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Barbican Open Lab 2018


1. Barbican Open Lab Application Guidelines
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Open Lab
Barbican Guildhall Creative Learning

Applications close 31 January 2018

Open Lab is a space to experiment and take risks without the expectation of a final product. It gives artists the freedom to ask questions of their practice, and focus on working across art-forms and disciplines (including non-arts based) to experiment within a working theatrical space.
We are accepting proposals from artists who:
  • Are at the beginning of a cross arts and/or participatory idea or question
  • Want to try something that pushes their boundaries
  • Are curious and brave, who want to explore process with new collaborators
  • Are willing to take risks and aren’t afraid to fail 
Artists from all disciplines are invited to apply for a 5 day slot in the space. Open Lab weeks run on weekdays only from 10.00-18.00. Please note that any technical get-in and get-out must happen during these time slots. In some cases we will recommend alternative venues, where there may be more flexibility on timings.

It’s not a place to rehearse; it’s a laboratory to experiment.
What you get:
  • Space
  • Technical support
  • A project manager to assist during your week
  • A small budget for materials
  • A mentor
  • Become part of our collective of artists to be invited to events, discussions, networking nights, special offers on tickets and professional development opportunities
  • An opportunity to informally share your work-in-progress and reflect on the process with an invited group 
What you don’t get:
  • A space to put on a finished performance or showcase your work to audience, promoters, agents and venues 
We are looking for project proposals that:
  • have bold but realistic objectives which show visionary artistic leadership and creative and original thinking
  • are in the early stages of development (Open Lab is not offered as a rehearsal space or venue for public performance)
  • explore collaborative approaches to working across art forms, sharing practice and/or training opportunities
  • push boundaries, take artistic risks and are unafraid to set challenges by exploring ideas in new ways
  • are participatory – projects which specifically aim to involve different community groups or settings with educational and social interests 
  • have clear aims for the week even if the outcome or the future of the project is not clear 
  • involve a diverse mix of people, skills and experience

Whilst your project may not tick all these boxes, it should cover at least four of them in order to be considered for inclusion in our lab programme.

Details on The Pit Theatre

The Pit is a flexible black box space. 14 x 15m

Whilst we do all we can to provide technical support for artists please note that any technical requirements requested will be subject to agreement with our Technical Co-ordinator.

Please note that 8 weeks before your Lab we will need the following:
  •  A short paragraph describing your proposed Lab along with a schedule of how your week will work
  • Your technical requirements along with a schedule of when you will require those technical resources

PLEASE NOTE: Although the majority of Labs take place in the Pit Theatre, for some it can be more appropriate to use one of our other Barbican or Guildhall spaces.