The Lowry is looking for artists to take part in new creative technology programme

The Lowry and Submerge Festival have launched CTRL, a brand-new development programme for Manchester-based artists.

By Emma Davidson | Last updated 16 February 2024

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CTRL (CREATIVE TECHNOLOGY RESEARCH LABS), a new artist development programme, is looking for local creatives to take part. Launched by The Lowry and Submerge Festival, the 6-month CTRL programme will support 12 artists who are under-represented in the arts and digital sector.

The programme will be an opportunity for participating artists to gain new skills and knowledge, connect with local and national artists and organisations, and start to develop ideas for the creation of new creative technology performances and immersive experiences. 

As a multi-art form venue with a prominent artist development programme, The Lowry is committed to supporting the development of artists and the creation of new work. 

In 2021 the venue launched its first digital commissioning programme called LIVE NOW, supporting mid-career artists and companies to pivot into making work with creative technology, paving the way for a new type of performance to sit within its programmes. 

The experiences from LIVE NOW further emphasised the need for more artist development programmes of this nature, offering time, money and support for artists to discover ways of working with creative technology.

Antonia Beck, Senior Producer: Artist Development at The Lowry said: “CTRL is our next step in supporting artists to explore new technologies and digital platforms, and we hope to inspire the creation of more ambitious, high-quality digital work being made and presented in Salford and Greater Manchester in the future.

“We are excited to be working with Submerge on this project, whose commitment to innovative, high-quality performance, music and creative technology makes them an ideal partner for this project.”

Mike Pony, Artistic Director at Submerge said “The CTRL platform is a step towards ensuring that artists from all backgrounds can experiment with the technology that continues to change our lives, work and art.

“By introducing some of Greater Manchester’s most exciting performance artists to the potential of new creative technology and digital practices, I hope we might demystify the immersive arts, and inspire the cohort to create arts and culture experiences that challenge and question the world we live in.”

CTRL will take place from January – July 2023 with the selected creatives taking part in practical workshops led by inspirational artists including BRiGHTBLACK, Limbik Theatre and Rebecca Smith Urban Projections, as well as exploring immersive storytelling, spatialized sound, eXtended reality, projection, light, gaming, robotics, and AI. 

The programme will also include public panel talks, visits to leading digital studios and galleries across the country and bespoke mentoring sessions.

12 artists will be selected to take part in CTRL via an open call, and the programme welcomes applications from under-represented artists based in Greater Manchester who are working across performance, media, and visual arts. 


  • A £500 bursary as contribution towards your time to take part in this programme 
  • Travel expenses for studio / gallery visits outside of Greater Manchester 
  • Bespoke access support as required