Utopias, Futures & Temporalities

Submission deadline: 5pm, Weds, 8 April 2015

Selection date (estimated): Weds, 15 April 2015

Work to be shown: 19 & 20 May 2015

The Arts and Humanities Research Council’s Connected Communities and Care for the Future themes are co-hosting a symposium in May at Bristol Zoo on the theme of ‘Utopias, Futures and Temporalities: critical considerations for social change’. 2016 is the 500-year anniversary of the first publication of Thomas More’s Utopia. Such a moment encourages reflection on the uses and misuses of utopias and dystopias in social change as well as critical reflection on the contribution of ideas of the future and of temporality to the processes of social transformation. By invoking ‘utopias/dystopias’ we wish to explore the questions of positionality, power, hope and despair that are at play in the imagination of new times and the way that these effect change in the present. By pluralising ‘futures’, we want to explore the diversity of ways in which anticipatory practices can be performed by people and communities. And by invoking ‘temporalities’, we want to reflect on how the qualities of time – endurance, succession, speed, rhythm, for example – interact with imaginings and perceptions of what is to come.

We invite an artist or group of artists to consider the question of utopias, futures and temporalities for a time- and space-limited commissioned work. The time is limited to 4 x 30 min chartered bus rides between Bristol City Centre and Bristol Zoo on 19 and 20 May. The space is limited to the bus, although this may be an interior and/or exterior work. Within those constraints, you are invited to propose a work, series of works, work-in-progress in any field/mode/medium.
The commission will be for a total of £2000, inclusive of materials and VAT (if relevant).


Artists will be selected by proposals submitted through this call. The selection team will be Keri Facer, (University of Bristol) Steve Pool (Freelance Artist / University of Sheffield), Angela Piccini (University of Bristol). We’ll pay special attention to innovation and ambition • track record • previous collaborations and partnerships • quality. We will be looking to support a range of work – in relation to art form and scale.

How to apply:

You will need to send: • Your name and name of the project • A proposal detailing the project and its suitability for the symposium (750 words max) • Details of Research & Development activity (optional, 500 words max) • Details of Creation & Production activity (500 words max) • Details of Showcasing & Presentation activity (500 words max) • A budget and timeline • A lead artist CV • Supporting material in the form of images (max 10), video (max 5 links), audio or documents, relevant to the project proposal or showing previous work.

For queries and to send applications:

Steve Pool (spsheff@aol.com) and Angela Piccini (a.a.piccini@bristol.ac.uk)


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