Curating Zealous X 2016 Festival

17 February 2016 // AUTHOR: // CATEGORY: Events, London, Projects , , // No Comments

Our task was to curate a festival that would last 10 days (22 days for us) and where we showcased over a hundred creatives at the Rich Mix in Shoreditch.

Submissions for the festival opened up in September 2015 where we started taking in people’s work. Our outreach spread across all seven disciplines (film, photography, design, music, performing arts, visual arts and interactive & gaming).

The outreach work essentially takes us on an online (and offline) quest to go and find creative talent across the country and let them know about our festival (inviting them to submit their work).

The role of the community managers were to bridge that gap between the creatives and the platform. I was on hand to respond to any difficulties in the submissions process as well as clear up any issues.

Selection Process

Over 30 gruelling days later, we managed to get over a thousand entries to the festival (evenly spread across all of the fields). Now began the judging and selection process where we sifted through the entries to find 45 creatives per discipline. These were then judged by a panel of high profile established figures within the industry. 15 then went through to be showcased at Zealous X.

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Curating the Festival

My role in the festival had been to map out the venue and determine where the artworks would be laid out. My colleague was made responsible for the live music/performance and gaming side.

This proved a ton of challenges as we had to try and work to a scale and determine if we had enough wall space and also figure out how the work looked best in the limited area that we had.

We had a number of site visits where we went down to measure the space (every wall and every corridor).

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Then I measured out the work that the artists had submitted (via a technical survey that we sent them) Each little piece of paper represented (quite roughly) the area given to an artist.

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There were a lot of challenges to this process as we were taking on submissions across multiple fields. The demands of a photographer were a lot different from those of a visual artist. The large installations required some thought and we needed to ensure that the area had a nice flow about it (from a visual perspective).

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We decided to create false partitions to maximise the space that we had. Cue three gruelling days of setting up the exhibition…

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You can find out more about the festival by visiting x.zealous.co



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