Open Call

Please note this opportunity is open to women (including trans women) and non-binary people only.

Northern Sound Collective are hosting a week long event of symposiums/workshops and hackathons as part of Leeds International Festival with the theme “Automation and Me: Living An Algorithmic Life”.

The event opens on Tuesday 7th May with an evening symposium of talks and performances.  This is followed by a two-day hackathon on Wednesday 8th and Thursday 9th May, with an evening of sharing outcomes to close the event.

We will bring together an international group of twenty academics, artists and technologists working with theoretical concepts around and developing cutting-edge technology in sound, visual arts and dance.  The group of hackers will be part-curated by ourselves and part-recruited from this open call.

The aim of the hackathon is to bring leading practitioners together to collaboratively develop exciting new works in an intensive period of making to explore themes of bodies, technologies and automation.

Through these events we will be examining and reimagining the relationship between automation and us. We live in a world where data-driven algorithmic systems are increasingly automating decision making processes. At the same time, we have less and less agency over our devices and they are becoming increasingly closed. We are interested in drawing attention to the body and its relations with automation by examining themes such as authorship,​ accountability, agency, bias and openness. Ultimately, we want to explore how we can ask better questions about these technologies and their impact on our everyday lives.

The hackathon itself will be semi-structured beginning with a mapping of themes and ideas and moving on to intensive making sessions developing new works. The outcomes are unknown, but could take the form of a performance, video, installation, manifesto, game, sound work, sculpture or zine. It will culminate in a public exhibition of work that demonstrate the results of the collaboration. We will work closely with Dr Helen Thornham from University of Leeds, who will lead the panel discussion and co-host the hackathon with Joanne Armitage. Whilst immediate outcomes include new works and collaborations, the project will live on through a digital memory box—an online repository of code, images, videos and reflections.

We welcome people at all experience levels of hacking and making, from complete beginners to experienced hackers – don’t worry if you can’t code, we’re looking to bring people together with a range of skills for some exciting outcomes – if you’ve got any questions or access requirements please get in touch with us at

What are we asking you to do:

  • Either a lightning talk or performance at the symposium
  • Take part in the hackathon over two days
  • Share outcomes

We are offering a fee of £625 to all participants in return. Unfortunately we are not able to offer expenses on top of this fee.

If you’d like to take part in our hackathon, please apply by filling out this form by midnight on Friday 12th April 2019. We aim to let people know the outcomes of the call by Thursday 18th April.