the moving copy: Themed Commission Call for Submissions


DEADLINE: July 7, 2017

Submission Forms available here

Trinity Square Video is seeking submissions for our annual Themed Commission: a program inviting artists to produce or workshop new projects in a collaborative environment of like-minded artists. Titled the moving copy, this year’s theme invites artists to consider images that are reformatted, uploaded, appropriated, reproduced, and remixed. Inspired by Hito Steyerl’s text “In Defense of the Poor Image” (2009), the Themed Commission examines the copy, its power to generate alternative economies of images, and its refusal of institutionalized structures of authorship, ownership, and intellectual property. In this post-Internet era, the copy produces “a snapshot of the affective condition of the crowd.” While the authenticity of an image is undetermined, endless transfers and reconfiguring indicate the countless individuals who are devoted enough to upload, edit, and post. The copy develops value through its circulation, building momentum and intensity through sharing, while also connecting detached global audiences.

Proposed projects might include (but certainly are not limited to) questions such as: Could the practice or ethos of copying lay a ground for collective being? What forms of disjuncture or miscommunication can they generate? What are alternative forms of circulation and how are they powerful? As an image breaks down, what does it lose and what does it gain? How do our digital spaces support white supremacy, and alternatively, how can they refuse it? What are the ethics of appropriation? Is a post-representational era possible? How do copied images or objects straddle 2D and 3D in virtual space? What is the value of an original?

the moving copy asks artists to consider the phases of creation, appropriation, intake, and reappropriation that they engage with daily. The theme is charged with the task to extend the definition of production, circulation, and distribution – to push the power of the shared image to present alternative perspectives, disrupt ideologies of ownership, and map networks of collective histories.

Each selected artist will be given access to Trinity Square Video’s production and post-production equipment and facilities as well as full access to Trinity Square Video gallery from July  – August, 2017. Participating artists are expected to participate in group critiques and planning sessions, and will be expected to complete their project (or a draft of their project) in time for a group exhibition at Trinity Square Video in September 2017.

Submissions will be reviewed by the Trinity Square Programming Committee who will make selections based on the proposed project’s innovation, feasibility, aesthetic potential, and conceptual merits.

Selected artists receive:

  • Up to $1000 credit in production equipment rentals for the creation of their projects;
  • Access to the Trinity Square Video Media Lab July – August, 2017;
  • Trinity Square Video membership or renewal;
  • $350 cash in production support;
  • Participation in a group exhibition with CARFAC fees (September, 2017)

While each project is created separately, the artists will participate in group-critiques of works-in-progress, where they can receive peer-support and feedback.

All Greater Toronto Area emerging, mid-career and established artists working in all forms of media are welcome to submit. Proposals from those living outside Toronto and surrounding area must ensure that the artist will attend all Themed Commission related activities at their own expense.

Applications forms are available here

All applications should be submitted via e-mail to

Subject line: “the moving copy” Submission



image credit:
jes sachse, Micro Comedies, Macro Tragedies (2016)
Commissions for Trinity Square Video’s 2016 Themed Commission – Critical Ethics