Interrogating Access Residency


Call for proposals: Interrogating Access Residency A crossover thematic residency hosted by OBORO and Spectrum Productions

Submission deadline: June 3, 2019, 11:59 PM

OBORO and Spectrum Productions have joined forces to create an inclusive residency geared to people who experience barriers to artistic practice. If, for reasons pertaining to equity, you wish to submit your proposal in an alternate format, please contact us in order to make arrangements.


Interrogating access: resources for artists and organisations is a one-year series of conferences and workshops aiming to gather the tools necessary to stimulate better access practices in visual and media arts. Although accessibility guidelines are freely available [1], local independent arts centres seem slow to adhere to them. One important challenge many of us – including OBORO –face is the fact that our spaces are not barrier-free. However, these physical constraints do not justify the limited measures taken to accommodate other types of publics and participants, whose disabilities are unrelated to mobility.

Jointly developed by OBORO and Spectrum Productions, and benefiting from the support of the Canada Council for the Arts, the Interrogating Access series of activities aims to equip artists, organisations, and cultural workers with the means to think through accessibility in broader terms, and to learn from the best access practices already undertaken in the cultural sector in Canada and abroad.

Description of the research-based Interrogating Access residency:

OBORO and Spectrum Productions’ Creative Media Lab have initiated a pilot crossover residency offering support for a Montreal-based media artist to explore access-related tools as an integral part of the creative process. The residency, spanning the year of Interrogating Access activities, should explore some of the themes discussed in the series. These include: best practices and institutional models for expanding access; curating access; exploring access in creative media production; and accessible web interfaces. Privileging practical implementations as well as interrogations of the creative potential of accessibility tools, the resident artist will merge their existing knowledge and experience with the ideas presented over the course of the year.

The selected artist is expected to dedicate approximately one week per month to the project during the span of the residence, including attending all activities in the Interrogating Access series (up to 6 evening presentations and up to 2 one-day workshops). The resident artist will present the outcomes of their research in a public presentation that will close the series of Interrogating Access activities on June 11, 2020.

It is hoped that the framework developed by the artist will help to guide further explorations and implementations of best access practices in art and media production. With this pilot residency, Spectrum Productions and OBORO aim to expand both our visions and practice of what an arts residency might entail. 

Eligibility requirements:

-    Be a resident of Montreal
-    Have a sustained art and/or media practice, whether professional or self-taught
-    Have an interest or experience in exploring access-related tools within the creative process
-    Be available to dedicate approximately one week per month (flexible schedule) on the residency project from September 2019 to June 2020
-    Attend all of the activities in the Interrogating Access series (alternate access modes can be made available when needed)
-    Commit to a public presentation of the residency project on June 11, 2020.

Submission deadline: June 3, 2019, 11:59 PM

Conditions offered:

-    Honorarium: $5000 for the entire residency. If applicable and related to the project, a second person could join the residency; in this case, the honorarium will be split.
-    Access to equipment and resources from Spectrum Productions’ Creative Media Lab and from OBORO’s New Media Lab *
-    Artistic support from Spectrum Productions’ and OBORO’s teams
-    A limited number of technical support hours to familiarize the artist with equipment from Spectrum Productions’ Creative Media Lab and OBORO’s New Media Lab. The artist will be expected to practice independently thereafter.
-    Up to $250 to cover the costs of additional materials for the project, if needed.

* A detailed list of OBORO’s equipment is available here. Vous trouverez un aperçu du studio de Spectrum Productions here

How to Submit a Proposal:

Send your proposal via WeTransfer or by email at with the subject heading “Interrogating Access Residency”. If, for reasons pertaining to equity, you wish to submit proposal in an alternate format, please contact us in order to make arrangements. 

Your proposal must include: 

  • A short letter of motivation (maximum 1 page; a 2-minute video presentation will also be accepted as an alternative submission format)
  • An artistic and technological description of your project (2 pages maximum; a 5-minute video presentation will also be accepted as an alternative submission format):
    -    Describe the project’s research focus and specify its connection to the Interrogating Access theme
    -    Identify the principle tools or media you intend to work with (e.g., video, sound, image, etc.)
    -    Include a preliminary timeline or production schedule 
  • A list of anticipated technical requirements (examples of available equipment) ;
  • A CV of relevant experience 
  • Visual or audio support material with a list of contents (Web links are accepted). 

Applicants will be informed of the outcome of the call by the end of June 2019.

Accessibility information for OBORO
Accessibility information for Spectrum Productions

[1] See, for instance:
- Smithsonian Guidelines for Accessible Exhibition Design
- Humber College and Tangled Art + Disability, Accessibility Toolkit: A Guide to Making Art Spaces Accessible 
- ReelAbilities, ReelAccess: A Guide to Accessible Film Festivals and Screenings, 2016
- SpillPROpagation, Embaucher des interprètes en langue des signes