Open Call for Artist Commission

Encountering the unruly archives of contemporary art at DJCAD

About The Commission

We’d like to commission an artist to explore one or more of the ‘unruly’ archives at the University of Dundee and create new work in response to their encounter. 

The commission accompanies our workshop project, funded by the Royal Society of Edinburgh, which explores curatorial challenges and opportunities around archives of post-1960s time-based art practices characterised by what Lucy Lippard described as ‘the dematerialisation of the art object’. 

We are interested in commissioning an artist to test how archives of ephemeral, processual, networked or multimodal artworks can be engaged with, interpreted, reactivated online through another artist’s practice.

We are interested to hear from all artists at any stage of their careers and from any field of practice (including visual art, design, theatre, dance, music). We would particularly welcome applications from underrepresented groups as we are aware of the lack of diversity in our archives. We also encourage experimental approaches and ideas to open up our collections to the widest audiences. Works can be proposed in formats including moving image, text and sound, animation, photography, new media art or online performance. We ask artists to consider that the audience of the new work will be online. Artists will be able to engage with our collections remotely, but there is also a possibility to arrange a visit to the archives.

The selected artist will be invited to attend at least one of our 4 online workshops during October-November 2021 to participate in discussions about the challenges around curating (exhibiting, reactivating) unruly archival collections.

The new work will be launched at the end of their commission (January 2022, exact date TBC) as part of an event when we invite the artist to talk about their approach and process.


A £1000 will be paid to the selected artist. This fee includes any expenses incurring during the production of the work.


The artist will be supported by the project curators Judit Bodor and Adam Lockart who will assist with accessing archival material and support the artist in every aspect of the commissioning process.

The materials held in the various archives at the University of Dundee have different copyright/ownership agreements, so any appropriation or use of the material will have to be agreed with the copyright holder and the artist must also take into account ethical considerations on how the material will be used. 

The commissioned artwork will be displayed on this website and will also be accessioned into the DJCAD Art & Design collection, with an artist’s proof remaining in the ownership of the artist. 

How To Apply

To apply please fill out the Application form below responding to questions about:

  • Your interest in the commission 
  • The archive(s) and/or the artist(s)’s name whose work/practice you would like to encounter. You can get information about our collections by following this link.
  • Your initial ideas for approaching the commission, what your needs are, how you envisage the outcome [considering the online platform, the timescale and the budget]
  • A proposed timeline of work between October-December 2021 [see overall project timeline detailed below]
  • You should also attach an artist statement and a CV to your application [including your contact details].

Deadline for submission: 5pm on 30th September 2021.

You will find further information about us and this project by browsing on this website. 

If you’d like an informal chat about the commission, please send an email to:

Project Timeline

  • Deadline for proposal: 5 pm Wednesday, 30th September 2021
  • The selected artist will be notified via email: Monday, 4th October 2021
  • Follow up meeting with project leaders on Zoom to discuss ideas and agree on project details: w/c 4thth October (Zoom)
  • Artist agreement and start date of commission: w/c 11th October
  • Workshops dates to chose from: 14th October, 5th November, 18th November, 24th November [attendance at least one event is required]
  • Artwork to be ready by 10th January 2022 
  • Launch event with artist talk: January 2022 [specific date to be agreed]