Call for Proposals: HAMSTER, a new publication

The Physics Room is calling for contributors to a new experimental serial titled, HAMSTER.


The first three issues of HAMSTER engage with the idea of a ‘post-truth world’. We encourage contributors to consider hacking strategies as lenses through which to explore contemporary creative and cultural practices. We feel these strategies provide a productive framework to use when considering the slippages between altruistic and selfish intent in relation to the politics and ethics of truth-telling.

Hackers are often characterised as operating from within one of three approaches. Black-hat hackers target computer systems, violating their security and compromising their integrity by stealing information, installing malicious software/code and corrupting these systems altogether. They do this without consent and for personal gain or criminal reasons. Inversely, the white-hat hacker is often a contractor hired by systems administrators to explore a system and find its holes or other risks that could lead to a system breach. These hackers – sometimes voluntary ‘good samaritans’ – inform the administrators of the faults in their system so that they may be rectified and for the integrity of their system to be restored. Grey-hat hackers similarly seek to compromise computer systems and may inform system administrators of a fault after it is found, but they may not always secure administrators’ consent beforehand. The intentions of Grey-hat hackers often remain unstable and murky even to themselves.

We invite contributors to utilise aspects of these three approaches in their responses to the idea of a ‘post-truth world’.


HAMSTER comes out of a recent critical writing workshop held at The Physics Room titled 'Public Displays, Public Discourses' and is a response to the current lack of interdisciplinary writing about contemporary cultural practice.  


Artistic and written contributions considering contemporary creative practice, culture and society are encouraged. HAMSTER values personal and critical responses, as well as creative approaches to essays, poetry, fiction, artist pages, cartoons, correspondence, interviews, and experimental forms that defy classification.

Contributions should be previously unpublished.

HAMSTER will be freely distributed throughout Ōtautahi and Aotearoa.

Areas of interrogation could include:

Considering Greyness, Blackness and Whiteness / Fiction as Non-Fiction / Non-Fiction as Fiction - ‘Post-Truth’ and Contemporary Creative Practice / Ōtautahi Oscillations – contributions from, and about Ōtautahi / Speaking to or as The Institution / Satire, Parody and Cultural Power-Plays / Spy vs. Spy: honesty, deception and competition / Re-telling, Re-imagining, Re-membering Histories / Letters to the Editor


We would also like to introduce “Scrag”; a review section. We intend this to contribute towards a stronger environment of productive critique and critical culture in Ōtautahi and Aotearoa.

We solicit honest reviews of publicly funded cultural activity and we will support and facilitate the right of reply by the subject of the review.

We also solicit dishonest reviews of privately funded cultural activity and will support and facilitate the right of the subject to ignore critical assessment.

Contributors should select a piece of creative work, exhibition, performance, text, screening, or event to review.


We are committed to supporting a balance of voices.

We are open to discussing proposals before the deadline.

We will respond to all emails we receive.


Contributors will be paid.

The finished publication will be staple-bound and printed on risograph. The page size will be 277 x 200mm (just a bit smaller than A4).

Please respond to this call with:

- A brief excerpt or description of the work you are proposing (can include one or two images if relevant)

- A short CV (one page maximum)

Please send to


Your proposal is required by 5pm Friday 1 September.

If accepted for publication, final copy will be required by 5pm Friday 20 October.


The publication of HAMSTER is supported by the Chartwell Trust