Digital Artist Commissions – Unlocking the Doors: New Combinations


Sunderland Culture in association with Sunderland Software City, is offering 3 digital artist commissions to work with the recipients of the Unlocking the Doors: New Combinations performance commissions: The Six Twenty, tiny dragon Productions and Southpaw Dance Company. The commissions are supported using public funding by the National Lottery through Arts Council England. 

Each of the performance commissions are very different requiring varying input from the commissioned digital artists but the main intention is to find new ways in which the events can incorporate digital in a way that is original, innovative, and engaging.  Submitting digital artists are encouraged to bring their own ideas and suggestions to the creative process but as a rough guide, the 3 performance companies have provided the following to indicate their current aspirations for incorporating digital into their events.

The Six Twenty 
A curated live-performance club-night that contains a variety of performances and art forms in one or more found spaces in Sunderland over one or more days. The Six Twenty wishes to create an event that:

  • blends live and digital experience.
  • covers variety of scale from large collective events to one-on-one experiences.
  • includes digital sharing to support accessibility, and technology to enhance the audience experience.
  • incorporates interactivity and audience participation – accessed live or remotely.

If you are interested in this commission, the company are happy to discuss ideas prior to submission.  Please contact [email protected] to arrange a telephone or Zoom call.

tiny dragon Productions
An immersive, primarily ambisonic audio, interactive experience for audiences of 6 at a time.  tiny dragon wishes to work collaboratively to develop the visual aspect of the experience both directly in-show and post show with digital content that enhances the physical world of the story to provide interesting ways of progressing the narrative.

tiny dragon Productions is looking for artists with experience in:

  • Capturing green screen filming with actors.
  • Using technology to visually support the story narrative e.g., using projection mapping, lighting, LED’s etc.
  • Incorporating wraparound technology to enhance the post-show audience experience.
  • Some or all that can be captured and shared digitally with audiences.  

If you are interested in this commission, the company are happy to discuss ideas prior to submission.  Please contact Matt [email protected] or Mark [email protected] to arrange a telephone or Zoom call.

Southpaw Dance Company
A dance performance that fuses hologram technology with live performance to attain a device-free, digitally augmented audience experience.

Southpaw Dance wishes to partner with a VFX Artist / company that has:

  • Experience animating dance / movement / environments 
  • Preferably experience with Volumetric / Motion Capture
  • Experience in Unity (specifically VFX Graph) but also open to artists working with Touchdesigner / Isadora
  • Experience with projection mapping for live performance 

If you are interested in this commission, the company are happy to discuss ideas prior to submission.  Please contact [email protected] to arrange a telephone or Zoom call.

Commission Timetable

Call Out                                          Friday 14th May 2021

Deadline for Submissions        Friday 4th June 2021

Selection                                       W/C Monday 7th June 2021

Production Period                      May – July 2021

Performance/Digital sharing   July – August 2021

Amount of Commission

Each commission is £5,000

  • This fee covers all costs in relation to the digital commission only.  (The performance commission costs are separate)
  • There is an additional budget managed by Sunderland Culture that provides added basic technical support, marketing/PR, ticketing, front of house, etc.
  • Digital artists must have in place their own Public Liability Insurance for at least £5,000,000.

How to Apply

Applications may be submitted in one of the following formats:

  • written
  • audio (max 5 Minutes)
  • video (max 5 Minutes)

to [email protected] answering the following questions:

  1. Name of artist or organisation
  • Contact details (Telephone, email and postal address)
  • Please state which Performance company are you applying to work with?
  • Your Proposal

(Your ideas around how you can support and augment your chosen performance project with digital content)

  • About You

(a brief biography of yourself that includes previous experience in delivering projects with similar or additional digital content)

  • Please attach or include any links to examples of previous work if available

Covid 19 – Please note that changes to the current government roadmap may result in changes to this project.

Supported using public funding by the National Lottery through Arts Council England.