Call for Proposals

Call for Submissions 
‘Digital Art commission with Sussex Humanities Lab,
Queer in Brighton and Brighton Digital Festival’

Funded by British Academy Rising Star Engagement Award held by Dr. Sharon Webb

The Sussex Humanities Lab, Queer in Brighton and Brighton Digital Festival are teaming up to commission a piece of digital artwork/creative coding to launch during LGBTQ+ History month, February 2019. The commission is funded by the British Academy Rising Star Engagement Award, ‘Identity, Representation and Preservation in Community Digital Archives and Collections’ held by Dr Sharon Webb.

The piece must incorporate archival content created by the Queer in Brighton oral history project and should aim to present this content (oral history testimonies) in new, innovative and interactive ways. It should evoke a distant reading of these personal narratives and should be sensitive to the topics and subjects raised.

The commission will offer the artist an opportunity to engage with the critical thinking and the artistic landscape of the Brighton Digital Festival, Queer in Brighton, local LGBTQ+ cultural organisations like The Marlborough Pub & Theatre and to engage with academics and practitioners at the Sussex Humanities Lab.

What you get

  • A commission of £3,500 (this budget includes all material, and any VAT if applicable)
  • Planning sessions with SHL, QIB & BDF members and access to technical support in, and expertise of, the Sussex Humanities Lab (which might include use of our lab space for up to ten non-consecutive days, if appropriate).
  • Opportunity to present a talk, lecture or showing of a work in progress.

Guidelines for proposals

  • Uses oral history interviews (audio, text) created by QIB and other archival material as appropriate
  • Responds to the challenge of making oral history and cultural content housed in traditional archives more accessible to the public
  • Results in a performance and/or exhibition that is free of charge to the general public
  • Foregrounds accessibility to audiences that may not be familiar with contemporary digital practice

We invite applications from digital artists working in the following fields, though this is not an exhaustive list:

  • New forms of interactive art
  • Location based and site-specific work
  • Narrative design and all forms of digital storytelling
  • Video streaming
  • The use of mobile and portable devices in cultural and artistic practice
  • Immersive user experiences

We are particularly interested in work that explores the social, political and cultural implications and impacts of technology and the archive, how oral histories and archival material can be represented beyond the grid-based design of current digital archives and how we can visualize oral history testimonies so that we go beyond sitting and reading/listening to content.

Given the nature of the source material for this commission, we would particularly welcome submissions from LGBTQ+ digital artists.


  • 21 August – call opens
  • 11 September noon – deadline
  • All applicants will be notified by the end of September
  • 5 October – applicant should be available to attend ‘Queer Digitisation’ at Sussex Humanities Lab
  • 15 September – 17 January 2018 – R&D time
  • February 2019 – performance/exhibition (date and location TBC)

Application Process:

Please submit a short description of the proposed work identifying how it meets the brief and any initial thoughts on this commission. Proposals should be one page of A4 text with links to other relevant works. This should be supported by no more than 4 supporting drawings, images or videos, plus a CV and a short biography. It should also include technical requirements and/or technical support needs.

Please note applicants must be eligible to work in the UK and we may ask for documentary evidence related to the right to work in the UK.

Deadline for applications is noon 11 September 2018.

Please send all proposals to

For more information contact Sharon Webb on or Laurence Hill on

About ‘Identity, Representation, and Preservation in Community Digital Archives and Collections’

Identity, Representation, and Preservation in Community Digital Archives and Collections is a 12-month project funded by a British Academy Rising Star Engagement Award (2018) held by Dr. Sharon Webb (Principal Investigator). It is an intervention in three important areas; community archives, digital preservation and content representation.

See for more details

About the Sussex Humanities Lab

‘The Sussex Humanities Lab (University of Sussex) is dedicated to developing and expanding research into how digital technologies are shaping our culture and society, as well as the way we go about our research. We believe that information scientists; literary theorists; media scholars, designers, and practitioners; social scientists and historians can collaborate to develop humanities and social science research – to explore the human condition and its evolution, and the social and material worlds we make. We wish to make the humanities fit for purpose in a digital age.’

See for more details.

About Queer in Brighton

Queer in Brighton is a heritage learning project celebrating and promoting the rich cultural life of the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender (LGBT) community in Brighton & Hove. The project involved the collection of nearly 100 oral histories from members of the community.

Queer in Brighton began as a partnership initiative between The Marlborough Pub & Theatre, New Writing South and Photoworks supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund.

See for more details.

About Brighton Digital Festival

13 September – 13 October 2018

BDF is an annual month-long exploration of digital culture and the creativity that makes Brighton unique, its innovative digital economy and top-level arts scene. We are the fastest growing digital festival in the UK, with an audience of more than 40,000 in 2017 for 130+ events and a far-reaching reputation. The festival is a platform that supports and encourages people across the city to experience and explore digital technology and culture. We run an open programming model that is supported by a curated arts and education strand.

See for more details.