Open Call – one week to go

Our Open Call closes on Monday 6th July and we’ve had a number of good ideas through. It’s not too late though, and now we’ve had a chance to discuss it and think more about why we’re doing this, a recap might be useful.

The main thing to remember is we’re not looking for perfectly realised ideas. We have to satisfy three needs – what you want to do, what we want to do and, most importantly, what the Arts Council are prepared to fund. As such we’ll be taking the successful proposals and working them into the proposal, not using them as they come. This is just the start of the process.

Alongside this you’re not limited to one idea. The camera can be quite inspirational so send us all you have. Sometimes the most simple, off-hand idea is the best.

Another important thing to remember is how this will help you develop your work. R&D is an investment, and that should apply to you too.

Don’t worry about the technical aspects, or your lack of technical skills. Being based at BOM we have no problem making stuff work. What we need are the ideas to direct the tech, which is where you come in.

Finally, the Arts Council funded thing isn’t the only stuff we want to do art-wise. Because the camera is crowdfunded we see ourselves more as protective custodians than owners, and as such we actively want people to do cool things with it. If your idea isn’t suitable for the open call, it’s not because it’s necessarily a bad idea. It could be something we’d want to explore separately, so get it in.

So far we’ve had ideas from a singer, a gypsy jazz band, two playwrights, an experimental photographer, a video artist interested in Sigmund Freud’s use of the camera obscura, and someone who wants to fill the camera with programmable LEDs and turn it into a projector, with many more promised as the deadline approaches.

If we had to sum it up, keep it simple!

The camera will be at Many & Varied at The Bond in Digbeth on Friday 3rd July from all afternoon and into the evening if you’d like to have a look at it. And then at Cotteridge Park on Saturday.

The full Open Call text is here. Send your ideas to info@bhamobscura.com and we’ll make out decision within a couple of weeks.