Since 2022, the Pervasive Media Studio have incorporated random elements into some of our selection processes for residencies and other opportunities. We believe that this leads to fairer and more varied results, and that it can greatly reduce the amount of unpaid labour that goes into application processes.

Together with Jerwood Arts, today we are publishing a guide for organisations that are interested in using random selection. In this guide, we have gathered together the experiences of a number of people who have experimented with random selection, from those representing large arts organisations to freelance collaboratives.

We'd like to thank all the people who spoke to us, and shared their experiences both good and bad. This includes people from Watershed, Jerwood Arts, The British Academy, Theatre Deli, Horizon: Performance Created in England, New Diorama Theatre, and The Uncultured, as well as many artists who have participated in our selection processes over the last year.

None of the organisations we spoke to felt that their process was perfect, and we believe there is still scope for a lot of experimentation in this space. Our hope is by writing this guide, we can encourage other organisations to try out random selection, building on the shared learning from these early experiments.

The guide is available to read here.

We'd love to hear your feedback, as well as your experiences with similar processes. If you want to get in touch, please drop us a line at