Open Call To Artists And Creatives
From15/06/2018 10:00h
To25/07/2018 23:59h

The Universal Sea opens its second international call for artists and creatives.


Art has the power to spark emotions, questions and even action. This is why we are designing “Pure or Plastic?!” the world’s first textless manual for smart plastic living. We would like each page to convey a different approach to living a more environmentally friendly life in an easy way. The book is based on artistic artefacts and interventions by creatives from all around the world, aiming at transmitting a global educational message whilst keeping a cool and fresh visual appeal. The manual will be released to the public and distributed to a range of public educational institutions in order to spread its message as widely as possible.

All applications must be submitted by 25th July 2018   

What is “The Universal Sea – Pure or Plastic?!”

Here at The Universal Sea, we explore new forms of collaboration between art, science, technology, and business. Visual art is our core focus as we believe it can reach people emotionally, stimulate creativity and get people involved. The Universal Sea is not just about rediscovering the role of the artist in our society, it also aims to highlight the possibilities that arise when art meets science and entrepreneurship. With the collaboration of experts and the public, we identify and co-create solutions tackling the burning issue of water pollution. We believe that art can trigger action, open new perspectives and support the development of creative solutions to the plastic epidemic.

What is the book “Pure or Plastic?!”?

The book is not just a “smart plastic living” guide, but an opportunity to showcase the incredible power of art and design. As an image-based book, it is comprehensive, evocative, and goes beyond the typical manual. We intend it to reach as many citizens of the world as possible and inspire everyone to reduce, reuse, and substitute plastic consumption in their day to day lives.

Who can apply?

Artists and cultural actors from all over the world are invited to apply. There are no restrictions based on art discipline, gender, age or nationality. 

What do we want?

We invite submissions of all kinds from creators who believe in our goal and wish to spread the message of environmental awareness in new artistic ways. The book itself will be 21 cm x 14,8 cm, and selected submissions will cover a one-page spread. We hope each page can tell a different story, so be unique!

We welcome all artistíc mediums, be it photography, collage, illustration, etc. (as long as the submission fits a 21 cm x 14,8 cm page!). You have complete creative freedom as to how you want to convey your message, be it portrait or landscape.


We would like to see submissions that think outside of the box and go beyond tote bags.  Think about your everyday life and how often you come in contact with plastic items. What are these products? Could you imagine yourself avoiding or repurposing them? How would you change things?

Submissions must relate to plastic consumption, specifically depicting real-life strategies for how to reuse or reduce plastic in the day to day life. They should also fall under ONE of the following categories as the book is structured in five chapters:

  • RE-place
    • How can you replace the use of plastic in your daily life with a more sustainable alternative?
  • RE-duce
    • How can you reduce your daily usage of plastic altogether?
  • RE-act
    • How can you raise public awareness through civic action?

Please relate each visual to a problem scenario. You can use scenarios from our list or you can go beyond and come up with your own.  Click the link for examples  

We would like for your artwork to relate to one or more of the aforementioned three Rs. Again, we encourage all artistic mediums, so long as the final submission is summarized in a single visual, in the correct format.


What’s in it for you?

  1. One page dedicated to your artwork in the “Pure or Plastic?!” book
  2. Two free copies of the finished printed book (if you order them and cover the postal fee)
  3. Printout of your artwork exhibited at The Universal Sea Festival in Budapest, Hungary (running all October 2018)
  4. Your work credited in the book, in the exhibition, and on our website
  5. The book “Pure or Plastic?!” published and advertised both digitally and offline, and promotion on all platforms of The Universal Sea
  6. You contribute to an important global cause
  7. 1.000 Euro* prize money for the best submission in each one of the five “RE” categories

*(Polish TAX law applies)

How to apply?

You can apply with up to 5 images no bigger than 5MB each, sized 21,6 cm x 15,2 cm, by filling out the Open Call form HERE. Your submission may consist of an already existing artwork.

Please name all submitted works: Artist’s Last Name_Artist’s First Name, Category (if you can say), number of the sum of pictures (e.g. Musterman_Max_Replacement_1of3)

The selection process

The open call will close on July 25th, 2018 at 23:59 CET.

From August 1st – 31st, 2018, public voting will be open. The ten favourite artworks from each category will then enter the final selection stage. From these, the best submission per category will be selected by The Universal Sea jury, and the winners will be announced on September 3rd. 2018. In addition, printouts of all the final submissions will be exhibited during The Universal Sea Budapest Festival, held in October 2018.