DYSTOPIA sound art biennial 2024

Berlin 7-29 September 2024

OPEN CALL: Thank you for all the applications! We have received 404 proposals: 22 projects have been chosen.
Full program will be announced soon under www.dystopia.berlin

Jury members:

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)
Suvani Suri (IND; sound artist and curator, Dehli)
Julia Gerlach (GER; musicologist and curator, Academy of the Arts Berlin)
Jeremy Woodruff (US/GER; sound artist and composer, Errant Sound member, Berlin School of Sound, Kunstuniversität Graz)

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).


HAUNT-Frontviews: 8 to 10 installation works + small performances (in the courtyard)
A place where gardeners were once trained to work with nature, HAUNT has become a cultural center that takes a holistic view of art, urban nature and human interaction and focuses on ecological-creative processes in its programmatic work. Since 2020, HAUNT has endeavored to develop an exciting cultural program on the theme of “ecology in urban space.”

Galiläa Kirche: big performance / concert space, up to 4 installations
The Protestant Galilää Church and the parish hall right next to it were built in 1909-1910 in the narrow street alignment of Rigaer Straße 9/10 in the Berlin district of Friedrichshain in a historicizing Gothic style. On the one hand, the architectural style of the red brick-clad building is reminiscent of Mark Brandenburg traditions, while on the other hand, it already echoes the beginnings of modernism. After partial destruction during the Second World War, the church, which is a listed building, was restored. Now it’s used for exhibitions and concerts, developing a new space for sound art in Berlin.

Public Space: outdoor installation works, performances, sound walks
The northern area of Frontviews to the central park Tiergarten offers a wide and interesting field for projects in public space, especially for sound walks, see map, with the Gay Museum and a Youth Culture Center in the neighborhood, the Indian Embassy in the embassy district, some German Ministries and Memorials as well as the main national galleries and private galleries at Potsdamer Street. – Other public spaces in the city are possible too.

> LOCATIONS: rooms, maps and updates on spaces: venue website

How to apply

Artists can apply with new or existing works.

1. Fill in the online application form here
2. Send us on a single pdf (max. 10MB):

  • A description of your sound installation, performance, experimental music, listening project, or project in public space (maximum 2000 words) including images and links to sound clips or videos..
  • A budget, including material and special equipment. Please draw out a preliminary calculation for your tech rider, including costs for rental equipment.
  • A long CV.
  • A portfolio with three of your recent works.

Email application PDF to contact@dystopie-festival.net
Only one submission per artist will be considered.
Please label your file as following: LastName_Proposal.pdf
The subject of your email should be titled DYSTOPIA 24 / First Name, Last Name.

For updated details visit on our page: www.dystopie-festival.net/2023

Follow us on Instagram: @dystopiabiennial

The festival is organized by Errant Sound e.V. and is kindly funded by Berliner Senatsverwaltung für Kultur und Europa.
In cooperation with HAUNT-Frontviews e.V. Berlin and Galiläa-Kirche Berlin-Friedrichshain.

Dystopie sound art biennial / Errant Sound e.V. Rungestr. 20, D-10179 Berlin / contact@dystopie-festival.net. /