Short Circuit, funded through Arts Council England, South East strategic funds, is an action research project designed to support inter-disciplinary learning and collaboration between disabled artists and technologists. The project is in two stages, Open Circuit and Short Circuit.

–       Open Circuit is an opportunity for a group of (10 or so) disabled artists to meet with digital and technological specialists in late April/May to network, share ideas and experiences, to find out what is possible and clarify areas of interest.

–       Short Circuit is an opportunity for 6 ‘partnerships’ made up of of one disabled artist and one technologist (or maybe a team of technologists) to go through a 2 day process in June, working in-depth, followed by a short period of practical 1-1 support to develop ideas (but we are keeping flexible about the exact form until after Open Circuit) There will be an opportunity for all partnerships to reflect and some may be able to showcase their ideas at Digital Brighton in September 2013.

Whilst it is not essential for artists wishing to apply for Short Circuit to attend Open Circuit, it is desirable.

What we are looking for:  artists and technologists

We are not looking for artists with fully-fledged ideas, but instead artists that have clear areas of digital practices they might like to explore in relation to their work. In the same vein, the technologists we seek are those who are interested in working collaboratively, finding new innovation and invention in working in equitable partnership with artists with different experiences of making work.

Ventures might include, but are in no way confined to: new creative forms, methods of disseminating work, ways of engaging audience and so on.

The ideas do not have to focus on access (although they can do). This process is about the art not the access – the aim is to design an accessible process for artists to explore the potential of digital rather than a process for artists to explore the accessibility potential of digital. We appreciate that technologists may also themselves be artists and have experience of impairment and/or disability.

We are looking for artists and technologists that wish to explore existing, readily available, digital tools and platforms to achieve mutually agreeable aims.  Our ambition is that Short Circuit will stretch the boundaries of what is currently available, although we are mindful that this is a short exploratory process.

Eligibility criteria for Open Circuit:

–       Only those resident in the UK are eligible to apply.

–       Disabled artists/artists experiencing limiting long-term illness/conditions are eligible if they can demonstrate they are currently active and have a desire to develop their practice in new ways.

–       Interested artists and technologists must be able to attend the Short Circuit event on 8th and 9th June in Brighton, and it is desirable that they also attend the Open Circuit event on 1st May in London.

Application process:

The application form is simple – and can be submitted in written, audio or video format. We just need to know a little bit about you, what you have done in the past and the kind of ideas you are interested in exploring. The questions we need you to answer are here.

The deadline for applications is midday 10th April 2013.

Successful applicants for Open Circuit will be notified by 15th April 2013.

Following the Open Circuit event, those who have applied will have a chance to revisit their applications if they wish and will be supported for form pairs/groupings. From these, a further selection process will take part to determine who gets to attend Short Circuit.

Selection and pairing process:

Applicants will be selected by Jo Verrent and Sarah Pickthall, supported by Jon Pratty and Paul Bonham, Arts Council England, South East. Pairing/groupings will be pragmatic, according to stated and observed interests and skills.

If you have any questions about the process, please email Jo Verrent (joverrent (at) with the words ‘short circuit’ in the subject field.

There is no fee for taking part in either element of the process; there is a budget for access, travel and accommodation costs.

Good luck!

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