Open Call: Algorithmic Pattern research residency

Open call: algorithmic pattern research resident

Deadline: 31st August, 2023 BST
(the form will close at midnight)

We (Then Try This) would like to host a paid resident to explore algorithmic patterns. Residencies are a chance to step away from your usual situation, working in new surroundings, on a new topic, for a short period of time. You can use the time to develop risky new ideas or develop an existing project, with our support.

What are algorithmic patterns?

Algorithmic patterns can be found in a diverse range of heritage and contemporary practices, prevalent in the performing arts and crafts. They are marked by having structural systems based on simple rules that when combined can produce works of astonishing complexity. Examples include drafts in shaft weaving, site swaps in juggling and teermana in Carnatic music, along with computer-based examples such as bytebeat and bitfields in the demo scene, and pattern-based live coding environments in electronic music performance. We hope this call will reach all those interested in patterns, whether or not they use computers in their work.

You can get a feel for the breadth and depth of this theme by browsing the algorithmic pattern discussion forum (also known as the algorithmic pattern catalogue, or ‘alpaca’ for short):

Who can apply?

We don’t want to be prescriptive about what you do. You might be an artist, designer, maker, tinkerer, weaver, musician, chef, writer, paper folder, juggler, grower, scientist, poet, dancer… or something else. We encourage applications from people who would not normally respond to opportunities like this.

You must:

  • for an in-person residency, have the right to work in the UK
  • have an active practice in a pattern-related field, whether juggling, braiding, architecture, origami, music, or something else!
  • have a question, idea or curiosity that you’d like to explore or develop through a 2 week residency
  • be comfortable with sharing your work/findings, using open source/creative commons licences (we can help you with this if it is new for you)

We can offer you:

  • £250 per day
  • Studio space with a range of equipment
  • Travel (train/ferry) and accommodation
  • Materials and access requirement costs
  • Mentorship
  • Organisational support, e.g. we could potentially organise a public workshop or other event around your residency if it would benefit from this

Duration: 1-2 weeks (i.e., 5-10 working days)

Timing: We are flexible, but anticipate the residency taking place during late 2023 or early 2024.

Location: One of our studios (Sheffield or Penryn, UK), remote/online work, or a combination

Outcomes: By hosting you, we hope to gain insights into “Algorithmic Pattern” as a developing theme, and support you in developing your practice.

Access and inclusion: Within our small team of six, we have LGBTQIA+ and chronic illness representation, a wide range of social and economic backgrounds, and Global South and Global North representation. We welcome and actively seek diversity as it brings the breadth of perspectives, ideas, knowledge and culture that is essential to our organisational aims. We are based between Cornwall and Sheffield. Our Penryn studio and the building, kitchen and studio are wheelchair accessible (the toilets are accessible aside from a heavy door, but this can be propped open). Our Sheffield studio does not currently have step-free access. The toilets are gender neutral in both locations.

Deadline: 17:00 (BST), 31st August, 2023

To apply you will be asked to provide:

  • contact information
  • overview of your practice
  • example of your work
  • the idea you would like to explore and/or build during the residency
  • the areas of support / mentorship you wish to receive to develop ideas

Apply here: application form

Questions and answers:

Residency fee? The fee is intended for those able to work freelance. If you are are already employed full time for such work, you are very welcome to apply for an unpaid residency. Please get in touch if you would like clarity on your particular situation.

Travel? For environmental reasons, we support low-impact travel options or remote work.

Remote working? – We are happy to support remote working for part or whole of the residency period, whether due to health or environmental concerns, caring responsibilities, or access requirements.

What is a ‘research resident’? As a non-academic, non-profit, open access, independent research organisation, we take a broad, engaged approach to research. You could be an artist, craftsperson, academic or something else, wanting to take your work in a new direction. As a research resident you should have a question or idea you want to explore during the residency, without any strictly pre-defined outcomes.

Who will own the outcome? All outcomes created by you will be owned by you. Shared outcomes must use an open license (open source / open hardware / creative commons).

How can I increase my chances of success? Be realistic, given the number of days that we are able to fund. Be clear about the connection between your practice and the Algorithmic Pattern theme, and about how you hope to benefit from the residency and our mentorship. Think in terms of human-centric contemporary and heritage technologies, rather than current fashions e.g. in AI.

Where does the funding come from? This residency forms part of our Algorithmic Pattern project lead by our research fellow Alex McLean, which is funded by Future Leaders Fellowship grant from UK Research and Innovation.

If you have any other questions, please email:






14 responses to “Open Call: Algorithmic Pattern research residency”

  1. afalfl avatar

    Hello !
    this open call looks really interesting, however I had a question. it is written people authorized to work in the UK zone can submit their application and at the same time, the work can be remote.. right?

    1. Alex McLean avatar

      Hi! Sorry that’s a little unclear.

      This counts as freelance work, so to do the residency in-person you will need to have the right to work here in the UK. As far as we know, there are no such restrictions if you wish to do a remote residency.

  2. afalfl avatar

    !Thank you for the details

  3. Oriane avatar

    This sounds so great. I am going to look into whether/how I can get right-to-work status. I’m currently a resident at International Studio and Curatorial Program in Brooklyn, NY USA, and I’m going to ask the staff about this. Do you know if there is some way to do this through an artist-in-residence program on your end?
    Thank you!

    1. Alex McLean avatar

      Hi Oriane,

      I’d say we would support a visa application if the chosen candidate needed one.

      I’ll check on this but actually I think we could remove it from the list of requirements, as I don’t think it’s something we need to worry about at application stage.

      1. Oriane avatar

        Great! Thank you! I will get to work on my application.

  4. Oana avatar

    This opportunity sounds very interesting! However, I have a question: only people living in the U.K. can apply, or is it open for other countries from Europe?
    Thank you and have a nice day!

    1. Alex McLean avatar

      Hi Oana,
      Yes very welcome! Due to our environmental policy we would not be able to refund flights, only trains via Eurostar (or ferry).

  5. Swathi Vijay avatar

    This is the best open call I have ever seen for artists. My question is we are an artist couple from India. Is there any kind of support we can get from you to travel and VISA process?

    1. Alex McLean avatar

      Hi Swathi and thanks for your interest! We’d be happy to help with visa process but as it is a short residency, we don’t support long haul/airborne travel costs for environmental reasons. We are happy to receive applications for remote residencies.
      Best wishes

  6. Marco avatar

    Hi Alex,

    FYI, the first link to is broken because of a simple typo: (There shouldn’t be an “S” at the end.)

    1. Alex McLean avatar

      Thanks for letting me know Marco – fixed!

  7. Jolon Dixon avatar
    Jolon Dixon

    I only just found out about this opportunity. Is there any chance to apply by midnight tonight (31.08.2023)?

    1. Alex McLean avatar

      Hi Jolon,
      Yes the form will stay open until midnight UK time (UTC+1).

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