Ends on

What is inadequate or even wrong with what we think we know about addiction? Are the things that get us hooked also the things that make life worth living? Don’t most of us sometimes feel the need to fill some kind of inner void? When do our relationships with the things that help us cope with stress become compulsive rather than helpful or fun? What makes some addictions socially acceptable while others not? Why do some people become addicted while others simply don’t? Is addiction a moral failing, a crime, or just a part of being human? When does the balance tip into a harmful cycle, and how can we extricate ourselves from it?

A cold beer, a hit, or scrolling through social media can offer relaxation, bonding time with others, stimulation, or escape. But addiction is different, and HOOKED explores the moments when these habits take a darker turn. While this topic has always been relevant, it has taken on new urgency during the current pandemic, with experts warning of the long-term effects of increased alcohol use, and opioid overdose deaths surging to new heights, straining an already overburdened healthcare system.

HOOKED will include a range of artworks inspired by scientific research, exploring addiction on personal, clinical, scientific, and social levels, and from a number of different perspectives, exploring the neuroscientific, psychological, social, and cultural aspects of the phenomena. A public program of events, activities, workshops, and performances will run before and alongside the exhibition.

We are now inviting faculty, artists, behaviorists, young people, community members, and anyone else with an interest in HOOKED to become part of our inaugural exhibition. HOOKED: When Want Becomes Need is the first international, open call gallery exhibition and event program at Science Gallery Atlanta, opening in 2021. Originating at Science Gallery at King's College London in 2018, HOOKED will combine exhibits from that production with new original exhibits created uniquely for the Science Gallery Atlanta exhibition.


For our open call, we’re interested in proposals for exhibits and artworks, whether existing or new, and for related projects, including workshops, musical and other performances, film screenings, and discussions that critically and experimentally engage with themes and topics including but not limited to:

  • The addiction cycle – craving, harm, recovery, relapse
  • The addicted brain – the adolescent brain and brain plasticity
  • The addiction experience – life as an addict, friends or family
  • Stigma – associated with being an addict, and in the context of a wider society
  • Individual and social “recovery” – how do we recover from addiction?
  • Geography – what would an addiction map of Atlanta, the US, or the global picture look like? Does location play a role in addiction?
  • Policy – throughout history, evidence has often been made to fit policy, rather than the other way around. How do we build a society where people can form healthier bonds?
  • Causes of addiction – What makes people vulnerable to addiction?
  • Societal norms – What makes some addictions ok, such as exercise, coffee, chocolate, some levels of alcohol consumption?

Take a look at the Science Gallery London HOOKED Exhibits and other Science Gallery location exhibits for inspiration.


Experimentation, provocation, research, and creativity are at the heart of Science Gallery Atlanta and our inaugural exhibition, HOOKED. We are on the hunt for projects that explore addiction from the perspective of artists, psychologists, storytellers, digital gamers, performers, neuroscientists, designers, nurses, behaviorists, musicians, and young people. The list is endless.

Art/science proposals can be new or existing artworks, performances, workshops, digital interventions, research projects, experiments in virtual reality, or other activities. We strongly recommend that you keep our target audience of people aged 15-25 years in min, and that you consider including interactive or participatory elements. We prioritize works that help our audiences to explore critically the processes of producing knowledge. We are looking for projects by artists, faculty, scientists, and innovators that touch on Science Gallery’s three core aims: Connect, Participate, and Surprise.

Don't panic if you are an artist who has not found a scientist, or a scientist who has not found an artist. We will connect you with one if you are selected.

We are interested in proposals for new or existing projects that bring together art and science in a creative way. We generally avoid illustrations of science or science that is evaluating art. Instead, we want to bring scientists and artists together to create something new. Work to be considered should:

  • Have a true connection to the theme - avoid shoehorning an unrelated work
  • Invite visitors to participate, create, and stimulate debate
  • Inspire addictive experiences
  • Consider the full spectrum of addiction, not just substance addiction
  • Be based on strong original ideas in any media
  • Raise questions about the nature of and public perceptions surrounding addiction
  • Explore people’s ongoing relationship with addiction

In general:

  • Defying categories is good (“it’s kind of a hybrid sculpture, event, installation-puzzle, with a crowdsourced edible citizen-science archive, plus a performance component that will portray a speculative future organism…”)
  • We like collaborations across different disciplines

Science Gallery’s approach is interdisciplinary, so we especially love to see the creativity that emerges from the collision of different disciplines. That means:

  • If you are an artist, then we’d love your project to include collaboration with people from other fields – scientists or engineers or technologists or designers… the list goes on.
  • If you are a researcher, we’d love your project to include collaboration with creative practitioners who are not in your field.
  • Proposals could include artworks, video or performance projects, poetry, crafts, sound- or web-based work, socially engaged projects, live experimentation, design, or the sharing of data from social science, medical, or natural science research. We are not format-prescriptive!

We invite proposals for exhibits as well as ideas for public programs in the lead up to and during the exhibition. This could include a film-festival, city walk, hands-on-workshop, talk series, theatre, dance, puppetry, stand-up/ open-mic/ improv, a master class…the opportunities are endless.

If your work was exhibited in the Science Gallery London iteration, we have reached out to you separately and you do not need to re-apply. If you have not received that communication, please email us to let us know. 

Ask questions! If you’re unsure about an aspect of your proposal, email sciencegallery@emory.edu


HOOKED will be shaped by a panel of young people, Science Gallery faculty committee members, Science Gallery staff, and interdisciplinary experts. The curatorial team will help to select the final works and ensure the season’s exhibition and event program facilitate creative collisions in arts and science. If you are interested in joining the curatorial advisory team, please email sciencegallery@emory.edu.


We are open to all kinds of proposals. As a guide, we are looking for up to 8 exhibits and 8 activities, workshops, or performances for the season. Most proposals will be funded up to a maximum level of $2,000, which should include all artist fees, materials, equipment, shipping, travel, etc. We enthusiastically welcome proposals that come in below that budget. We will also consider outstanding larger installations with a budget of up to $10,000, with a focus on experimentation and interaction. These should have a genuine connection to the theme and our target audience. Please note that these are maximum amounts, not targets. We are happy to write letters of support for applicants seeking additional funding from elsewhere.​

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