Call for Volunteers: Encyclonopedia Iranica


Mohammad Salemy, curator-in-residence at Access Gallery, is looking to recruit a group of people who are interested in contemporary art, new media technologies and contemporary Iranian culture to volunteer to help him with his project ENCYCLONOPEDIA IRANICA.

ENCYCLONOPEDIA IRANICA is a collective web-based navigational system that employs a non-mechanical approach to the production and dissemination of artistic scientific and scholarly knowledge on the Internet. Participants in this project are Iranian artists, humanities scholars, writers, mathematicians, scientists, poets, bloggers, and designers from inside and outside of Iran. They have been invited to participate in the project by contributing one body of digital material gathered or produced as part of a research or artistic project towards the construction of the system. The contributions will be organized in a navigational system, enabling users to interact with individual participants or look for common themes and methods that unite or separate a multiplicity of practices. The online system will establish interconnections between the participants’ contributions, transforming an individually generated form of knowledge into a collective one. By offering an integrated interface that weaves together search results from within the system and specific targeted information available elsewhere on the Internet, the project produces a multi-navigational method for gathering and circulating digital knowledge.

As a volunteer, you will be involved in one or more of the following:
– Describing and organizing the digital contributions of the artists, scientists and scholars who have been invited to participate in the project.
– Contributing to the development of the system’s design by testing and using its built features.
– Using various editing software to prepare digital files for inclusion in the database.
– Conducting online research about the participants
– Helping to convert files and compiling a large annotated bibliography for the system.
– Translating text from Farsi to English or vice versa.
– Helping with the organization and documentation of THE INCREDIBLE MACHINE: WHAT SHOULD WE DO WITH COMPUTERS conference (March 7-8, 2014) at SFU Woodwards.

Being involved with this project is a great opportunity to:
– Work with a leading programmer and designer who are helping Salemy to create an original web base exhibition.
– Learn about the emerging field of digital curatorial practice.
– Learn about the procedures involved in digital preservation, database, technologies and archiving standards used in leading libraries and collections.
– Participate in artist run cultural production through Access gallery.
– Become familiar with Iranian contemporary culture.
– Learn about organizing and holding academic and public education program events.

The volunteers’ work schedule is flexible and participants in the volunteer program can chose how much time they’d like to dedicate to the project. Except the initial training, occasional meetings, and the two-day conference (March 7-8, 2014) the majority of the volunteer work will be completed on any computer that can connect to the Internet. The time frame for the volunteer work on the project is January 6 to June 6, 2014. The deadline for participation is December January 15, 2013.

To get involved or learn more about the project, please contact or join the ENCYCLONOPEDIA IRANICA GROUP on Facebook at:

ENCYCLONOPEDIA IRANICA and THE INCREDIBLE MACHINE: WHAT SHOULD WE DO WITH COMPUTERS have been made possible by the generous support of the Canada Council for the Arts.

Mohammad Salemy is a Vancouver-based independent curator from Iran. He has curated exhibitions at Koerner Gallery, Satellite Gallery, AMS Gallery, and Dadabase and co-curated an exhibition for the Morris and Helen Belkin Art Gallery. Salemy holds an MA in Critical and Curatorial Studies from the University of British Columbia.