DECATHLON: Call for submissions for 9.58s artworks & more

Talking Birds’ Decathlon – Call for submissions

In 2012 Talking Birds will be 20 years old. Perhaps less widely known, 2012 is also London’s Olympic year and so, to celebrate both those things, we are embarking on a year long project called Decathlon – ten artworks, each inspired by the decathlon’s ten sporting disciplines. It is designed to involve a wide range of people as participants and audience…without them having to don shorts or get out of breath.

Some of the ten artworks in the Decathlon require input from other artists, and so we will be issuing a series of calls for contributions over the next few months. Here are the first two:

1. 100 METRES

At the time of writing, the world record for the 100 metres is 9.58 seconds and is held by the Jamaican sprinter Usain Bolt. In March 2012 we will be screening 8 very short films at the Fierce Festival in Birmingham, where each film will be 9.58 seconds long. These 8 films will constitute the final of the 100 metres in our Decathlon. There will be medals for the ‘winning’ three as voted by the audience, and a lavish £95.80 prize for the gold medal holder.

To that end, we are looking for 9.58 second artworks. They can be in any artform – performance, video, sculpture, poetry, installation, happening, drawing, animation etc – as long as the artwork is 9.58 seconds long, and can be submitted to us as 9.58 second video. We are looking for works which wholly embrace the 9.58 second-ness of the idea, and are either natively digital, or document a 9.58 artwork.

Technical and Usage Considerations:

The video can be supplied as a Quicktime movie on CD, or DVD, posted at the address below, or via web-based file sharing sites (Dropbox, SendIt etc) with the link emailed to birdmail[at]talkingbirds[dot]co[dot]uk. Videos need to be of high enough resolution to be projected onto a large screen. The artist must be the copyright holder for the material, and by submitting the work agrees to it being used on the Talking Birds website throughout 2012, the Fierce website, as well as for the screenings during the Fierce festival, if selected, and in publicity for the event. Videos which do not make ‘the final’ will be used, potentially, as part of the ‘heats’ and available for viewing on the company’s website.

Deadline for submission – Midday February 28th 2012


In May Talking Birds will be working with Capital Plays and Writing West Midlands, to stage a night of short performances at mac, Birmingham. We are looking for 5 minute pieces (stories, monologues, plays) which engage with the high jump, either metaphorically, or literally. The plays or stories need to be completed – we’re not looking for part-works, or works in progress – but which are fully realised by, and embrace, the 5 minute form.

At your disposal on the night there will be up to 3 actors, or you can perform the work yourselves or with people you’ve brought along.

Please send a completed script, narrative, or description of the piece either by email as an attachment to:

birdmail[at]talkingbirds[dot]co[dot]uk with the subject line: High Jump Submission

Or by post to: Talking Birds, High Jump Submission, Institute for Creative Enterprise, Parkside, Coventry, CV1 2QR. (In the case of paper submissions we regret we will be unable to return them).

Deadline for submission – Midday February 28th 2012

FarGo Space – WANTED Makers of Memories

Artists/Producers/Events Organisers/etc who can make interesting and productive use of a free empty space (approx 8m x 5m) in Coventry for a month – and, just before their month is up, invite the public in and make something amazing happen there. We’re looking for people/groups who can create something original and wonderful (and perhaps even a bit beautiful) that will make people want to come and experience the Space Programme for themselves. Something that will contribute to building up an understanding and expectation in the wider Coventry unconscious that FarGo is a place where cool things happen.

Slots in January & February 2012. [Apologies for the short notice – only just got the lease extension!] The Space Programme is curated by Talking Birds and has been running since July 2010. You can find details of projects so far by clicking here.

Successful applicants will be awarded £100 at the start of their residency.

If you are interested in taking part, please send an email of up to 600 words to janet[at]talkingbirds[dot]co[dot]uk detailing: *who you are; *what you would do with your month in the Empty Space Module; *what your event might look like; *whether you could go on site at the drop of a hat (January 1st) or need a longer lead in (February 1st); *links to any online images/info about your past work

Deadline for expressions of interest: December 23rd 2011