What can I expect to be doing as part of this programme?
The main contact through the programme will be four workshop sessions of three hours each. Currently we anticipate the first session taking place online, and the rest in Vivid Projects in Birmingham, but of course will keep this in review, responding to the ongoing pandemic conditions.
In addition we expect participants to spend additional time outside the workshop sessions, with the opportunity for one-to-one mentoring with the tutors, and to perform live at an event at the end of theproject. Overall we will look for a time commitment equivalent to at least five days' work spread over the five weeks of the project, but you are of course free invest to much more of your time.
We will provide a clear structure for the programme, however this is also an opportunity for you to do something new, so will be happy to look at changing the shape of the programme to fit your goals and artistic outcomes.
We anticipate really varied levels of experience, there’s no need to have any experience with computer programming or making music. We’ll introduce you to all that, get you up to speed and support you in taking it further/integrating with your existing artistic practice.
What will I need to take part?
You will need a laptop running either Windows (version 10 or later), MacOS (Catalina or above) or Linux.
We will be installing software, which will require you to have full administrator privileges on your computer.
Chromebooks, iPads, tablets and phones are unfortunately not suitable.
Can you provide laptops or equipment?
Unfortunately we do not have the resources to provide laptops.
When is the closing date for applications?
The call is open now until 23:59 on 14th March GMT. Applications submitted after this date will not be considered.
How does the selection process work?
All applications will first be checked to make sure that they’re eligible. Those that are will be reviewed by the programme team first individually, and then as a group.
We will then contact successful applicants. At any of these stages we may contact applicants to ask for clarifications or further information.
How many people will apply?
This is the first time this development programme has been run, so unfortunately we can’t predict how many will apply. However, because this is a paid training programme (that is, we pay you for taking part), we expect to receive more eligible applications than we have places available.
How many people will be chosen?
Can I apply as a collective?
While we recognise that many artists and musicians work in groups, the focus of this programme is on the development of individuals, so unfortunately collectives/groups cannot apply.
Additionally, under current Covid-19 restrictions we are limited to the number of people that are allowed on-site at Vivid Projects.
How do you define early career artists?
For this question we borrow from Jerwood Arts’s defintion:
We think of those in the early stages of their careers as usually within the first 10 years of establishing their practice. Broadly speaking, this means the artist/curator/producer will have had some professional experience and reached a critical moment in their career, and will require a particular kind of support in order to maximise their potential and propel them into the next phase of their development.
For [this programme] it means that, unless an individual has had a career change or break, their first professional experience will have been between 2011 and 2021.
Why can only Black people apply?
Live coding is a developing practice that is in need of diverse perspectives in order to move forward in a creative and healthy way. There have long been efforts in this direction but with some exceptions, these have largely focussed on gender diversity, countering the heavy male bias in technology, with some success. These efforts have been intersectional but the recent growth of the Black Lives Matter movement during 2020 has caused us to reflect further on the disproportionate lack of Black artists in the UK live coding scene. This is despite much of live coded music heavily inspired by Black music, much of which developed against a political struggle.
Although this project responds to the lack of Black representation in the live coding and Algorave scene we don’t necessarily intend to ‘solve’ that problem. Instead we want to provide early career artists with the time and resources to explore live coding and algorithmic music/art, and take it in whatever directions they want to (or not!). In the process we can learn about what barriers and opportunities there are for those futures.
How do you define “Black”?
For this question we borrow the definition of Black from the Black Ticket Project:
BTP define ‘Black’ as of Black African, Caribbean, Afro-Latinx and African-American heritage, including those of mixed-Black heritage who identify as such.
Why can only people from the West Midlands apply?
This is a pilot project that we would like to expand in the future, but for now we are interested in creating the opportunity for a local live coding community of practice to grow in the West Midlands area.
What is Vivid Projects like?
Vivid Projects is a non-profit company supporting media arts practice. Founded in 2012 and based in Birmingham, we encourage innovation, risk and experimentation in artistic practice. We are committed to a diversity of practice and encourage historic and contemporary engagement with cultural and sub-cultural histories. Our work is made public through an ambitious programme of events and exhibitions on and off-site, created in collaboration with artists, producers, thinkers and researchers.
Various photos of the space over the years can be seen here http://www.vividprojects.org.uk/hire/
The space is based on the first floor and currently there is no lift access.
Vivid Projects has all necessary PPE including hand sanitisers and masks. Vivid Projects has a Covid protocols policy which is regularly updated following government guidelines. When on site we ask that you observe social distancing rules.
What will the researchers involved be doing?
This project is funded by Music and the Internet: Towards a Digital Sociology of Music, which is a research project led by the electronic music history researcher Christopher Haworth, and funded by UK Research and Innovation/Arts and Humanities Research Council. The project examines the changing social, political, aesthetic and communicative uses of the internet and digital technologies in electronic music from the mid-1990s to the present. The workshops are envisaged as a speculative and collaborative activity, designed to support artistic development and without particular research outcomes in mind. However the nature and potential future of live coding is little understood, and one outcome of the workshop is to identify interesting areas and questions for future research as well as arts practice.
What impact will Coronavirus have on this programme?
We are aware that the pandemic means things change quickly. Should Birmingham/the UK enter strict lockdown restrictions the programme will continue online.
We’re also aware that, even if lockdown restrictions are eased, people may not feel comfortable meeting with others in a group. Once the applicants have been chosen we will take this into consideration and plan the sessions accordingly.
We have planned to include online exchange in the programme in any case, and we will utilise a mixture of online video chats, instant messaging and a forum. Nonetheless we are mindful of the fatigue many are feeling around online interaction and will bear this in mind when planning sessions.
Do you provide expenses?
We are able to provide reasonable travel expenses for travel within the West Midlands. Please contact us to discuss your circumstances and see how/if we can support.
When are we given the participation fee?
Participants will be given their participation fee of £100 after each of four workshops, on the receipt of an invoice.