4 March – 1 September 2022

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.



Hannah Sawtell, Activator, 2022 Samiir Saunders, (Algo | Afro) Futures 2021. Antonio Roberts, NAE, 2021