Digbeth First Friday
28 February – 4 March 2022, 18:00 - 20:00
Vivid Projects is pleased to announce the launch of our 2022 Spring/Summer Programme, featuring new artist commissions, live art and film performances, digital museum collaborations and new support programmes for Black artists.
The programme opens with a preview from 6-8pm, 4th March as part of Digbeth First Friday. All are welcome to join us for an introduction to the 2022 commissioned artists: Antonio Roberts, Samiir Saunders and Hannah Sawtell, who will be presenting recent works. Visitors interested in participating in development programmes can pick up information on callouts for Black Hole Club and (Algo | Afro) Futures. To celebrate the work of Black Hole Club members and the opening of the callout, we are also running an editions sale on the night, offering an opportunity to buy artists books, posters and publications from the Vivid Projects archive.
The Programme launches 6-8pm, 4th March at Digbeth First Friday.
2022 PROGRAMME HIGHLIGHTS
Black Hole Club Callout | Open from 4 – 31 March
Black Hole Club is a programme of creative development and collaboration for artists with a diverse range of backgrounds and cultural interests. Participants are selected from an open call and are supported from April-December each year to collaborate, test and present new aspects to their practices.
In 2022 we have a limited number of places available for individuals or groups from the East and West Midlands to join our existing members. Our focus is on working together, and creating a space for sharing, experimentation, and making connections. We welcome applications from artists who are underrepresented in the creative and cultural fields.
In the past two years we have supported our cohort to present work with: Cut Copy Remix at Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery and with Artists Newsletters 40th anniversary celebrations in 2020 and developed the website www.artofficedoc.online and an online research space for members.
Application details will be available online from Friday 4th March.
Residents | Launches 4 March, 6-8pm
Curated by Yasmeen Baig-Clifford and Cathy Wade, three artists commence development of new work this year as part of our commissioning programme. The commissioned artists have critical practices examining intersectional lived experiences, contemporary commons, economics of objects, representation, copyright and access.
Samiir Saunders is a queer, Black, mixed-media poet based in Birmingham. Samiir’s works examine the tension between a desire to communicate authentically and the limitations of digital technology. They will be taking a recent interactive audience workshop Mind Control Victims Anonymous, which uses scripted and improvisational actions, as a starting point to explore mental health, free will, coercion and the relationship between an audience and a performer. The 4th March preview features Samiir’s work Poetober 2020, a series of video-poems based on the popular drawing challenge Inktober. Originally shared on Instagram Poetober 2020 consists of one-minute spoken word pieces responding to each Inktober prompt, accompanied by experimental hip-hop instrumentals and glitchy stock video footage.
Samiir will hold interactive performance workshops on March 10th, 3-5pm at Sol Cafe, and on a further date in May.
Antonio Roberts is a UK based artist who works with technology in innovative ways, exploring authorship, gaming, digital and reproduction. Antonio’s recent work critiques stereotypical depictions of Black men prevalent since the early days of video gaming. During his residency he will more broadly examine the ways in which the Black men have been historically (mis)represented in digital media, and will take a reimagining of the hyper masculine tropes in video games as a starting point. The 4th March preview features work from Heavyweight Champ, commissioned for the Cut & Mix exhibition at New Art Exchange in 2021. Antonio is the project lead and mentor for (Algo | Afro) Futures, part of the Birmingham 2022 festival.
Hannah Sawtell will use time and space to look at the surface, material and depth of a single digital image – exploring how in the age of the internet, to stop and really look at an image is an important act. Hannah works with sound, collectively built app development, installation, performance, radio and sculpture. She lives and works in London, with a background is in the electronic music scene in London and Detroit, where she co-ran the label Planet E.
Cut, Copy Remix II | Black Hole Club x Birmingham Museums | June
Following the hugely successful 2020 project, Birmingham Museum & Art Gallery and Vivid Projects collaborate for a second iteration of Cut, Copy, Remix. The project connects members of Black Hole Club with artists at significant development stages to make new work in response to Birmingham Museums Trust Digital Image Resource; the first collection in the UK to make all out-of-copyright artworks available for free under a Creative Commons Zero License. Cut Copy Remix II will be spearheaded by Emily Mulenga, artist who explores the aesthetics, consumption and production of digital media from the high polish of MTV and the jagged polygons of early PlayStation. Mulenga will consider the real and digital hybrid existence of the Birmingham collections.
A second commission will enable a new work by Birmingham based artist, performance-maker, and plus-sized provocateur Fatt Butcher. The Pageant of Birmingham explores the camp, chaotic, and downright baffling history of ’The Pageant of Birmingham 1938’ – an enormously expensive city wide performance pageant featuring a fire breathing paper mâché dinosaur and the formation of the city of Birmingham – this timely and satirical response considers the lengths the cultural sector will go to in search of ‘civic pride’.
Cut Copy Remix culminates with an exhibition in June across two sites – Vivid Projects and Birmingham Museum & Art Gallery – and online. It will feature additional new work from Black Hole Club.
(Algo | Afro) Futures | applications open April 2022
(Algo | Afro) Futures is a new digital learning programme responding to the lack of Black representation in the live coding and Algorave scene. Piloted in 2021, this year we are delighted to be funded through the Creative City programme to support 10 early career Black artists. Participants will be selected through an open call in April 2022, each receiving a paid bursary to take part in a series of workshops led by artist mentors Antonio Roberts and Gary Stewart, supported by Alex McLean. The workshops will provide the artists with the resources to explore live coding and algorithmic music/art. The project will create a safe space for creative expression, with the experienced artist mentors building the participants confidence and professional capacity.
(Algo | Afro) Futures culminates with a public event on 5 August as part of the Birmingham 2022 festival.
Dorothy Towers | 23-24 September, screening times TBA
Dorothy Towers is a story of two 31-storey residential tower blocks in the centre of Birmingham – a mythological site where LGBT+ people have lived and died for decades. The project results from a collaboration between local artists and organisations and responds to a collective impetus to celebrate and reappraise Birmingham’s social histories. A 40-minute film in two parts will be screened within a purpose-built environment designed by Intervention Architects. A live score composed and performed by Leo Francisco will soundtrack the work and a new text by Owain Harrison will be available.
Dorothy Towers is a project by Sean Burns, funded by The Paul Hamlyn Foundation and supported by Birmingham 2022 and Vivid Projects, Birmingham.
The 2022 programme is supported by Arts Council England. (Algo | Afro) Futures is funded by Birmingham City Council as a Creative City project, part of Birmingham 2022.