DIY 8: 2011

Professional development projects BY artists FOR artists across the UK

DIY 8:2011 built on the success of previous DIY initiatives and offered artists working in Live Art the chance to conceive and run professional development projects for other artists.


Our Call for Participants is now closed.

Our Call for Proposals to lead a project has now closed.

Documentation from DIY 8: 2011.

More info about DIY


The DIY 8 projects took many forms, from intensive physical workshops and discussion-based retreats, to enquiries conducted by post and live twitter writing. And between them covered diverse subjects of investigation including the relationship between entertainment and live art, liminality and nomadism, GPS technology and queer processes of creation, to explorations of Twitter and the world of professional wrestling.

For the fifth time DIY took place across the UK, with the support of seven national DIY partners. Nine projects were held between August and October 2011.
DIY 8 benefited the artistic and professional development of the participating artists and contributed to the skills and experiences of the artists who lead the projects.

98 artists took part in the 9 unique projects. The responses from the project leaders and the participants was that DIY 8's emphasis on peer training:

• empowered artists by allowing them to manage their own professional development.
• enabled artists to develop creative approaches directly relevant to the needs of their practice.
• encouraged artists to perceive their artistic output and professional development as inter-related and mutually beneficial components of a 'complete' practice.
• facilitated networking between like minded artists.
• inspired artists to take risks and think differently.

DIY 8 again demonstrated that artists are extremely well equipped to conceive and manage complex and often demanding professional development initiatives. The role of the host organisations in DIY 7 was therefore to facilitate and advise rather than to control.

Each DIY 8 lead artist conceived their project, submitted an application detailing their idea, prepared publicity copy, managed recruitment of participants, handled all relevant participation fees, booked all necessary venues, facilitated their training day(s), and wrote an appraisal report.

Each lead artist received £1,000, which covered their fee and all direct project costs including venue hire, travel, materials and hospitality. Some artists chose to seek a small fee from participants which further contributed to their project costs.

The Live Art Development Agency and its partners financed and secured additional funding for the initiative, distributed a Call for Proposals via email, selected the lead artists through an open submission process, advised lead artists about the logistical and conceptual focus of their project, publicised the nine projects under the DIY 8 umbrella through a Call for Participants, organised a final networking event — the ‘DIY picnic’ — for all participants, and collated this summary report.

DIY future:
Like previous DIY programmes, DIY 8 proved to be a very successful and cost effective initiative that demands to be continued.

Future development and refinement could include:

  • Access to more tailored advice and guidance for the lead artists (if and when assistance is required).
  • The inclusion of travel budgets to enable greater networking between project leaders and participating artists.
  • A higher-profile evaluation of the projects, possibly through an event and/or publication that facilitates the sharing of outcomes and discussion of best practice.
  • A more generous financial base that provides artists' fees commensurate with the amount of time required to initiate, manage and evaluate a project, and remuneration for the host organisations.


DIY 8 focused on professional development within the Live Art sector. It is clear that the principles and form would successfully translate to other artform practices.

DIY 8:2011 is a Live Art Development Agency initiative developed in collaboration with Artsadmin (national),Fierce (West Midlands), Forest Fringe (national), Live at LICA (North West), PLATFORM (national), Text Festival (North West), Whitstable Biennale (South East), and Yorkshire Sculpture Park (Yorkshire).

Part of DIY 8: 2011