Open Call - Trickster, Teacher, Chaos, Clay Digital Residency

Open Call - Trickster, Teacher, Chaos, Clay Digital Residency


Open Call

Trickster, Teacher, Chaos, Clay Digital Residency
Opportunity for South East based BAME artists to take part in paid Digital Residency

The Opportunity

Trickster, Teacher, Chaos, Clay Digital Residency (TTCC) is a paid opportunity for BAME artists to develop and research work in response to the current political climate, with reference to Octavia E Butler’s unfinished ‘Earthseed’ series of parables about humanity’s uncertain future. Selected artists will be provided with the first two of Butler’s novels and invited to engage with these texts in an open ended way online. We are asking artists to respond to possible speculative outcomes for the unfinished books. Each artist will be paid a fee of £500 and supported with a materials/production budget of £100. Each Digital Residency will last for 1 month.

Butler’s Earthseed Series

Of the six planned books, only two were written during Butler’s life. They chronicle the tale of a fictional young black empath who forms an eco-feminist religion called Earthseed with the intention of saving humanity from a white-supremacist, patriarchal, authoritarian ruler that came to power after an extremist Christian, populist movement. After completing Parable of the Sower and Parable of the Talents, Butler was unable to finish the series. It was only after her passing that scholars learned that Butler had intended to write a total of four subsequent books: The Parable of the Trickster, The Parable of the Teacher, The Parable of Chaos, and The Parable of Clay. Butler intended the unwritten novels to document an escape from the Earthly authorities in the name of Earthseed, the settling of a new planet, and the building of a society based on the principles of the new religion.

In our current political climate, with a populist movement growing globally and speaking for disparate communities and over environmental allies, this residency engages collective reading and generative imagining to produce potential outcomes of Butler’s Parable Series as a means to engage with the political changes underway.

Process and Outcomes

Four artists will be provided with the first two novels (in either audio, printed or e-book format according to their ability and preference) and asked to consider Octavia E. Butler’s extra-terrestrial world under the reign of Earthseed from the perspective of one of the unwritten parables.

This residency is a collaborative project developed by Crate Studio & Project Space in Margate, UK and Durham Art Gallery in Durham, West Grey, Ontario, Canada

Two artists from each area will be selected to take part in the residency. The opportunity to share research and discuss ideas with the other artists taking part is encouraged but not mandatory. 
The residency, which is home based, will begin 8 June 2020. Once artists have familiarised themselves with Butler’s first two novels, they will be invited to document their findings and research online in digital forms of their choice eg.blogs, podcasts, vlogs, chats, webinars, digital films, documentation of artworks online, virtual exhibitions, digital sound piece/song etc. Outcomes will be shared and promoted by host institutions from the 7th July 2020, and will be staggered for each artist. 

What is included in the Residency?


  • £100 materials budget
  • £500 Artists fee
  • Marketing and administrative support from Crate Studio and Project Space and Durham Art Gallery.
  • The opportunity to link up with the other artists in the project if desired.
  • Access to Crate Studio and Project Space and Durham Art Gallery’s social media channels and websites. 
  • Opportunity to research, develop and present work in Crate’s Project Space. (all work must be ultimately presented digitally)

We welcome applications from BAME artists who can demonstrate how they would benefit from this project. We will be looking to select artists who can develop ideas creatively without having prescribed outcomes.

To Apply:

Please email by 5pm Friday 5th June 2020.

A single PDF including the following:

  • Proposal outlining your interest in the residency (max 300 words)
  • Artist statement outlining details of your practise and research interests (max 300 words)
  • Up to 10 images/links to examples of your work
  • Artist CV

We welcome applications in video/audio format

Any questions please feel free to email