An electric new £20,000 art commission launched in Manchester – Deadline this week!

A new £20,000 art commission to explore the vital, yet invisible, force of electricity is up for grabs thanks to the Museum of Science and Industry, in partnership with Electricity North West, and Manchester Science Festival 2018.

This commission is for a brand-new art work, developed along the theme of ‘keeping you switched on’, to be included in the exhibition Electricity: The Spark of Life. The exhibition is the first headliner to be announced for the Manchester Science Festival 2018.

The commissioned work should explore the future demands on electricity. It could look at how innovation can support future demands, at our behaviours using and managing electricity, innovation around smart appliances, smart homes and renewable energies.

Created in partnership with Wellcome Collection in London and Teylers Museum in Haarlem, the exhibition will run for six months at the Museum of Science and Industry in Manchester, opening in October 2018.

Creating debate

Antonio Benitez, Director of the Manchester Science Festival, said: “Electricity is a vital, yet invisible, part of our lives, and this major exhibition will show how this force is fundamental to human life and has captivated inventors, scientists and artists alike for centuries.

“At a time when we are more reliant on electricity than ever before, the exhibition will ask us to contemplate our ongoing relationship with electricity, the environmental impact of our choices and imagine what the future might look like.

“The commissioned art work will aim to create debate about the proposed themes and we are particularly interested in receiving proposals for moving image and/or immersive art work.”

Showcasing future energy

Electricity North West Chief Executive, Peter Emery, said: “Electricity is crucial to almost everything we do – from heating and lighting to home working, online streaming and shopping, downloading your favourite boxset and keeping in touch with friends and family.

“We operate the network that connects every home and business in the North West to the grid and there’s a revolution taking place in the way energy is being generated, delivered and used. More and more of us are moving to low carbon electricity to heat our homes and charge our cars, and even generating our own power through solar panels.

“We’re at the forefront of this innovation in the North West and we’re delighted to be showcasing the importance of the future of energy through this work with the Museum of Science and Industry.”

How to apply

Click here to see and download the advert for the commission.  Artists should provide a proposal for their idea of up to 750 words including relevant budget and technical information, along with a CV and images of previous work. The deadline for proposals is Sunday, February 11.

The £20,000 commission is inclusive of artist fee and all related productions costs. Please contact Theresa.Macaulay@msimanchester.org.uk for further details.

To find out more about why Manchester Science Festival director Antonio Benitez believes it’s important to mix art and science, click here. 

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