DYSTOPIA Sound Art Biennial Berlin - Open Call

Deadline: 3 March 2024 23:00

DYSTOPIA sound art biennial 2024: Berlin 7-29 September 2024
OPEN CALL - Deadline 3rd March 2024, 11:59 pm, CET

The DYSTOPIA Biennial is calling for proposals for its upcoming edition in 2024, with a focus on India. Broadly organised around the theme of “dys/utopia”, the sound art exhibition brings together a diverse range of sound art related artistic practices, including installations, performances, experimental music, listening sessions, as well as projects in public space.

As a genre of literary fiction, dystopias have always carried measures of reality in them. Dystopian societies are characterised by authoritarian governance, technocratic surveillance, and environmental degradation, and have come to be increasingly marked by ethnic nationalism, global pandemics, and climate catastrophe. These are places where extractive capitalism threatens planetary existence, where war indiscriminately targets civilians, and the possibility of struggle appears to be depleted. If dystopian thinking is an attempt to warn us about the total destruction of the commons, then it is intimately bound up with utopian imagination. With this open call, the DYSTOPIA Biennial invites artists to develop new works or present existing ones that resist our dys/utopian topologies and desire another world.

Following on from the inaugural editions DYSTOPIA festival Berlin-Turkey 2018/2019 and Berlin-Brazil 2020/2021, (Berlin-Russia 2022 had to be cancelled), DYSTOPIA 24 will focus on sound-related practices emerging from the Indian subcontinent. The biennial invites applications for projects that attend to our contemporary condition through sound as a medium, event or memory. Here, the term “sound art” is applied expansively, and the proposed projects may draw on visual, spatial, sculptural, performative, and site-specific means, in addition to acoustic ones.

The open call is addressed to sound artists living/working on the Indian subcontinent, as well as across the European region. The frame is not intended as a national(ist) one and we welcome approaches that upend colonial formations and state-sponsored hegemonies, by listening to the landscape differently and by composing other imaginaries of the territory. While the Indian subcontinent gives this edition of the biennial its political thrust, individual works need not consider it subject matter in an overt way. Rather we solicit practices operating from within their own contexts, making their own meaning and defining their own references.

For DYSTOPIA Berlin 2024 around 15 projects will be selected by an international jury, and it is with this scope in mind that we direct our attention to artistic sensibilities specific to a cultural geography.

Errant Sound

The DYSTOPIA Biennial is initiated and organised by Errant Sound, an independent association of sound artists based in Berlin, running a nonprofit sound art gallery. With the biennial, we aim to promote contact between the lively local sound art scene in Berlin and its international counterparts. As with previous editions, we plan to collaborate with partner organisations to produce a follow-up exhibition in India in 2025.

Artistic Directors DYSTOPIA 24

Nida Ghouse (IND; writer, curator, visiting faculty at Curatorial Studies, Zurich University of the Arts)
Georg Klein (GER; sound artist and curator, Errant Sound member, director Sound Studies and Sonic Arts at University of the Arts Berlin)


You should be:

- A professional artist who maintains a commitment in their practice to the medium of sound. Collectives are welcome to apply.
- Living / working in or out of India, or the European region.
- There is no restriction on nationality or age.


The DYSTOPIA Biennial is funded by the Senate of Berlin with a fixed budget. For new projects selected through the open call process, we have an average production budget of 2000€, including material costs and rental equipment. The budget for each project could be higher/lower. As Errant Sound is a project space run by artists and not by an institution, self-organisation and mutual support are important to us.

Selected artists will receive:

- An average production budget of 2000€ for an art work / project.
- An artist fee of 1500€ for a new work for the Biennial.
- An artist fee of 500€ for an existing work.

Additionally, the biennial will cover:
- Transportation, travel and accommodation costs, as necessary.
Protect our climate: we would like to keep the number of flights to a minimum, and wherever possible encourage travel by train.


  • The deadline for submissions is 03 March 2024, 11:59 pm, CET.
  • Selected applicants will be informed by 10 April 2024.
  • Finalised artworks need to be submitted for installation by 26 August 2024.
  • Residency periods, where applicable, will be decided together.
  • The exhibition will open on 7 September 2024 and run until 29 September 2024 (tbc).