the robots to see how their ʻsynthesized organic natureʼ is similar or not similar to them. Thus, encouraging the viewer into the role of investigator rather than in a passive role where they see an idea in removed imagery.

Note that:

This document should be considered a living document. As your ideas change and your work progresses you should always come back to this document and update it. Keep it clear, concise, and fully illustrated with images based on either work-in-progress photographs or photographs of the completed work. After the work is done, and if you have continued to update this document as I suggest, it becomes a very powerful artist statement. One that is clear and easy to understand by the general public and by specialists in your field. This document will also help you when you apply for grants or when you apply to have your work exhibited.


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