Open Call for Soundmakers of All Kinds : Ten Acres of Sound Festival (6 commissions)

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24 January 2020

TEN ACRES OF SOUND - Stirchley’s Noise Fête

Artefact is producing a festival of experimental sound production in Stirchley, South Birmingham. Drawn out over three weeks and happening throughout the district, it aims to be akin to something between an avant-garde concert series, a site-specific exhibition and a messed up village fete. We are looking for noise-makers of all kinds to produce the centrepieces for this unusual festival.

The festival is called Ten Acres of Sound, referring to a historical district of Stirchley and the original Ten Acres and Stirchley Co-operative Society. Stirchley has a strong history of co-operatives, which continues to this day, Artefact being one of the high street’s several small current co-operatives.

What is Artefact?

Artefact is a cooperatively run and artist-led project space in Stirchley, about five miles south of Birmingham city centre. For the past three years it has hosted and produced a heady programme of exhibitions, performances, discussion groups, concerts, workshops, meet-ups and parties, often led by or in collaboration with members of the community.

An unusual hybrid of art gallery, village hall, mini-nightclub and music venue, Artefact is properly rooted in its location and surrounding communities. We see no contradiction between providing a platform for emerging or experimental art practices and wholeheartedly welcoming and involving our community. To that end, we are looking for artists who are up for engaging with both the place and the people of Stirchley. We also like to keep in touch with the artists we work with, and think it’s important for us to form a long-standing relationships and help where we can in their development.

What are we looking for?

We are interested in composer-performers, noise artists, instrument builders, circuit benders, field recorders, sound artists, audio-visual artists, listening practices and anyone on the music-noise-art spectrum to propose works for the festival.

The proposals should engage with sound and result in a work that is able to be installed or persist throughout the duration of the festival with relatively little supervision. Other than this stipulation, the form and scope of that work is entirely up to you; we want the work to be ambitious and experimental.

We are looking to present six works selected from the proposals we receive. Each commissioned artist will be paid a fee of £900 to produce and oversee the installation of the work.

The proposal and work for Ten Acres of Sound would preferably explore ideas of locality and community. This could include work that uses sound...

...to investigate human/nature interactions, biodiversity loss, pollution, sustainability, global environmental justice or climate change

...as a tool for protest or creating social change

...to think about community dynamics, the erosion of public space and gentrification

In addition to this, we would also like the work in some way to be site-responsive, either relating to Stirchley’s history, ecology or community or to the work’s immediate location. These specific sites can be chosen with the assistance and collaboration of Artefact and the community. To facilitate this we will organise walking tours of Stirchley with the commissioned artists introducing them to Stirchley’s community, history and natural surroundings. Possible spaces include, but are not limited to: the library, public buildings, outside spaces, stations, pubs and shops on the high street.

There will also be opportunities for the artists to meet local community groups if desired, to help research the area for the project including: Stirchley History Group, Sustainable Stirchley, Loaf Bakery and Cookery School, Birmingham Bike Foundry, Fruit & Nut Village Project, Stirchley Singing Group, Stirchley Art Rooms and Stirchley Cooperative Development.


Please send:

►A short paragraph explaining your practice. (200 words max).

►A short paragraph describing your proposed artwork/ performance. (300 words max).

►Any supporting sound or video files, sent via Wetransfer or submitted as online links (e.g. Soundcloud or Vimeo).

►Images of your previous works if applicable. (5 max).

►A link to your website if you have one.

Send submissions to artefactstirchley@gmail.com with the subject heading “Ten Acres of Sound Open Call”. Deadline: 24th January 2020.

Successful applicants will be notified during the week beginning Monday 27th of January and then have from the 1st February- 3rd April to develop their works before installing in the final week of March.

The selection process will be overseen by Artefact Projects, Jo Capper (Grand Union), Sarah Farmer (Ideas of Noise Festival), Antonio Roberts (artist and curator), and Anna Palmer (Dorcha, Capsule).

If you have any questions please don’t hesitate to get in touch with us on the above email.

Deadline for proposals:Friday 24th January

Festival runs from: Friday 10th April to Sunday 3rd May 2020

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