A hand holds a receipt which exits a makeshift tiny printer

we meet in the woods by Elinor Lower. Photo by Shamphat Photography.

Apply now for Watershed’s Make Shift Camp 2024

Closing Date: Fri 28 June, 10:00 BST

We're looking for inquisitive Bristol-based people aged between 18-30 years, who make playful things with technology to participate in our Make Shift Camp.

What is the Make Shift Camp and where will it take place?

Our Make Shift Camp is an exciting opportunity to spend five days with other participants, collaboratively developing ideas and making playful things with technology.

The Camp will take place in person at Pervasive Media Studio – a space that supports development of early stage ideas that use creative technologies. In response to the growing presence of artificial intelligence (AI) within our lives, this year Pervasive Media Studio has supported a number of projects such as How (not) to get hit by a self-driving car, Improvised Human Machine Conversations, we meet in the woods and Investigating a Domestic Vocal System, that have explored AI and the concept of intelligence more broadly. 

To expand on this work, our 2024 Camp theme is ‘Artificial Ineptitude’. Most AI tools have grown from a capitalist notion of productivity, designed to speed up workflows and efficiency, to produce increased outcomes and profits in shorter spaces of time. For this year’s Camp, we want to consider what is lost in this process and how we might create whimsical experiences that celebrate ineptitude and inefficiency. At the end of the week, we hope to have some fresh ideas and makeshift prototypes to share and celebrate with a friendly public audience. We don’t expect anything to be finished and our audience will be briefed that our prototypes will be held together with gaffer tape and hope.

We’re looking for people who are up for smashing ideas together and working with uncertainty. You never know what will happen when you work with others, with open and inquisitive minds, attempting to make and share a prototype in five days. We’re looking for people who feel comfortable working in this kind of space.

What support is available?

Each participant will receive:

  • £1000 participant bursary 
  • A local travel bursary
  • An access bursary if required
  • A small materials/production budget if required
  • Support from Watershed staff and members of the Pervasive Media Studio community
  • Opportunity to collaborate with peers and share ideas with a friendly audience
  • Opportunity to think, make and experiment with no pressure to make polished outcomes

Pervasive Media Studio is wheelchair accessible, we have a quiet room and there is ongoing invitation and opportunity to discuss any specific access requirements, throughout your engagement with us. If you would like to learn more about the space and community please visit our website.

Am I eligible to apply?

Before applying please check the following eligibility criteria:

  • You must reside in Bristol at the time of application.
  • Be aged between 18-30 years old during the Camp (5-9 August 2024)
  • Be available to attend all of the Camp days (5-9 August 2024)

You must also have:

  • An interest in making playful things with technology. We’re particularly interested to hear from those who are working with or have dabbled with AI technologies, as well as perhaps things like robotics, mobile, sensor-based, interactive screen, gaming and/or immersive technologies.
  • An interest in collaborating with people who are not like you, bringing your ideas together with the ideas of others, to create new things.

When will it happen?

To participate in the programme, you will need to be available to attend on all of the following dates: 

  • Monday 8 July OR Tuesday 9 July 2024: Zoom Interviews
  • Monday 5 to Friday 9 August 2024: Camp Days 1-5

How do I apply?

To apply you will need to complete an application form. You can find the form here: https://wshd.to/makeshiftcamp2024

Deadline for applications: Friday 28 June 2024, 10:00 (BST)

With the exception of contact details, the application form allows question responses to be submitted in written, video or audio formats. The application form will ask you:

  • For your contact details (Name, Postcode, Email)
  • To confirm you meet the eligibility criteria by checking a box

The form will then ask the following questions:

  • Why would you like to participate in the Make Shift Camp? (100-250 words or up to 2 minute video or audio file)
  • We’re looking for people who make playful things with technology. Tell us about something you’ve made, the kinds of things you’re interested in and any technical skills you might have. (200-350 words or up to 3 minute video or audio file)
  • (Optional) If you would like us to look at any relevant links, please pop them here.
  • Please let us know if you have a date preference should you be shortlisted for interview – the form will give you three options to choose from - Monday 8 July, Tuesday 9 July, or no preference.

The application form does not have a save function, so we suggest prepping your answers and then putting aside some time to paste your responses into the form. And please don’t worry if you are over or under the word/time counts by a few words or seconds. 

What happens when I’ve submitted my application?

You should receive an auto-response from us confirming we have received your application.

After the closing date/time passes, the submitted application forms will be shortlisted by a panel using the criteria outlined below. The shortlist will be invited to attend an online interview which will be around 30 minutes in length. Questions will be sent in advance. 

Eight participants will be selected from interviews. Our intention is to select a curated cohort of Camp participants that will bring together a balance of skills, ideas and experience.

If you have any access requirements that means the form or online interviews do not work for you, please contact us at any point, on talentdevelopment@watershed.co.uk 

What are the assessment criteria?

When assessing applications we will score each one against the following questions:

  • Does this person meet all of the eligibility criteria?
  • Does this person make playful things with technology?
  • Does this person demonstrate an active interest in artificial intelligence?
  • Does this person demonstrate a willingness to collaborate with others?
  • Will this opportunity make a difference to the person applying?

Here’s a reminder of the overall timeline:

  • Friday 28 June 2024, 10:00 (BST) – Application Form closing date
  • Tuesday 2 July 2024 - Applicants notified
  • Monday 8 and Tuesday 9 July 2024 - Interviews (Zoom)
  • Monday 5 to Friday 9 August 2024 - Camp will take place

We look forward to hearing from you and if you have any questions or queries you can: 

- Drop us a line on talentdevelopment@watershed.co.uk

- Join us at an Open Studio Friday 

Make Shift is made possible with support from Arts Council England and Bristol City Council. Our Make Shift Camp is additionally supported by MyWorld and our partners in Pervasive Media Studio, UWE Bristol and University of Bristol. 

Closing Date: Fri 28 June, 10:00 BST

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