DIY: 2010 – Call for Proposals

Professional development projects BY artists FOR artists

Deadline for proposals: Monday 17 May 2010

These guidelines are available in large print on request

Our Call for Proposals to lead a project has now closed.

More info about DIY.

More info about DIY 7: 2010.

Camp Live Art! [was] a highly engaging and informative experience; challenging my perceptions of art and beauty, permitting myself to participate in previously unexplored tasks, learning not to take ownership or be covetous of material but instead allowing it to remain malleable and transformative. (Pip Hicks, DIY 6 participant)


DIY is an opportunity for artists working in Live Art to conceive and run unusual training and professional development projects for other artists.

We want to hear from you if have an idea for an exciting, innovative and idiosyncratic Live Art professional development project that offers something new and is geared to the eclectic and often unusual needs of artists whose practices are grounded in challenging and unconventional approaches, forms and concepts. If you think you can initiate and run a DIY professional development project then read the guidelines below.

DIY 7 builds on the strengths of previous DIY schemes which have proved to be invaluable experiences for project leaders, participants and organisers alike, and this year we are delighted to welcome even more partner organisations on board.

Reports on previous DIY schemes can be found here.

DIY 7 is a Live Art Development Agency initiative developed in collaboration with Artsadmin (national), Colchester Arts Centre (East England), Duckie (national), Fierce (West Midlands), Forest Fringe (national), New Work Network (national), Nuffield Theatre & LANWest (North West), PLATFORM (national), Text Festival (North West), Whitstable Biennale (South East), Wunderbar Festival (North East) and Yorkshire Sculpture Park (Yorkshire).

Projects will be specifically based in, and/or stimulating and benefiting artists from the regions noted above. Projects may also be developed in collaboration with the DIY partner organisations in those regions.
We are planning to support thirteen DIY projects that will take place in August and September 2010. Each project will receive £1,000 support.


DIY projects may take any form, and can be loosely or rigorously focused on a specific theme/content. However, we also welcome proposals that specifically respond to one of the following six project opportunities. Six of the thirteen DIY projects will be selected according to these opportunities:

1. Live Art & disability
Over many years, many artists have worked with Live Art practices to engage with, represent, and problematise issues of disability in innovative and radical ways. DIY 7 welcomes proposals which explore the intersections and relationships between Live Art and disability. The project can take place anywhere in the UK. (The Live Art Development Agency is currently developing Restock, Rethink, Reflect Two, a programme of performances, screenings, discussion and publication about and around Live Art and disability, and the selected DIY project may also be reflected in and enrich RRR2, which will take place later in 2010.) If you have questions or ideas: please contact CJ Mitchell, Live Art Development Agency – [email protected]

2. Live Art in Clubs   
Rigorous and crafted performance art is still a rarity in nightclub settings, with “serious” practitioners often opting for gallery, theatre, or site specific contexts to show their work. As Simon Casson of Duckie says: “Why does club performance seem to be crowd-pleasy, banal and cheap? Illegitimate performance in clubland has an inglorious underground history, from New York’s Jackie 60’s to the post-drag misadventures currently on offer in the east end of London. How can a serious Live Art practitioner respond when their audiences are drinking, dancing, posing, socializing, taking drugs and looking for a shag?” DIY proposals are welcomed which address the challenges and opportunities nightclub settings throw up, and could look at this broad area or focus on a particular aspect of it. The project can take place anywhere in the UK. This DIY initiative is supported by London Live Art/club producers Duckie. If you have questions or ideas: please contact Simon Casson, Duckie – [email protected]

3. Live Art and Yorkshire Sculpture Park
Yorkshire Sculpture Park is set in the 500-acre Bretton estate and five indoor galleries. It curates a changing programme of modern and contemporary art through indoor and open air exhibitions, projects, performances and off-site interventions, with an emphasis on visitor experience and learning. Over 80 sculptures in the landscape include work by Henry Moore, Barbara Hepworth, and Dennis Oppenheim alongside permanent site-specific commissions by James Turrell, Sol LeWitt and Andy Goldsworthy. Recent gallery exhibitions by Isamu Noguchi, James Lee Byars and Carlos Garaicoa were paralleled with landscape interventions and exploration by Simon Whitehead, Brandon Ballengée and Alec Finlay. One of the founding principles of YSP is to enable access to work by international artists and to a landscape that had been in private ownership for centuries. YSP is keen to enable a DIY project that responds in some way to the place, whether that be its art, history, heritage, landscape, nature, values or people and is happy to facilitate this through continued dialogue and knowledge sharing. If you have questions or ideas: please or contact Helen Pheby, YSP – [email protected]

4. Live Art and the Language Moment
Against the background of global stylistic multiplicity, the use of language spans across many artforms and may even be a unifying field of enquiry, a new definition and a new field of international linguistic art practice and dialogue. Instead of linear notions of narrative and personal expression, language in 21st Century art manifests in strategies involving:
• Parataxis and the sentence as the basic unit of composition;
• Intertextuality – creating new texts out of existing texts;
• Materiality – the use of text, letters or sounds for their material qualities;
• Spatialisation – the transition of the language object into three/four dimensions; and
• Process – language works generated through the application of systems or conceptual processes.
DIY proposals are welcomed which integrate some of these or related strategies in the context of Live Art. This DIY initiative is supported by The Text Festival in Bury, an internationally recognised event investigating contemporary language art (poetry, text art, sound and media text, live art). This DIY initiative is one of the launch activities leading up to the third Text Festival (April-July 2011) and should ideally take place in or in relation to Bury; multiple venues in Bury can be made available in support of the activity if needed. To discuss your ideas or for further information please contact Tony Trehy, Bury Council – [email protected] –

5. The Black Country and its Living Museum
Fierce is fascinated by The Black Country Living Museum, and hopes to develop a relationship with the Museum over the coming years: ‘Experience life as it would have been years ago, as sights, sounds, tastes and smells bring your senses to life.’ Fierce welcomes proposals that use the Black Country and/or its Living Museum as a frame or a jumping off point for a DIY project, which can take place in or in relation to the Black Country and/or the Museum; Fierce can assist with finding locations for the project, and with other logistics. (Fierce is currently developing an event from their Interrobang series to be held in the Black Country, Friday 24 – Sunday 26 September 2010. Interrobangs are weekend-long mash-ups of interaction, conversation, experiment, direct action, workshops and work in progress. Traces of this DIY project might resonate with the September Interrobang and be present there somehow.) To discuss your ideas or for further information, please contact: Laura McDermott, Joint Artistic Director: Fierce – [email protected]

6. Shaping the Future: Dismantling the Fortress
During 2010, PLATFORM is working with Stephen Lawrence Centre in Deptford, London, making work on race, creativity, dissent, privilege. This connects to our ongoing work on Nigeria: legacies of empire, human rights, culture, trade, resource extraction etc. The murder of Stephen Lawrence in 1993, and the execution of Nigerian writer Ken Saro-Wiwa in 1995, coupled with the current rise in fascist politics and Fortress Europe, is seen in relation to historical roots. 2010 is the 50th anniversary of 17 African countries’ independence from European rule, including Nigeria’s independence from Britain. Yet it is also the 125th anniversary since the end of the Berlin Conference which formalised an agreement between European nations and the USA on the ongoing “carve-up” of Africa. Berlin meant that 10,000 separate cultures on the vast continent were forced to live within 53 “nations”, named by Europeans, within boundaries which were imposed for Europe’s convenience through brutality and coercion. This on the back of 350 years of European profit from the mass enslavement of Africans.

For DIY 7, we are interested in creative investigations and interventions on any aspects of these issues. The project can take place anywhere nationally where there is a strong or surprising resonance. To discuss your ideas or for further information, please contact: Jane Trowell, PLATFORM – – [email protected]

DIY – more information
I believe ‘DIY for artists’ is a really productive form of training, as it is so specifically tailored to what I need. I’ve been on many training courses before but none that felt so relevant to me. To carry on the tailoring analogy – it’s the difference between a bespoke suit and an off the peg outfit!! (Clare Thornton, DIY 1 participant)
I’ve learnt more in these three days than in the past six months. (Casper Below, DIY 2 participant)
The workshops have refreshed my outlook and contexts for making and performing artwork.(Jenny Edbrooke, DIY 3 participant)
As a way of creatively engaging with others this was very different from anything I have experienced before. (Sarah Bell, DIY 4 participant)

We were invigorated, perplexed, well fed, exhausted, annoyed, talkative, fit and sporty. We made some new friends and strengthened our relationships with the others we knew from before. We worked hard and had some fun. We wondered and wandered together. We considered resistance and hope and are left with more than enough food for thought. (DIY 5 participants on First Retreat then Advance!!)

The value of DIY is in the opportunity it presents for both leaders and participants to explore and experiment together. (Tim Jeeves, DIY 6 project leader)

What sort of project can I propose for DIY?
We are seeking proposals from artists for adventurous and possibly outlandish projects that are grounded in an awareness of the issues impacting on artists’ practices and are aimed at enhancing the range of approaches available to practitioners. The development of a Live Art practice is not so much about skills and techniques (although these are of course inherent in the work) but about ideas and possibilities. We are therefore not seeking proposals for training programmes in any conventional sense but more illustrations and illuminations of how to approach and address ideas.

The projects may take any form. Previous projects, for example, covered practical and conceptual issues and took in city centre adventures; unexpected train journeys; a 24 hour immersive experience; rural retreats about art and activism; workshops about gut feelings and autobiologies; new approaches to artistic research, networking, collaboration and documentation; experiments around the impact of time in art; treasure hunts; skills swap shops; live and wireless video; a 1,000 bike ride; considerations of risk in performance; football leagues; dialogues around self and performance; personalising understandings of success; making the most of day jobs; unblocking and reinvigorating the creative spirit; camping trips; walking journeys; joke writing; and intimacy in performance.

As part of all DIY proposals we expect you to identify the kinds of artists who will participate and how you will select them. We will want to know how your project will contribute to the professional development of the participants.

** However, we also welcome proposals that specifically respond to one of the project opportunities noted above. Six of the thirteen DIY projects will be selected according to these opportunities.

How much are the DIY awards and how many projects will be supported?
We expect to support thirteen projects with awards of £1,000 each. The award is expected to cover all artists’ fees and expenses for the project.

Who can propose DIY projects?
We will accept applications from individual artists or groups of artists. If applying as a group you must identify one artist as the lead/contact artist (any grant awarded will be paid to the lead/contact artist).
We welcome applications from artists who have previously run and/or participated in DIY projects.

When would my DIY project have to take place?
Your DIY project must take place between 1 August and 30 September 2010.

Where could my DIY project take place?
The preferred locations for the projects that responded to one of the project opportunities noted above are noted in those texts.
The other projects can take place anywhere nationally. However, we will explore whether projects can be specifically based in, and/or stimulate and benefit artists from the regions noted above within the list of DIY partner organizations.

Can you help develop my proposal?
DIY encourages artists to self determine and run their own projects. However, we are happy to briefly discuss your proposal with you as you develop your ideas. Project proposals can also be developed in collaboration with the DIY partner organisations in those regions – in some cases, this may include being housed at a partner venue or in a space they can provide. (For example, we welcome proposals that can happen in or close to the Nuffield Theatre, Lancaster, and Alice Booth at Nuffield (contact details below) is available to discuss your ideas and needs.)

Please contact one of the DIY partner organizations if you would like to discuss a project idea in advance of submitting a proposal – please only contact an organization if they could be a potential collaborator on your project. We are sorry that we cannot meet in person to discuss proposals.
For advice, please email:

CJ Mitchell at the Live Art Development Agency (national) [email protected]
Manick Govinda at Artsadmin (national) [email protected]
Anthony Roberts at Colchester Arts Centre (East England) [email protected]
Simon Casson at Duckie (national) [email protected]
Laura McDermott at Fierce (West Midlands) [email protected]
Andy Field at Forest Fringe (national) [email protected]
Hannah Crosson at New Work Network (national) [email protected]
Alice Booth at Nuffield Theatre (North West) [email protected]
Jane Trowell at PLATFORM (all regions) [email protected]
Tony Trehy at Bury Council, Text Festival (North West) [email protected]
Sue Jones at Whitstable Biennale (South East) [email protected]
Ilana Mitchell at Wunderbar Festival (North East) [email protected]
Helen Pheby at Yorkshire Sculpture Park (Yorkshire) [email protected]

How do I apply?
To apply you should prepare a proposal that is no longer than three sides of A4. Your proposal should include:
• The name and full contact details of the lead artist/applicant.
• Details of which region your proposed project will take place in and why.
• A description of your proposed project.
• If you are responding to one of the specific project opportunities noted above, please note that in your proposal – for example, “This proposal responds to the Call for Live Art in Clubs”.
• The project’s artistic rationale and proposed methodology.
• An indication of who the proposed participants might be, including areas of practices, levels of experience, etc.
• An indication of the imagined outcomes and benefits for participants and yourself.
• An indication of the number of participants.
• Details of how you will select participants.
• A simple schedule of activity which outlines what you will do and when you will do it.
• A simple budget which shows how you will spend the grant.
• A short biography of the organiser(s) including your experience or interest in leading similar initiatives.

To make sure that we are offering the best possible projects around the country, we sometimes ask artists to run a DIY project in a region other than the one they have conceived their project for. Please indicate if you are happy for your project to take place in a region other than the one you have nominated.

Ideally, DIY projects will be free to participants but the nature of some projects may necessitate small financial contributions from participants. If participants are being asked to contribute for taking part in the project, you should indicate how much this will be and show this earned income in your project budget.

We expect the artist(s) organising the project to be paid a fee for the time they contribute to the project. Other budget items may include transport, tickets for events, space hire, speakers’ fees, etc.

It is not essential to supply supporting material. However, if you feel that supporting material will help us understand more about you and your proposal then we welcome it. Supporting material might include full CV’s, and copies of reports, press clippings, and documentation of previous performances/events. If you plan to submit a dvd as supporting material please ensure that you clearly identify an appropriate short extract. If submitting slides, please supply no more than 10 standard 35mm slides. Details of web sites are also welcomed as supporting material. Supporting material should ideally be sent electronically (see below) but can also be posted to Live Art Development Agency, Rochelle School, Arnold Circus, London E2 7ES. We will only return supporting material if you also send a stamped self addressed envelope.

You must also complete the monitoring questions. Your application will not be eligible without the completed monitoring questions.

Applications, clearly marked DIY 7 in the subject line, should be emailed [email protected] as a Word attachment, a RTF document or a PDF. We will only accept digital applications. We will not accept applications by post or fax. We will only consider applications received by the deadline.

Who will make the decision about which projects are funded and how will they decide?
Selections will be made by representatives of the DIY partner organizations listed above.
The criteria for selection includes:
• The relevance of the proposal to the aims of the DIY initiative.
• If appropriate, the relevance of the proposal to one of the six project opportunities noted above.
• The relevance of the proposal to Live Art practice and artists.
• The extent to which the proposal shows clear artistic direction and vision.
• The degree to which the proposal will contribute to the professional development of artists and regions. This will include the viability of locating projects in certain regions.
• The viability of the proposal.
• The ability of the applicant to achieve the stated aims of the proposal.
It is our intention to support a range of forms of projects through DIY 7 which together form a coherent national programme. The final decision on which projects to fund will therefore by informed by this and a project may be prioritised over another because of the alternative vision for professional development that it offers.
All decisions will be notified in writing.
Complaints and appeals in relation to DIY applications are undertaken under the Complaints and Appeals Procedure of the Live Art Development Agency.

What happens if my proposal is selected?
After the selection process, successful applicants will be invited to discuss their projects and plans with the Live Art Development Agency and/or relevant regional DIY partner to develop the shape and location of the projects, who they will be aimed at, how best to market them and recruit identified participants, and strategies for monitoring and evaluation. From these initial discussions a payment schedule and conditions of the award will be agreed.
DIY projects will be publicised through the partners’ extensive e-lists and websites and all partners will disseminate information including details of individual projects, dates, costs and application or registration procedures through their regional contacts.

The DIY partners and Arts Council England place a strong emphasis on equality of opportunity and access. In order to help us monitor this commitment, please complete the following questions. You must return these questions on a separate page with your application, which will not be eligible without it.
The questionnaire asks for statistical information only. We will not use the information you provide here in assessment and will detach it from your application.
We have designed the questions on this form to help us analyse applications to the DIY initiative. You should choose the answers which best describe you.
A version of this form can be downloaded here and returned with your submission as an attachment.

Cultural diversity
Please state what you consider to be or how you chose to define your ethnic origin (for example, Asian, British Asian, White European, Black Caribbean, British Chinese, etc)
The Disability Discrimination Act defines disability as a physical or mental impairment which has a substantial and long term adverse effect on a person’s ability to carry out normal day-to-day activities.
Do you consider yourself to be a disabled person?
To which age group do you belong?
Below 20
20 – 29
30 – 39
40 – 49
50 – 59
Above 60
How do you describe your gender?

Part of DIY: 2010

Unusual professional development projects conceived and run BY artists FOR artists

DIY: 2010


Unusual professional development projects conceived and run BY artists FOR artists

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