The DYSTOPIA Biennial is calling for proposals for its upcoming edition in 2024: Berlin-India. Broadly organised around the theme of “dys/utopia”, the sound art exhibition brings together a diverse range of sound art related artistic practices, including installations, performances, experimental music, listening sessions, as well as projects in public space.
As a genre of literary fiction, dystopias have always carried measures of reality in them. Dystopian societies are characterised by authoritarian governance, technocratic surveillance, and environmental degradation, and have come to be increasingly marked by ethnic nationalism, global pandemics, and climate catastrophe. These are places where extractive capitalism threatens planetary existence, where war indiscriminately targets civilians, and the possibility of struggle appears to be depleted. If dystopian thinking is an attempt to warn us about the total destruction of the commons, then it is intimately bound up with utopian imagination. With this open call, the DYSTOPIA Biennial invites artists to develop new works or present existing ones that resist our dys/utopian topologies and desire another world.
Following on from the inaugural editions DYSTOPIA festival Berlin-Turkey 2018/2019 and Berlin-Brazil 2020/2021, (Berlin-Russia 2022 had to be cancelled), DYSTOPIA 24 will focus on sound-related practices emerging from the Indian subcontinent. The biennial invites applications for projects that attend to our contemporary condition through sound as a medium, event or memory. Here, the term “sound art” is applied expansively, and the proposed projects may draw on visual, spatial, sculptural, performative, and site-specific means, in addition to acoustic ones.
The open call is addressed to sound artists living/working on the Indian subcontinent, as well as across the European region. The frame is not intended as a national(ist) one and we welcome approaches that upend colonial formations and state-sponsored hegemonies, by listening to the landscape differently and by composing other imaginaries of the territory. While the Indian subcontinent gives this edition of the biennial its political thrust, individual works need not consider it subject matter in an overt way. Rather we solicit practices operating from within their own contexts, making their own meaning and defining their own references.
For DYSTOPIA Berlin 2024 around 15 projects will be selected by an international jury, and it is with this scope in mind that we direct our attention to artistic sensibilities specific to a cultural geography.
The DYSTOPIA Biennial is initiated and organised by Errant Sound, an independent association of sound artists based in Berlin, running a nonprofit sound art gallery. With the biennial, we aim to promote contact between the lively local sound art scene in Berlin and its international counterparts. As with previous editions, we plan to collaborate with partner organisations to produce a follow-up exhibition in India in 2025.
Artistic Directors DYSTOPIA 24
Nida Ghouse (IND; writer, curator, visiting faculty at Curatorial Studies, Zurich University of the Arts)
Georg Klein (GER; sound artist and curator, Errant Sound member, director Sound Studies and Sonic Arts at University of the Arts Berlin)
You should be:
The DYSTOPIA Biennial is funded by the Senate of Berlin with a fixed budget. For new projects selected through the open call process, we have an average production budget of 2000€, including material costs and rental equipment. The budget for each project could be higher/lower. As Errant Sound is a project space run by artists and not by an institution, self-organisation and mutual support are important to us.
Selected artists will receive:
Additionally, the biennial will cover:
Transportation, travel and accommodation costs, as necessary.
Protect our climate: we would like to keep the number of flights to a minimum, and wherever possible encourage travel by train.
HAUNT-Frontviews: 8 to 12 installation works + performances (in the courtyard)
A place where gardeners were once trained to work with nature, HAUNT has become a cultural center that takes a holistic view of art, urban nature and human interaction and focuses on ecological-creative processes in its programmatic work. Since 2020, HAUNT has endeavored to develop an exciting cultural program on the theme of “ecology in urban space.”
A tour of HAUNT-Frontviews is planned in January 2024. Artists in Berlin who are interested in a site visit can register by writing to email@example.com
Errant Sound: will be updated
Errant Sound has been dedicated to experimental work in sound related arts, including installation, performance, fieldwork, voice, radio and spatial practices. Through exhibitions, presentations, events, residencies and workshops, Errant Sound emphasizes an engagement with process and dialogue, encouraging a dynamic and diverse approach to the sound arts. As a project space, it also intends to foster social and public activities, contributing to the creative scene in Berlin and its artistic communities.
Public Space: outdoor installation works, performances, sound walks
The northern area of Frontviews to the central park Tiergarten offers a wide and interesting field for projects in public space, especially for sound walks, see map, with the Gay Museum and a Youth Culture Center in the neighborhood, the Indian Embassy in the embassy district, some German Ministries and Memorials as well as the main national galleries and private galleries at Potsdamer Street.
How to apply
Artists can apply with new or existing works.
1. Fill in the online application form here
2. Send us on a single pdf (max. 10MB):
Email application materials to firstname.lastname@example.org
Only one submission per artist will be considered.
Please label your files as following: LastName_Proposal.pdf
The subject of your email should be titled DYSTOPIA 24 / First Name, Last Name.
Please send all attachments in one email.
For updated details visit on our page: www.dystopie-festival.net/2023
Follow us on Instagram: @dystopiabiennial
The festival is organized by Errant Sound e.V. and is kindly funded by Berliner Senatsverwaltung für Kultur und Europa. in cooperation with HAUNT-Frontviews e.V. Berlin
Dystopie sound art biennial / Errant Sound e.V. Rungestr. 20, D-10179 Berlin / email@example.com. /