UNFIX 2021 - Call for artists
Deadline: 2nd April 2021
UNFIX festival will return in June 2021, and we’re seeking artists of all art forms (paid!) to contribute to our programme.
We’re thrilled to announce an additional, separate open call in partnership with the Barn multi-arts venue (Banchory, Northern Scotland). We are offering a one week paid residency at the Barn as part of UNFIX 2021, with an extended deadline of 16th April. Click here for details!
Or keep scrolling down for more on our main open call.
What is UNFIX?
We’re an arts festival based in Scotland, with partners in New York City, Tokyo and Bologna. We programme work concerned with ecological crisis, climate change, hyper-capitalism and all the things that might help to address them: love, care, imagination, joy and dissent.
Though everything has changed for humans in the last year, our desires and our approach are still the same: to find out through art who the Anthropocene is asking us to be, and to seek ways of connecting as if audiences and artists deserve more than distraction and entertainment.
Pulling on the thread of climate change, we find the fabric of everything spooling out in front of us: How we treat each other, who gets included, where the waste goes, how the money gets divided, what about the animals, what about the weather, what about our souls. Are we happy yet? Do we even want to get there?
We’ve had a year to mourn the ongoing losses of intimacy, the loneliness, the job losses (including devastation in the arts industry), as well as the health effects and deaths from the virus itself. We see the pandemic as a shocking illustration of our main themes at UNFIX: our social and biological interdependencies, the power of nature to overwhelm human plans, the inequalities in our socioeconomic systems, and the resilience of human passion and compassion through changing circumstances.
There are opportunities here. Underneath the main events, the pandemic is telling us
- We can stop the machine if we really want to
- Physical distance can be an act of care (I’m staying away because I love you)
- We’re all alone and completely together
- Nothing is promised
- Everything is possible
What we are Looking For
In the last years UNFIX has programmed work in dance, film, installation, workshop, debate, ritual and activist formats. You can read more about our background here. You can also watch the video at the bottom of this page for an idea of what UNFIX is and the thinking behind it.
This time we will have to reinvent ourselves and offer a programme that connects virtually, through unexpected avenues, and we can’t do this without artists willing to shake up their own art forms. Our usual methods will not work in this situation, and for UNFIX 2021 we’d like artists to experiment and take leaps into the unknown.
We’ll welcome digital geniuses and film makers but also dancers, musicians, writers, performance artists and others who didn’t plan on making art in this way. If you can see a way to reach people deeply NOW, through a new form for your work or an emotional expression of your frustrations and longings, we will help you to realise it.
Please think sideways and hit us with your wildest reinventions of your art: how can we find new intimacy without close contact? How can we use the channels available to us to overcome the distance we’re living? We expect much of the work to be delivered online, but less obvious strategies such as postal art are welcome.
We’re particularly interested in work that can offer ways to explore how we are living our days: rituals and aesthetics of contemporary living. Ways to wake up and be present. What can our audience take away from the festival into their daily lives off-screen?
What we can Offer
Every artist will receive a fee depending on the work: how many people are involved, whether it’s already been made, your expenses in making it… To give you an idea, our total programming budget is between £10.000 and £12.000 – so we’re not rich, but we are hiring. We aim to distribute this amount as fairly as possible, discussing this with you at the point of programming.
We can also offer assistance in the technical aspects of realising your project: videography, sound, internet delivery. All of the programmed work must be accessible and we encourage you to think about this, but we will have accessibility, captioning and BSL staff available to work with you.
For those based in Scotland you may benefit from the space and assistance to make the work offered by our partners at the CCA in Glasgow (www.cca-glasgow.com) and the Barn in Banchory (https://www.thebarnarts.co.uk/). We will do our best to connect you to these resources with the government’s restrictions in mind.
You’re also welcome to make work at home, outdoors, however you need to: though we can’t make it for you we will make our resources available to assist you.
If things change faster than expected we might be able to think about live audiences, but we advise against submissions that depend on this completely – unless you’ve thought of a clever way around it, be that one to one performances, outdoors events or things we haven’t thought of yet.
Who can Apply?
The call is open to both Scottish and International Artists. As a festival based in a rich northern country, we would love to hear from artists in the ‘Global South’: climate change and ecological crisis are hitting other places in worse ways and with greater speed than Scotland, and we’re painfully aware of this. We will also maintain our focus as a Scotland based festival dedicated to helping artists here think about how to connect their work to these biggest of themes.
There will be sister-programmes through UNFIX New York City, UNFIX Bologna and UNFIX Tokyo. If you’re near any of these places we will try to connect you to our partners and their resources there.
How to Apply
Please fill in the application form and send it to us by no later than 2nd April 2021.
You are welcome to make a video submission or use any other format that’s more comfortable for you. We want to hear from you, and from artists of all kinds of backgrounds, so please don’t worry about impressing us with fancy language or trying to do ‘arts industry speak’. Just be humans, and we will too. All we ask is that you be as direct as you can and be respectful of our own time in going through the submissions.