Open Call for a Research Residency at the Netherlands Institute for Sound and Vision and Het Nieuwe Instituut. Deadline: 16 November 2020.
Het Nieuwe Instituut and the Netherlands Institute for Sound and Vision announce an open call for two researchers to work in residence. The open call invites researchers to reflect on the politics of design in television and music video, engaging with the rich collection of the Netherlands Institute for Sound and Vision in the process. The format of the residency will follow the Dutch government’s regulations and restrictions associated with the response to the Covid-19 pandemic.
Research themes and the Sound and Vision collection
This open call is part of the research project For the Record, launched in 2018 by Het Nieuwe Instituut, that investigated contemporary video culture as a public space for consumerism, activism and emancipation, by exposing existing realities and by imagining alternatives.The project sought to document and reflect upon the technologies, spatial design and forms of representation deployed in video culture and live events, and used public programmes and video production as its main research methodology. This resulted in a series of videos, commissioned essays and installations. For the Record was envisioned as a live, collective research project, in which themes and questions were updated and reformulated by the team, audience and collaborating partners as the project evolved. The project engaged with both local and global issues and dimensions in video culture, involving a broad network of set and stage designers, architects, artists, filmmakers, musicians, choreographers, media producers, cultural critics and institutions.
Through this open call, researchers are invited to reflect upon the politics of design in television and music video, and to engage with the collection of the Netherlands Institute for Sound and Vision. This collection manages a media collection in the broadest sense of the word, from written press, film, radio and television to computer games, online video and websites, whether professionally produced or not. A large part of this collection is available online. The collection is built on four thematic pillars: news, information and current affairs; culture and entertainment; amateur and business productions; and the media landscape.
In their research proposal, applicants are invited to address one or more of the following areas of research: forms of representation in music video and television, technologies of circulation, and design practices in TV and video production.
- Forms of representation in music video and television
Since the early 1980s, when the US video channel MTV launched with Video Killed the Radio Star, the music video has been a controversial and transgressive medium, both affirming and questioning dominant forms of representation. Media platforms such as YouTube have brought a more diverse and complex audiovisual landscape as artists are not necessarily dependent on major labels for the production and distribution of videos, but rather work with independent teams of designers, directors, screenwriters, editors and cinematographers. Contemporary music videos both reinforce and challenge a dominant gaze, and articulate questions around gender, race, class, power relations and political realities. While still being a promotional tool for artists, the music video also continues as a medium for experimental and critical practice. The collection of Sound and Vision covers various relevant programmes and broadcasters, from TopPop, Top40, TMF, the Eurovision Song Contest and various music festivals.
- Technologies of circulation
Video-sharing platforms such as YouTube, Vimeo, Instagram TV, Facebook Live, Snapchat, Tumblr, Twitter’s Periscope, Twitch and TikTok have developed into cultural archives and discursive spaces, bringing new modes of engagement, production and circulation of video. Research proposals may approach the medium specificity of these and other platforms, including histories of broadcasting and television, fan cultures, new (music) video formats, interface aesthetics, recommendation economies, as well as the politics of live streaming and the role of the user or audience.
- Design practices in music video, TV shows, and live events
Since the early days of film, and later on in television production, techniques have been invented to design fictional worlds: story spaces, including sets, stages and scenographies, lighting, props and costumes; cinematography, and the type of shots that define what is framed inside or outside the screen space, at what speed and at which level of resolution; and finally, in post-production, through editing, sound and visual effects. Linear processes of production, post-production and distribution are no longer self-evident in contemporary video production. The ubiquity of mobile cameras and the availability of editing software and video-sharing, as well as the possibility of interdisciplinary teams to work remotely, allow for more fluid and collective production processes. Stages for live-events as concerts or TV shows are optimised, not only for broadcasting but for the mobile cameras of audience members too. Spatial techniques and design strategies accommodate the different camera angles, distances and video circulation formats.
The applications for the Research Residency will be considered based on the following criteria:
Applicants are encouraged to submit a critical and forward-thinking research proposal that engages with the politics of design in music video and television. The proposal may incorporate a larger system of references, schools of critical thought and trans-disciplinary practices. Applicants are invited - but are not limited - to approach the themes through the lens of media archaeology and platform studies, intersectional practices, post-colonial studies, gender studies, design research, media studies, architecture or artistic research.
Selected applicants are invited to publish the outcomes of their research in the form of a video essay and a written contribution to contextualise the work, to be published under an open licence on the websites of Het Nieuwe Instituut and Sound and Vision, as a research document that can circulate online.
About the Research Residencies
The Research Residencies are four-month positions based at Het Nieuwe Instituut in Rotterdam and the Netherlands Institute for Sound and Vision in Hilversum, the Netherlands from December 2020 - March 2021. They include a total stipend of 6,000 EUR.
Stipends may be subject to a withholding tax. Researchers are responsible for arranging their own accommodation. They must be able to attend regular meetings in Hilversum and Rotterdam, or remotely. The terms of the Research Residencies will be agreed on an individual basis with respect to the research subject, location and residence eligibility.
The Research Residencies will be developed through independent research; individual support and interaction with the teams of Het Nieuwe Instituut and Sound and Vision; monthly meetings with all researchers to discuss thematic and methodological aspects of research. Depending on the Dutch government’s regulations and restrictions associated with the response to the Covid-19, these meetings will take place remotely, through video calls.
The researchers are invited to organise a public presentation in March 2021 related to their individual projects, as part of Het Nieuwe Instituut’s and Sound and Vision’s public programme.
The research outcomes of each researcher will also be disseminated via Sound and Vision’s and Het Nieuwe Instituut’s website, newsletter or publications. Researchers have access to the facilities of Sound and Vision and Het Nieuwe Instituut, including the library, archives, exhibitions, workspaces and presentation rooms, following the Dutch government’s regulations and restrictions associated with the response to the Covid-19 pandemic.
Applications are open from October 6 to November 16, 2020.
A selection committee composed of Guus Beumer (General and Artistic Director, Het Nieuwe Instituut), Liselotte Doeswijk (Television and Design Historian), Jason King (Associate Professor, Director of Global Studies, and Director of Writing, History & Emergent Media Studies at the King New York University's Clive Davis Institute of Recorded Music), Johan Oomen (Manager Knowledge and Innovation, Sound and Vision), Eliza Steinbock (Assistant Professor in Cultural Analysis at Leiden University Centre for the Arts in Society), Katía Truijen (Senior Researcher, Het Nieuwe Instituut) and Jesse de Vos (Research and New Media, Beeld en Geluid), will select the two researchers in residence.
Submission requirements and deadline
Applications should be written in English or Dutch and submitted, by attachment, in a single PDF file of maximum 10MB, consisting of maximum 3 A4 sheets, and should include a link to a video connected to the research. The file should be titled with the name of the applicant and the research proposal, in the following format: SURNAME_NAME_PROJECTNAME.pdf
Proposals should include:
- A research proposal, describing the relevance of the project and its connection to the aims of the call, including a text of max. 500 words, max. 8 images and a link to a video file (weight 35%);
- A calendar and a working methodology, including the steps to be taken, which collections are used, and what earlier work will be built upon, in max. 300 words (weight 30%);
- A self-introduction of max. 150 words in which applicants articulate the relation between the research areas and their personal motivation (weight 25%);
- Ideas in relation to the final outcome in the format of a video essay, max. 100 words (weight 10%)
The Research Residencies are open to all degree levels in all disciplines. Equal priority will be given to those without a degree or institutional affiliation who can also demonstrate a high level of creativity, critical thought and other potentials in their respective fields. Neither a curriculum vitae nor letters of recommendation are requested. There is no age limit for applicants.
Applications must be sent by 16 November 2020 to firstname.lastname@example.org
Questions can be directed by October 16 to Delany Boutkan, via email@example.com
Developments around Covid-19 and/or the restrictions imposed by governments will be taken into account. This may mean that the residency will take place remotely, through online communication and digital interaction with the collection of Sound and Vision. It may be impossible for the research residency to take place during the period mentioned above, for instance because of travel restrictions from/to the country of residence, or the impossibility of carrying out the proposal. In case the timeline is not feasible, the residency may be postponed or the proposal may need to be adapted to the current conditions.
- Opening of the call for researchers applications: 6 October
- Deadline for questions related to applications: 16 October
- Response to questions: 23 October
- Final deadline for applications: 16 November
- Selection commission: 27/30 November
- Public announcement of the selected projects: 1 December
Next to For the Record, Het Nieuwe Instituut and Sound and Vision, together with the International Institute for Social History, are launching the open call Open Archief for three six-month positions to create a new audio-visual work based on the open collections of the three institutions. More information about the project here.
About Het Nieuwe Instituut
Since its foundation in 2013, Het Nieuwe Instituut has instigated research in architecture, design and digital culture, fostering programmes, exhibitions, lectures, archival investigations and publications in the Netherlands and internationally.