Open Online


Fermynwoods Contemporary Art are inviting proposals for online works from artists addressing our current Xylophobia programme, for a new Open Online exhibition in 2023.

Xylophobia takes its name from the fear of wooden objects, forests, or wooded areas, which is sometimes connected to other phobias. How might digitally based works respond to the increased needs and fears of outdoor activities in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic and connect people with each other, with nature and with their creative potential to respond to our changing world?

For this online exhibition we will use The Networked Condition carbon calculator tool to help shortlist, plan and evaluate the carbon footprint of the commissioned work. (The Networked Condition is an ongoing exploration of the often hidden environmental impact of the creation and delivery of artworks using digital technology. This research led project is a collaboration between Fast Familiar, Abandon Normal Devices and Arts Catalyst, and part of Julie’s Bicycle Accelerator Programme.)

One or more commissioned works will later be selected and represented as a non-fungible token (NFT) style digital asset with a unique identifying code to create “digital scarcity” and proof of ownership. Typically NFT’s use blockchain technology to provide a public proof of ownership, at huge energy cost and carbon footprint. Our NFT will use the processing power of a school maths class working with artist and Education Coordinator Stuart Moore, to process and validate the proof of work, rather than an environmentally and energy expensive algorithm, encouraging collective ownership as an alternative to hyper-capitalism.


A total fee of £4,000 to be divided between 1 and 5 successful artists.
Please send a short proposal outlining how you intend to approach this commission, alongside a CV and examples of previous work to

Deadline for proposals – 1 December 2022
Online exhibition launch – Spring 2023


At this stage we do not want to be prescriptive about the format of proposed works. Our previous seven Open Online exhibitions have included video, animation and sound based work; YouTube playlists responding to copyright management algorithms; a yearlong Twitter poetry visualisation; digital interpretations of scanned textiles; visualisations of rain and distant thunder; an infinitely changing series of drawings; and many more kinds of works. Artists have the best ideas and we are keen to hear them.


James Steventon and Stuart Moore (Fermynwoods Contemporary Art) Ruth Catlow (Furtherfield)

Ruth Catlow is an artist, researcher, curator and co-founder of Furtherfield – London’s longest-running (de)centre for art and tech, who develop global, contributory projects that facilitate art activity simultaneously on the Internet, the streets and public venues.