Mozilla’s latest Creative Media Awards will provide $250,000 to artists reimagining the way data is governed
Mozilla also announces twelve-judge panel of artists, engineers, and activists
(Monday, October 11, 2021 | San Francisco, CA) -- Mozilla is seeking artists and technologists who explore, interrogate, and reimagine the role of data in AI systems — and how that data can be better stewarded to empower people and communities.
Today, Mozilla is opening the call for proposals for its latest round of Creative Media Awards. Mozilla will provide awards up to $30,000 each, for a total of $250,000, to people and projects that illuminate how to reimagine data in a way that shifts power away from big tech platforms and toward individuals and communities.
This year’s Creative Media Awards program will run in partnership with Mozilla’s Data Futures Lab, an incubator for new models and ideas of data stewardship and governance. Awardees are also welcome — but not required — to incorporate Mozilla’s open-source Common Voice data set into their projects.
Winning projects must be native to the web and accessible to broad audiences. The application deadline is November 23, 2021 at 12pm ET, and winners will be notified by January 28, 2022. Winners will be announced publicly in March 2022.
Says Champika Fernando, Mozilla Data Futures Lab Lead: “How data is gathered, stored, managed, and used greatly impacts AI systems, and also the millions of lives those AI systems intersect with. This is true of nearly all data sets and AI systems, from facial recognition used by law enforcement, to banking algorithms that approve loans, to newsfeeds that recommend content. In short, data stewardship has a tremendous impact on countless lives and communities — but rarely receives the attention it deserves.”
Fernando continues: “This year’s Creative Media Awards ask: What would these tools, mechanisms and data governance models look like in a society that valued care and wellbeing over cost efficiency? Participation over top-down control? Or curiosity over passive consumption?”
Mozilla encourages Creative Media Award submissions that draw from and intersect with movements like Afrofuturism, Indigenous Data Sovereignty, disability justice, and neurodiversity movements, to name a few. The 2021-22 Creative Media Awards particularly seeks applicants from communities most impacted by the current models of data extraction and stewardship, including artists and technologists from: the Global Majority or Global South; women and gender diverse applicants; Black, Indigenous, and other People of Color; migrant and diasporic communities; as well as climate displaced/impacted communities, etc. We do so to support the development of just, viable, and equitable futures.
The Creative Media awards are part of a comprehensive set of activities supported by the NetGain Partnership, a collaboration between Mozilla, Ford Foundation, Knight Foundation, MacArthur Foundation, and the Open Society Foundation. The goal of this philanthropic collaboration is to advance the public interest in the digital age.
Meet the Judges
This year’s Creative Media Awards will be selected by a panel of twelve judges who are artists, engineers, activists, Mozilla staff, and past Mozilla Fellows and Creative Media Award winners:
Ahnjili Zhuparris is a clinical data scientist and AI artist. Her PhD research focuses on building machine learning models that detect and predict one's physical and mental health status using their smartphone and wearable data. Given that we live in a data-hungry society where data-greedy tech companies thrive, Ahnjili's AI art explores how to design machine learning algorithms as a form of protest. Ahnjili was a recipient of the 2021 Mozilla Creative Media Award.