We’re delighted to announce an open call for Watershed's funded Winter Residencies programme.

More about the theme:

Our theme for this year is "Other Minds". We're looking for work that explores intelligences different to our own: animals, machines, or something stranger. We want to ask questions like these: What does it mean to live in a world filled with different forms of thought? How can we create an idea of personhood for computer networks, beehives, or forests, while still maintaining our essential humanity? And how can we use ideas like "artificial intelligence" (AI) to expand our understanding of the world, rather than creating new ways to exploit it?

These are the kinds of questions we're thinking about, but we hope you'll bring your own.

Martin O’Leary, Studio Community Lead at Watershed says:

“We're excited to support artistic work that engages critically with AI, and notions of intelligence more broadly. We share the concerns of workers across the creative industries about how AI is being deployed, and we want to situate those concerns in a wider conversation about intelligence, labour, and creativity. Above all we're interested in supporting artists to explore the parts of these ideas that excite them, as part of our community of artists, makers, and researchers.”

If you are curious to learn more about how we are supporting people to think differently about AI, please read this article.

What we’re offering:

Watershed's Winter Residency (Feb to March 2024) is a rare chance for two creative practitioners from any discipline, career stage and background, to bring the seed of idea that responds to our theme. You will be supported to spend time thinking, making, asking questions, exploring and sharing possibilities. There is no expectation of outcome, but we will ask you to share your thoughts along the way.

Victoria Tillotson, Talent Development Lead at Watershed says:

“Watershed’s Winter Residency programme offers bespoke support for creative practice and ideas. We place no pressure on outcomes, as we know from experience that freedom to think reverberates in many different ways and leads to the creation of incredible artworks over time.”

Kexin Liu, Winter Residency Artist 2022, has this to say about their experience:

“Participating in the Winter Residency programme was a deeply transformative and gratifying experience for me. As an emerging artist who is still in the process of discovering their creative voice, I feel incredibly fortunate to have had this opportunity as one of my early introductions into the professional world. I was encouraged to take risks, tinker with new mediums, and embrace failure, which has proven to be an invaluable learning experience. I also had the chance to connect with many talented Pervasive Media Studio residents who share my passion for interactive and digital art. Their generous feedback and support continues to be invaluable to the development of my work.”

We encourage applications from people that are underrepresented in the creative and culture sector (for example you are from a community that experiences racism, or you are a disabled person (as defined by the Equalities Act in 2010), or you did not go to University or you had free school meals as a child).  We aim to be as inclusive as possible and work to accommodate all access requirements. We will openly discuss and tailor how we do things to support you as best we can.

Contact us on residencies@watershed.co.uk if forms are not your thing and you require support with the Expression of Interest. Please don’t be afraid to do this, we are really happy to assist.

How to apply:

The deadline for applications is Wed 1st Nov 2023, 10:00. To find out more about the programme and the application process, please head over to our opportunities page.

Watershed's Winter Residencies are made possible with support from Arts Council England and MyWorld.