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CALL FOR PROPOSALS: OF CONTAINERS

In his book on elemental media, The Marvellous Clouds, John Durham Peters reminds us that in dangerous storms ships drop their cargo, making them lighter and better able to navigate treacherous wind and waves. In this moment of crisis, the content gets abandoned while the container of the content, the ship, is always maintained.

The ways people come together to share ideas and knowledge in the arts could also be considered containers for content: the panel, the lecture, the workshop, the gallery tour.

This collaborative investigation is focussed on those containers, in looking at them as vessels that are quietly performing functions behind their content. The ship allows us to travel on water but stops at the shoreline. What are the containers the institution uses for bringing people together doing behind the content? What do they make possible? What boundaries do they impose?

This open call is looking for proposals for a variety of sessions that will become part of a series of one-day events, in and around Cambridge Art Galleries, from July-September 2018.

We are interested in proposals that tinker with containers for bringing people together. How can we make visible what those containers do? How could they perform differently? How could unconventional containers create space for unconventional conversations? How could the ways we bring people together reinforce the content we want to share?

Who (or what) comes together and how is open to proposition as is the content of the session. This call could also be considered an offer of support for exchanges that do not fit common institutional forms. We are interested in things like campfire lectures, multi-species panels, fondue potlucks, group meditations, improvised awards ceremonies, unusual sporting events, poetic aerobics classes, coordinated loitering, quilting bees, crafting circles, gift exchanges, road trips, trading posts, ribbon cuttings, elegies, roundtables at midnight, meetups at high noon and sunrise dance parties; collaborations with friends, families, colleagues, animals, trees, celestial objects, ghosts, strangers; and all manner of talk, walk, workshop, sermon, interview, relay, parade, lesson, contest, spell and ritual.

Please submit:

  • 1 page bio and artist statement, or general description of who you are and what you do
  • 1-2 page description of proposed session answering the following questions
    • How will your session bring people together?
    • Who will be present and what role will they play?
    • What is the topic or content of the exchange?
    • Where would you like your session to take place?
    • Will the session produce any evidence or trace that could be placed in the gallery?
  • Alternatively, applicants can submit a 3-5 minute video explaining their proposed session.
  • Samples of 3-5 previous projects or pieces of work in whatever format explains them best.


Please submit before: 8:36am, March 31st, 2018 (Blue Moon)

Gallery support (including presentation fees, basic materials, equipment and logistics) will be determined in conversation with selected applicants to suit specific proposals.

Please submit all documents and images through our online application

For more info contact Cherie Fawcett: cfawcett@ideaexchange.org

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