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SYPHON 8.0: Tenderness

Modern Fuel Artist-Run Centre is accepting submissions for our next edition of our annual publication, Syphon 8.0: Tenderness. Syphon is an arts and culture publication produced by Modern Fuel Artist-Run Centre that is meant to act as a conduit between the arts community in Kingston and communities elsewhere. It was created in response to the lack of critical arts commentary and coverage in local publications, and seen as a way to increase exposure to experimental and non-commercial art practices. Syphon has a mandate to feature local arts coverage in conjunction with national and international projects, and an emphasis on arts scenes and activities that are seen as peripheral. It acts, in essence, as a record and communiqué for small regional arts communities throughout the country.

Running in tandem with the Annual Juried Exhibition, the theme Tenderness responds to various dialogues including radical softness, pain, vulnerability, and care. Modern Fuel selected this topic due to its wide scope of interpretation and due to our collective desire to reignite and refuel intimate creative processes both inside and outside of our own organization. As the world recovers from isolation, a cause of trauma and further systemic oppression for many in and of itself, it is vital to establish communities that materialize and integrate radical care practices into the everyday. Tenderness in this sense means intimacy and empathy; it means recognizing and acting on the fact that our lives are necessarily interdependent; it means emphasizing and learning from the often-invisibilized radical care acts performed by oppressed folks; and it means so much more than this. We would like to pose the following prompts to artists who are looking to contribute to Syphon 8.0: Tenderness: how can you become closer – more tender and intimate – with your expression and process? What kind of care or intimacies are involved in your art? How does your art relate and/or contribute to the dialogues of tenderness and radical softness? 


We are accepting full, finalized submissions until May 30th 2023 that include poetry, essays, creative writing (including flash fiction, short stories, etc.), exhibition reviews, curatorial interviews with artists, as well as visual works including but not limited to photography, digital illustrations/design, collages, and high-quality images of physical pieces. This edition will see a complete physical transformation; we are reinventing the way in which Syphon is printed in order to embody innovative ways of thinking about and re-orienting art. This edition will have an expanded online version that contains additional digital submissions alongside the pieces published in the print edition. Thus we are now accepting proposals that contain video and audio elements. Additionally, Modern Fuel will be hosting a launch party in November alongside the release of Syphon 8.0.


Submissions Requirements (Please upload answers to these questions as one single PDF document):

  • Description of the work in relation to the theme (max. 300 words in length)

  • Biography and/or Artist Statement detailing your practice in accompaniment to your proposal that can be included in the issue (max 250 words)

  • Links to social media, website, or any video submissions

  • Your final piece to be included in Syphon 8.0 (*Please note if your submission is visual, please upload the work separately as a high quality PNG or JPEG.) *Long form written pieces should be 1000 words or less.


Please ensure that all documents are properly attached before submission. Submissions will be accepted up until 11:59pm on May 30th, 2023. All submissions will be reviewed by an appointed jury, and selected contributors will be notified by June 30th, 2023. The appointed jury will remain anonymous.


Syphon is open to artists everywhere! Share with your communities.


All artists whose pieces are selected will be paid for their work according to the CARFAC fee schedule. Following the selection process will be a period in which text-based submissions are collaboratively edited by both the jury and the artist. The editing process is an open dialogue between Modern Fuel and the contributor that is meant to refine the submissions while maintaining the artist’s vision.  


Please advise us of any accommodations needed to ensure you can complete the submission process by emailing us at

Modern Fuel is committed to anti-racism, anti-oppression, and decolonial thinking in our utmost capacity. Thus assisting any artists, art makers, and art workers who face barriers surrounding their submission, documenting their submission, or submission process is of absolute priority. Please see our resource list for local resources within the KFL&A region that can assist your submission process, or reach out to Modern Fuel at any time.

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