Apply to be an alt.barbican artist

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The Barbican and The Trampery are looking for innovative artists working at the intersection of art, technology and entrepreneurship to take part in a major new project.

Taking inspiration from start-up accelerator models, alt.barbican is a response to the blurring of boundaries between individual art forms and a generation of emergent artists drawing upon multiple disciplines and new technologies to create projects with new expressive possibilities.

The six-month programme for up to five artists, includes an all expenses trip to Montreal and will provide a range of showcase, mentoring, training within an environment in which research and discussion about this emergent field can take place and be shared.

The application process opens on Tuesday 13 February until Sunday 19 March at 12noon GMT.

We're inviting artists to respond to the theme of ‘the subversion of reality’.

Enquiries might include, but are not limited, to the following:

  • Digital mimicry - exploring representations of human form and experience, the natural environment, and the uncanny
  • Social interaction, creativity and enterprise – new ways of communicating, making and business in the age of virtual reality
  • Heightening or repressing human senses with technology - innovative techniques for viewer engagement and opportunities for emotional experiences

Practitioners might be employing or interested in working with virtual or augmented reality, projection mapping, ambisonic, binaural or other immersive sound formats.

alt.barbican artists will receive:

  • A bespoke programme of seminars, workshops and meetings supported by leading academics, practitioners and experts.
  • Business tools and training to enable their practice to scale and become self-sustaining.
  • A fully-funded trip to exhibit their work at the 18th edition of MUTEK Festival, the Montreal-based festival of electronic music and digital creativity.
  • Mentorship provided by a wide range of established professionals, including from the National Theatre and their Immersive Storytelling Studio team.
  • The opportunity to apply to an alt.barbican commissioning fund of £7,500 to realise a major piece or body of work in the Barbican’s public spaces.
  • The opportunity to forge international connections through our partnership with the British Council’s Creative Economy Team.
  • Events to showcase research and works-in-progress as part of Interfaces Monthly & Quarterly – a programme of talks and events, delivered across the Barbican and The Trampery’s venues.
Additional support includes:
  • A £1,500 honorarium for participating in the programme
  • Unlimited drop-in access at The Trampery Republic, a new space for creative innovation at East India Dock, where the selected artists will form part of a growing network of creative businesses and start-ups.

We are inviting all artists who participate in alt.barbican to exhibit a piece of their work in Montreal; at the 18th edition of MUTEK Festival in August - a major, multi-venue festival that includes audio-visual and musical performances, exhibitions, design, gastronomy, conferences and films, always experienced through the prism of digital creativity.

Therefore, applicants are asked to submit a piece of work, and the selection process will be based around this (and the brief artist statements you will be asked to provide).

This should be a completed piece of work, but of course it does not have to be in relation to the theme of alt.barbican. Please see the Further Information document below for more details.


  • Deadline for applications: Sunday 19 March, 12noon GMT
  • Interviews: 3 & 4 April
  • Induction day: Saturday 22 April
  • Programme commences: w/c Monday 24 April (likely to be one Tuesday per month for six months - subject to change, more details will be discussed at interview stage).
  • 18th edition of MUTEK Festival (Montreal): 21-27 August (note: there may be travel time additional to this)
  • Programme ends: October 2017

Further information
For information on the time commitment, the trip to MUTEK, honorarium, commission funds and more details about alt.barbican, read our ‘Further Information’ sheet at the bottom of this page.

How to apply
Deadline for applications is Sunday 19 March at 12noon GMT.

Once completed, you will receive an email containing a link to Dropbox where you will be able to upload one file to represent the work you’d like to show at MUTEK.

Please read the documents at the bottom of this page, Further Information and Frequently Asked Questions, for full details of the project and technical questions before you submit your application.

Please note queries sent to this email will be monitored until Friday 17 March at 5pm. All emails received after will not be monitored by members of staff.

alt.barbican is delivered by the Barbican and The Trampery; in partnership with the British Council, MUTEK and National Theatre; and supported by Arts Council England.

Illustration by Sofia Niazi.