CHASM: Open Call for Live Artists

NOW CLOSED! Open Call for FIVE co-commissions for CHASM a programme of Live artworks and performances searching for intimacy in a time of social isolation. 

NOW CLOSED! This is an opportunity for Live Artists across the UK to engage in a programme of remote performances co-commissioned by CLAY and East Street Arts.

We are offering commissions to five artists to develop new work for remote audiences of up to 6 people or the total of a household. This includes artist fees, production budget, test audiences, and a bespoke framework for a remote residency. The programme will be performed over two months in September and October 2020.


  • Deadline is the 12pm on 16th of July
  • Please download this equal opps form and attach it to your application
  • Applications are accepted through this link: online form
  • If you have any questions or access needs please contact us at and we will be happy to arrange a different way to apply.

We are looking for 5 Live Artists to create live works of performance or actions to be experienced by remote audiences. This is a call out to create live artworks that respond to the provocation of intimacy:

– What does intimacy mean now and how do we experience it? 

– What is the relation between intimacy and physical proximity?

– Is intimacy the absence of distance? 

-How can we engage audiences in an intimate way?

Artists are encouraged to:

  • Play with technologies to create a new space for performances rather than replace the live performances we are used to 
  • Create needed entertainment for audiences to not only raise awareness about artists precarious positions, but let audiences connect with the creators of their daily entertainment and lives 
  • Create a time and space for both the artist and audience to feel safe and connected to give an escape from the current reality. 

What we offer:

  • Artist fee of £1000
  • Test audiences 
  • £400 production budget per commission
  • a network in the other commissioned artists and relationship with two Yorkshire based organisations
  • Writing about the programme featuring your work
  • Budgets towards accessibility costs for artists and audience

​See Below for our Selection Criteria 

More about CHASM 

Live artworks and performances searching for intimacy in a time of social isolation. 

Sometimes in the current climate, it can feel like there is a Chasm between us. This programme is an experiment in bridging that gap. 

As we adjust to a new way of existing, using new technologies as a method of connecting we wonder what is possible? How can we combat the impersonal nature of a computer screen? When touch isn’t an option how do we feel warmth?

By commissioning five artists and two writers we want to create a programme of live artworks, interactions and happenings responding to the provocation on intimacy in the context of a global pandemic. The artists are invited to play with form and structure when trying to connect with audiences in their own homes. Creating exciting new ways of exploring care, safety and comfort. 

CHASM is a responsive programme that supports live artists to make new work and connects them with remote audiences.

We feel a growing distance between people. Intimacy is often directly associated with physical proximity, touch and closeness. Currently, that’s not safe to practice outside of your household. Many people have found themselves isolated from partners, family and close friends. 

Unclear guidance from the government, inaccessible information and general insecurities surrounding the pandemic has developed a distrust in communities, along with a huge sense of grief. It’s important but really difficult to feel held. It’s unavoidably lonely. 

Within capitalism which is set to pit us against each other and surrounded by fascism, it makes sense to harness compassion, make space to listen and contemplate. We are striving to exist the best way we know-how. Being an artist has never felt more precarious yet art has become more essential for audiences in lockdown through films, books and personal craft activities. 

We know artists are best placed to play with those technologies along with other new and exciting ways of connecting with audiences and participants.

Technologies such as Zoom, Houseparty and several other media are currently vital for social interaction and people are investing time in understanding and using them. They are often treated as a replacement for the social interactions we were used to but they are not. Not even close. We want to create a range of works that probe and explore intimacy, and how new or alternative forms of intimacy can be created. 


Chasm is a co-commission between CLAY (Centre for Live Art Yorkshire) and East Street Arts

About CLAY

CLAY is a centre for artworks that test boundaries and artists whose practice is hard to define. We support risk, experimentation and interdisciplinary artwork. We do this by presenting work, supporting artists with affordable space, development opportunities and specialist platforms for live work. We are a radically inclusive space meaning, where possible, we work with individuals in a bespoke way to ensure their access to working with us. 

About East Street Arts

East Street Arts is a creative social enterprise and charity. Its primary purpose as an arts organisation is rooted in the urgent need to ensure better livelihoods for artists and neighbours. Our work can be seen on buildings, the high street and in neighbourhoods. We support between 1000-1200 artists nationally per year. This can be through commissioning, residencies, studio provision, research, advocacy, housing and programming within the public-realm.

Whilst the day to day management of this commission will lie with CLAY, East Street Arts will play an active role in the recruitment and ongoing development of CHASM. This will include providing the commissioned artists with the following:

  • A designated contact at East Street Arts, who will support you through the process in conjunction with Clay, and can facilitate your connection to East Street Arts.
  • Access to a wide network of artists within the 1200 artists East Street supports annually.
  • Opportunities to engage and collaborate with East Streets current artistic programme, including our Associate Artists and Virtual Studios.
  • Access to a wide range of artistic support, both towards your commission and your wider development as an artist from both organisations
  • A bespoke framework for the ‘remote residency’ or making process facilitated by CLAY with advice form East Street Arts 
  • Access to CLAY’s team as an outside eye on the work or for one to ones of checkpoints for your process 
  • Consultations on documenting the process and product

Selection Criteria

The works must be for a remote audience of up to 6 people/ a household. 

  • Response to themes of liveness. How will the piece use liveness in a remote way keeping the piece safe, in terms of being anti-viral as well as considering the ethics of audience participation? What creative approaches to form and content considering the challenges of presenting work remotely.  
  • Response to the provocation of intimacy. Is the piece thematically responding as well as in terms of form?
  • Consideration of Documentation. How will the artist document? Could the process be documented? Will the performance lend itself to reperformance or is it possible to show the documentation as a performance to camera?  

We’re particularly interested in seeing applications which 

  • Centre Black Voices 
  • frame People of Colour with compassion rather than trauma 
  • Creatively approach using video conferencing
  • Creatively approach form by way of eliminating video conferencing 
  • Engage an intergenerational audience (e.g. a family household) 
  • Engage the audience in participation 
  • Engage audiences from Yorkshire

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