Open Call Details

"pierre bastien live in belgrade 2006" cc sa by lukatoyboy


Open from 
30th January 2017, 2:00pm GMT to 21st February 2017, 6:00pm GMT
Results by 
31st March
Open Source


What do amps and alloys, 3D printers and piccolos have in common? How does your favourite tune sound when it’s played on a physically impossible instrument? What’s the difference between noise and music anyway?

Banish the bland with one-of-a-kind instruments that make sounds like no other. Join musicians, makers, computer engineers, and artisans to explore the technologies changing how we hear, experience, and make music.

How will blurring boundaries between sound, science, fabrication and performance lead to new sonic discoveries?

Get hands-on with experimental materials, virtualisation, and DIY technologies. Whether you’re imagining a twenty-metre trumpet, a synth for six players, or a drum kit for slime mold, everyone can test a real or a simulated version of their wildest sonic ideas in our SOUND CHECK LAB. Join a workshop on instrument building, or take a masterclass in digital improvisation, and collaborate with other visitors to explore the outer edge of tomorrow’s sound.

SOUND CHECK is that moment between practice and performance, designs and reality, where new musical tools make us hear our world differently.


For our open call we’re especially interested in projects that explore themes and topics such as:

  • Open-source kits and plans for building instruments
  • Work that pushes the possibility of sound through physics, biology or chemistry
  • Projects that feature fab-lab equipment to make instruments or music (3D printer, laser cutter, etc.)
  • Musical interfaces that are designed for maximum accessibility or ultimate self-expression
  • Instruments or installations which encourage collaboration across generations, skill-levels and genres
  • Custom, handmade or original instruments
  • DIWO (Do It With Others) workshops, installations or sonic labs
  • Community-oriented practices which engage underserved communities through music
  • Projects that repurpose or upcycle e-waste, trash or underused materials (i.e. circuit bending, e-waste synthesisers, cigar box guitars)
  • Instruments that can be played in collaboration with humans and non-humans (plants, slime molds, artificial intelligence)
  • Community oriented maker projects (i.e. a modular synth that gets added to weekly by different groups or schools)

Please note for this exhibition we are not seeking projects whose primary focus is:

  • Data sonification
  • Non-musical sound installations or kinetic art


What makes a good Science Gallery Dublin open call proposal?

We are especially looking for both existing and new projects that match Science Gallery Dublin’s three core aims: to Connect, Participate, and Surprise. Some tips for strong proposals:

  • We love works that invite the visitor to participate, create and discuss.
  • Great projects bring together art, science, in a creative way. We generally avoid science that is evaluating art e.g. paintings about science
  • Relevance to our core audience of 15-25 year olds is a factor in curatorial decisions.
  • Defying categories is good (“it’s kind of a hybrid sculpture, event, installation-puzzle, with a crowdsourced edible citizen-science archive, plus a performance component that will portray a speculative future organism…”)
  • We have limited wall space, so we usually have more room for objects/sculptures.
  • A true connection to the theme is a must — avoid shoehorning an unrelated work.
  • Collaborations are great! Are you a cryptographer working with a cellist? Maybe you’re a comic book illustrator artist thinking of submitting a proposal with an immunologist? If you’re a marine geologist looking for a cheesemonger to work with, we might know just the person — get in touch and we might be able to help

Ask questions! If you’re unsure about an aspect of your proposal, please you the comments section below and/or email



  • Nicholas Brown — Ussher Assistant Professor in Sonic Arts, Trinity College Dublin
  • Nicolas Collins — Professor, Department of Sound, School of the Art Institute of Chicago
  • Lisa Downes — Youth worker at St Andrews Resource Centre
  • David McKeown — Assistant Professor (Design Innovation) Trinity College Dublin. Rocket Scientist. Co-founder of Science Hack Day Dublin & Dublin Maker
  • Lynn Scarff — Director, Science Gallery, Dublin


We are looking for up to 25 works for the SOUND CHECK exhibition. SOUND CHECK proposals will be funded up to a maximum budget of €2400, which should include all artist fees, materials, equipment, shipping, travel etc. Two outstanding original works may be commissioned with a higher budget of up to €6000. Please note that these are maximum amounts, not targets. We are happy to write letters of support for applicants seeking funding from elsewhere. 



Great call. Thank you!

I need one clarification. Is this call open to artists who have an idea of an object/experience but need assistance from science professionals to implement it? Would you be able to give that assistance?


'Join a workshop on instrument building, or take a masterclass in digital improvisation, and collaborate with other visitors to explore the outer edge of tomorrow’s sound.'

What does this mean? Does it mean the project could be an idea that can be explored/produced in one of these contexts or it means that it could be presented as a workshop, masterclass etc?


Hi Andreea — 

Thanks for the questions.

The open call IS open to artists who have an idea of an object/experience but need assistance from science professionals to implement it. Being as specific as possible in the proposal as to the needs, and demonstrating prototypes or sketches of work in progress is always helpful.  In the past, we have been able to recommend or help organize connections between applicants and collaborators, but the more detail as to the vision and the collaboration in the proposal, the better. 

In general we are open to all kinds of formats (exhibitions, workshops, master classes). Because this exhibition will have a higher than usual "hands-on" component, where visitors will be asked to MAKE in addition to just touch or interact with exhibits, it may be easier to facilitate workshop or master class events that could be held in the exhibit space as reoccurring events if warranted and appropriate to the program. Our mediators can be trained to lead workshops or if your work is selected we could develop strategies to repeat the hands-on activities within the exhibition context. 

Hope that helps!