TULUM, Mexico – Sfer Ik, the artistic branch of the renowned Azulik resort nestled in the heart of Mexico’s enchanting Yucatan peninsula, has unveiled a captivating opportunity for artists worldwide. This initiative beckons the creative minds of the global art community to integrate artificial intelligence (AI) into their projects. From today, September 12th, until November 17th, artists from every corner of the world are invited to submit their proposals for a chance to bring their innovative visions to life.
Led by the visionary creative director of Sfer Ik, Marcello Dantas, an esteemed international panel of curators and critics will serve as the discerning judges for this exceptional endeavor. The winning artist, selected from this distinguished open call, will embark on a remarkable journey of collaboration and artistic realization.
Dantas shares his enthusiasm, stating, “We will collaborate with the artist and give them the means, the money, the tools, and the team to make it happen.” The parameters for eligibility are strikingly inclusive, welcoming artists from diverse backgrounds, styles, and mediums. The sole requirement is that their proposal resonates with the overarching themes of interspecies connection, environmental engagement, and ancestral knowledge. As Dantas emphasizes, “It can be anything, from using an AI visualizer to model the work to employing an AI chatbot to delve into the conceptual depths of the proposal. What we want to convey to artists is this: do not underestimate this platform.”
The laureate of this prestigious award will receive a generous grant of $100,000, coupled with a two-month residency at Sfer Ik’s sprawling facility, situated just beyond the breathtaking allure of Tulum. Here, artists will have access to a plethora of state-of-the-art studios and fabrication resources, including laser cutters, thermoforming machines, 3D printers, and a six-axis robotic arm. Traditional equipment for crafting glass, ceramics, and other mediums is also at their disposal.
Dantas underscores the unique advantage of this opportunity, noting, “This is what really enticed me about this project because it allows artists to completely forget about insurance, shipping, packaging, crating—all the logistical challenges often encountered in museums and galleries. Here, everything’s on-site, with local facilities—the biggest uncertainty you may face is dealing with hurricanes.”
Upon the completion of the chosen proposal, it will be proudly showcased in an open-air museum that Sfer Ik is constructing in the heart of Tulum’s artistic tapestry. Furthermore, two outstanding runner-up projects will be selected by the esteemed jury, and the creative minds behind these endeavors will be extended invitations for residencies at the Sfer Ik complex. The realization of their projects will depend on considerations of cost and feasibility.
Dantas passionately expounds on the mission behind this initiative, stating, “We genuinely believe that there is a harmonious way to blend art, technology, science, and ancestral wisdom—and if executed thoughtfully, it can position us in a more promising light in the world. While many discuss the dystopian potential of AI, we are contemplating its utopian applications. Can AI genuinely empower individuals? We wholeheartedly believe it can.”
The eagerly anticipated announcement of the winning proposal is set to take place during the illustrious Miami Art Week in early December. While this award is currently a one-of-a-kind opportunity, Dantas holds hope for its potential replication in the years to come, pending the outcomes of this inaugural iteration.
In addition to its already prominent presence in and around Tulum, a renowned ecotourism destination on Mexico’s Caribbean coast, also known as the Riviera Maya for its wealth of archaeological treasures, Azulik is embarking on a new venture. The resort and art space in the AlUla region of Saudi Arabia, a brainchild of the mononymous designer and philanthropist Roth, is currently under development—a testament to Azulik’s commitment to fostering artistic innovation and cross-cultural exchange on a global scale.
Official website: www.sferik.art