Three artists selected for 18 month ART // TECH // PLAY residency programme - Collusion

Three artists selected for 18 month ART // TECH // PLAY residency programme24 June 2024

Liv Ello, Zaki Musa, and Anna Williams and Tom Roden of Anatomical have been appointed by Collusion to take part in a new, long-form, nurture-focused residency programme to develop new and innovative art/tech works. Working with Collusion, cultural partners DanceEast, Cambridge Junction, and Norwich Theatre; and university partners Norwich University of the Arts and Anglia Ruskin University; these artists will embark upon end-to-end production of new art/tech projects, from research and development to production and distribution, over the course of 18 months. 

To support the development of funding proposals, the initial exploratory phase of the project (until Spring 2025) will focus on peer-to-peer sharing, the formation of project concepts and plans for audience engagement, and plenty of experimentation with the array of creative tech Collusion and its partners have to offer.

This programme signals a new and promising way of working with artists for Collusion, who  created the residency programme in response to recognising a critical gap in the arts sector’s capacity to support the iterative and experimental development art/tech work often requires. 

“The challenges of a major cost of living crisis, intense funding competition, and reduced commissioning budgets for innovative projects have led to artists facing frequent friction within the system,” founder and director Rachel Drury explains. “This, alongside historic ways of commissioning work, is resulting in a culture where creatives are required to bring their projects to fruition within unreasonable timelines and risk-averse conditions that don’t recognise the R&D approach required to develop new ‘work this this.’ We wanted to change that.”

Zaki Musa said: “I am incredibly honoured to be selected for the ART // TECH // PLAY residency programme. This opportunity allows me to explore and express queer identity and spaces in innovative ways, while critically examining the myth of technology’s neutrality. In the current climate, having the space to create, experiment and question the role of technology in our lives is invaluable, and I am excited to collaborate with esteemed partners and peers to push the boundaries of art and technology, envisioning a more inclusive and thoughtful future.”

Anatomical said: “Firstly, we’d like to acknowledge that lots of other artists applied for this opportunity, with days spent developing ideas, and for our project to be chosen in that context is a privilege. This comes at a time in our company’s development where we are looking to learn, grow and change, so we’re grateful to be working with Collusion and all the partner organisations. With so much expertise to draw on we are confident the process will be an experience we can really benefit from. Our hope is to create a digital work we can all be proud of and that audiences will love.” 

Liv Ello said: “I am so grateful for this opportunity to develop my practice and dream in new and expansive directions – something that feels like a luxury for artists at the moment but is essential for creativity and innovation. I can’t wait to make new discoveries, take risks, fail, learn, collaborate, grow, share… What an exciting 18 months we have ahead of us!”

The R&D phase takes place between July and December leading to the submission of a funding bid led by each artist to support the developed project.

Notes to editors

About the artists:

Liv Ello is a performance artist and ‘anarchist clown’; blending poetic text, physical comedy and multimedia to provoke dialogues around identity and compassion. Tech is central to their practice: their application of sound design and found footage results in punky, comedic collage that has been compared to Adam Curtis’ documentary style by The Stage and Time Out. Their debut show, SWARM – ‘a scathing appraisal of Britain’s political parasites’ (The Guardian) – won the Pleasance Award and was nominated for an Offie Award. 

Zaki Musa is a queer multi-disciplinary artist, aerialist and an associate artist at Jacksons Lane. Specialising in the LED aerial pole, their work merges movement, design, and narrative storytelling to enchant audiences worldwide with visually stunning performances. Their artistic practice is unified by themes of digital spirituality and queer futurism, delving into the profound relationship between technology and daily rituals. 

Anatomical are a leading interactive family dance theatre company making small and middle scale theatre shows and digital projects. They have so far produced two digital projects, Midsummerland, an interactive audio adventure, and This World is Made For Me, a film about pavement chalk drawings. 

Collusion is a not for profit arts organisation. We create and produce new public artworks – our own and other artists’ projects, that explore the creative use of technologies and the impact of emerging technology on society. Our activities support artists’ talent development and place-making to deliver dynamic, imaginative new experiences for the public. 

Collusion’s ART // TECH // PLAY programme and network supports artists and creatives to develop their skills around creative technologies in a practice-led way. Supported by Anglia Ruskin University, Norwich University of the Arts, Cambridge Junction, DanceEast, Norwich Theatre, Borough Council of King’s Lynn & West Norfolk and Arts Council England. 

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