OPEN CALL: ANDxSomerset House Studios Commission Opportunity

Thu 14 Nov 2019

Abandon Normal Devices (AND) and Somerset House Studios are excited to work together in commissioning a new live audio-visual performance responding to the site and themes of AND Festival 2020.

About the opportunity
AND and Somerset House Studios will commission a new live audio-visual performance responding to the industrial waterways and themes of AND Festival 2020. This resulting work will be a flagship AND Festival 2020 commission presented as part of a programme of sound and visual performances in May 2020 and will also be presented at Somerset House Studios in London as part of a programme exploring image, sound and digital art in June 2020.

AND Festival site
Opened in 1894 the 36mile long Manchester Ship Canal is an engineering wonder which has connected the North’s industrial heartland for 125 years through the mouth of the River Mersey and into the Irish Sea. Observing the flows from oil refineries; recycling plants, wind farms and agriculture from these ports to sites across the world, AND Festival 2020 will bring into focus these global trade infrastructures that are largely hidden from sight. In May 2020 AND will stage sound and visual events in the industrial landscape of the River Mersey and the Manchester Ship Canal, exploring the rich themes of the site related to water, industry, global trade and the intersection between climate change and feminism. AND Festival 2020 will seek to reclaim what are traditionally considered masculine representations of large industrial infrastructure, and in a time of urgent politics enable prophetic glimpses of what is to come.

About ANDxSomerset House Studios
Abandon Normal Devices and Somerset House Studios share a joint ambition to support experimental work across disciplines, and to connect a network of artists beyond the duration of any residency or festival. Together we co-commissioned Taut Line, a multi-channel sound installation created by electronic composer and artist Beatrice Dillon in a residency in Peak Cavern during AND Festival 2017 which was reimagined for the Deadhouse at Somerset House later that year.

This opportunity is open to women and non-binary artist/s of all ages, at any point in their career, and is open to international applicants.

It is envisioned as a short residency on-site at some time between late January and up to AND Festival in May 2020. In case required, please note only one return flight can be covered in this period of travelling internationally.

The nature of the commission means it is anticipated the artist/s will have begun work on the project before arriving to the site and must be capable of delivering a live audio- visual performance within the timeframe allocated.

Collaborations are welcome, but please note for international applicants, only one UK return flight from outside Europe can be provided.

Both new projects and projects in development but not yet completed are eligible. Candidates will be selected based on the strength of their project as well as their ability to deliver, and a demonstration that the opportunity will be beneficial. The panel will consist of members of the Abandon Normal Devices and Somerset House Studios teams.

Submission & Enquiries
Full information about the commissioning opportunity, timelines and application process can be found at Somerset House website.

Applications deadline Wednesday 11 December 2019 at midday.

All applications will be reviewed by a panel consisting of representatives from AND and Somerset House Studios. Shortlisted candidates will be notified by 16 December, and invited for a skype interview 19th December.

For any queries relating to ANDxSomerset House Open Call please contact


Image: Stanlow Oil Refinery by Junk Culture/

Recent Journals

Other Journals