Enlighten Festival of Light and Sound Art – Call for Artists

February 13, 2017 in All Opportunities, Composers, electroacoustic by mwhiteside

Deadline midnight on 1st April 2017

Four funded residency opportunities for mid-career artists across Europe to take part in new international partnerships developing installations that combine light and sound.

Jump to the Application Form

The second round of residencies offered from the newly formed ENLIGHT project invites three European artists to undertake collaborative residencies developing public-realm artwork with technical teams based in Manchester, Stavanger and Rome.

Curated Place with SPECTRA Festival  in partnership with MIRIAD at the Manchester School of Art (UK), I/O Lab in Stavanger (Norway), and Fondazione Mondo Digitale in Rome (Italy), are offering artists the opportunity to participate in a new programme and network producing and promoting light and sound artworks – exploring the meeting point of art, technology and design. Artists will be invited to undertake several short residencies with their host organisations – supported by their teams of technologists and technicians to create a new public realm work for exhibition in our existing festivals. The residencies are squarely focused on completing production for exhibition outside of traditional art spaces and developing the skills and networks of all involved.

Residencies will take place in the following production windows with hosts:
Manchester: July 2017 – October 2017
Norway: July – October 2017
Italy: July – October 2017

All artists will be required to exhibit their final work at the 2018 SPECTRA Festival in Aberdeen (Feb 2018) the 2018 Rome Media Festival (Early May 2018) and The Stavanger Article Biennial (August 2018).

Theme: A New Light

Light plays a fundamental role in the story of Europe, shaping the rhythms and boundaries of social interaction within cities; defining the drive of the enlightenment; and providing the means through which we now overcome the restrictions of geography and time thanks to modern digital communications. As such it precedes, defines, and now enables our cultural landscape.

Across every state in the Union light has played a central role in how both physical and social space has been defined providing a universal language for expression and interpretation. However, each state has negotiated its own unique relationship with illumination through the peculiarities of their built environment, the oral and written histories crystalized within them and the historical social, scientific and cultural interactions with the medium. This complex story delineates those subtle differences and similarities that define a shared European heritage and delineates where out future shared space of identity could lie.

We are inviting artists to escape the ahistorical white cube and set their work within the environment of the cities where we work, inviting creative proposals for developing new works and artists professional practice that will explore how new collaboration with teams that allow artists to explore new technical ground can reinterpret the experience of the built environment in public realm installations using light and sound.

Deadline: midnight on 1st April 2017


Applicants must hold a valid passport from and reside in one of the following countries (passport and residency need not be the same state):

EU Member States:
Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Rep, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, UK

EEA / EFTA countries:
Norway and Iceland (Switzerland is currently not part of the Culture Programme and is excluded)

“Candidate” countries:
Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Montenegro, Republic of Serbia, Moldova, Georgia


Artists who have a track record of exhibition and collaboration, who are established in their own region and are at a stage in their career to successfully engage in international collaborations are invited to apply for the opportunity to work with a host arts organiasation in Norway, Italy or the UK through a series of intensive residencies to develop new works.

Through the residency the artist will be required to work closely with their partnering host to develop a new light-based artwork for presentation outside of traditional gallery spaces. We are looking for artists who enjoy working flexibly and are eager to engage in an experimental process – not simply a commission.

Successful applicants will develop a new work with one of the three partnering organisations with support and mentoring from the broader ENLIGHT network in Norway/Italy/UK before having the work exhibited at partners’ festivals in 2018.

Commitment to the Project:

The project will run a split residency format with each artist being invited to work with hosts over three visits.

The applicant will be required to carry out an initial meeting with their host organisation to meet, familiarise themselves with the tools, resources and personnel available, and devise a project direction then work before leaving to develop these ideas.

The artist will then be invited to undertake two residential visits during the residency window periods (exact timing to be agreed with successful applicant). By the end of the process artists will be required to have an installation ready for exhibition. The premiere installation will take place over three days prior to the Aberdeen festival in February 2018 and artists will be required to be present during the 4 day festival if their work needs operational oversight. A further two exhibitions will take place at the Rome Media Festival and Stavanger Article Biennial.

We will provide:
• Hosts’ support and personnel to develop their ideas, and the resources of the host organization outlined below (SEE CHART).
• All travel, accommodation and a sustenance budget
• An artist bursary of €2000 fee ring-fenced from all other costs
• Marketing for the project
• Introduction to local cultural partners and peers in the host cities
• An exhibition of the work in Aberdeen/Rome/Stavanger

How to apply
Artists should apply through the application form and provide:
• Their choice of partnering organisation and why
• An outline of how their involvement in the project would impact on their professional development (300 words)
• A brief proposal (500 words maximum) outlining their ideas of how they would approach the collaboration creatively, thematically and practically.
• A strategy for engaging new audiences in the work (300 words each)
• Two examples of their work to date (preferably demonstrating an ability to work in a collaborative fashion and delivering works outside traditional gallery settings.
• Images and tech specs of previous work presented
• A press-ready biography
• Press clippings of previous work
• An up to date CV

A shortlist for interview will be selected by the project partners.

Shortlisted candidates will be interviewed by Skype/Facetime in early April 2017.

Resources for Artists

  • Fondazione Mondo Digitale

Video Lab
Game Lab
Fab Lab
Immersive Lab
Robotic Center
Expert consultations and technical support
Art Critics, Art Curators, Experts
Collaboration with other artists (sound artist, videoartist, ecc.)

  • Manchester School of Art

3D Print Services – Powder Printing
Our 660 colour powder printers can provide full colour, high detail prototypes, ideal for architectural presentations and visual prototypes that require colour information and fine structures. The finished model is robust but not strong enough for real world applications.

3D Print Services – Plastic extrusion printing
Our CubePro printers provide good rapid prototyping and can produce objects like toys and phone cases that can be used straight off the printer in material that are ready to use in real world applications.

AV Store
The AV Store offers short term loans of camcorders, lighting, digital cameras and other audio-visual equipment to faculty students and staff.

Animation Capture Suite
The computer equipment and cameras in the Animation Capture Suite can be used to create stop motion animations.

Photography Resources
Photography studios, darkrooms and film processing facilities are available in the Chatham building.

Edit Suites
The Edit Suites provide post-production video editing facilities using Final Cut Pro and sound editing tools.

Wood, Plastics and Foam
There are extensive workshop facilities to support students working with wood, plastics and foam.

Facilities for jewellery making, traditional blacksmithing and forging, metal fabrication, machining and welding.

Workshops for mould making, casting, throwing, glazing and firing using electric and gas kilns.

Facilities for both hot and cold glass working.

Computer Aided Manufacture (CAM)
A digital router and laser cutter are available in the CAM Workshop.

Chemical Workshop
For spraying and other processes involving chemicals.

  • i/o/lab

Laser cutter
Multiple CNC Mills for soft metal, plastics and wood
Multiple 3D printers
Large plotter
CNC vinyl and paper cutters
Electronics equipment
Various power and handtools



Curated Place is a creative production company specializing in developing, delivering, managing and marketing major projects across international borders and with numerous partners. They commission and present new music and visual art across Europe and beyond, and have developed successful large scale projects for Royal Botanic Gardens Kew, CityCo, Essential Edinburgh, The City of Edinburgh and Aberdeen City Council. As well as founding and directing the Moving Classics European Network for New Music they produce and lead creative direction on all aspects of the Enlighten Manchester Festival of Light and Sound Art and Aberdeen’s Spectra Festival of Light Art which attracts over 40,000 visitors each year.


MIRIAD (Manchester), Part of Manchester School of Art at Manchester Metropolitan University, carries forward Manchester’s proud 175 year tradition in art and design education, whilst offering an innovative and modern approach to research and study. MIRIAD engages with the changing territories of knowledge and new technologies, to interrogate dominant cultural viewpoints and identify emergent patterns in the international cultural landscape and global environment. It also encourages debate and disseminates knowledge to a variety of audiences through publication, exhibition, new technologies and media, events and consultancies. MIRIAD’s main aim is to develop research capabilities commensurate with sustainable national and international levels of excellence. MIRIAD’s external collaborations and projects are extensive – a recent survey showed that last year it undertook 180 external collaborations, 130 professional activities and had 82 links with industry.


i/o/lab (Stavanger), is an artist-run organization with expertise within the field of art, technology and science. i/o/labs projects have on several occasions been referred to as one of the most innovative and interesting art projects in the region and nationally. Our expertise extends from production to dissemination and knowledge of art within new technology and science.The dimensions of i/o/lab is to provide innovative and artistic projects through creating meeting places between art and research to multiple audiences in the community where projects are partly based in public spaces.

We represent the region’s most innovative arts festival focusing on media art that expresses contemporary technology and trends, Article Biennial, which has been arranged in the Stavanger region since 2006. The purpose of Article Biennial is to promote art forms commenting on our digital world and affecting ethical and political issues concerning our time.


Fondazione Mondo Digitale (FMD) (Rome), is committed to the creation of an inclusive learning society in which innovation, education, inclusion and fundamental values work together. The potential benefits offered by knowledge, new technologies and innovation must be made available to everyone without any form of discrimination. The FMD mission is to promote the sharing of human knowledge, social innovation, and social inclusion, with particular orientation to the categories at greatest risk of exclusion (the elderly, immigrants, unemployed young people, etc.). The Foundation has developed projects with artists since 2014. The main project is the Rome Media Art Festival. It is a large event aiming at bringing the younger generations closer to a new way of conceiving and using digital technology for creativity, visualization and communication. The event seeks to establish a bridge between schools, museums, research centres, universities, companies. Furthermore, the FMD implements artist’s reside.