AltCity Istanbul

AltCity Istanbul is a digital arts residency, bringing artists from Turkey into creative collaboration to explore uses of creative technology to learn new methodologies and produce artwork that engage and speak to the fabric and communities of the city. 

It is aimed to be a catalyst for improving the awareness of digital art for artists in Turkey, and their ability to make and collaborate on digital art projects for now and the future.

AltCity Istanbul is a partnership project by the British Council and Digi.logue, an interactive platform supported by Zorlu Holding and Zorlu Performing Arts Center to accelerate digital transformation and is produced by Quays Culture, Salford Quays based digital arts producers. 

Artistic lead of the residency are Squidsoup, a UK based digital arts group, who specalise in digital media and light art. 

About the Residency

This is an exciting opportunity to be part of a two-week full time residency for artists from Turkey. 

The aim of the residency will be on creativity, experience, and the production of work where digital is a tool not an end in itself, but artistic creativity.

Squidsoup will be using two distinct technological approaches and participating artists will gain hands-on experience in making examples of these from scratch. The technologies used will be based on Squidsoup’s BLOOM and SUBMERGENCE projects. 

Squidsoup use digitally controlled light, emanating from hundred or even thousands of point sources to alter and affect our perception and meaning of physical space. 

Participating artists will work in small groups (3-6 people), guided and aided by creative / technical mentors.

At the end of the two weeks the participating artists will mount and exhibition in the Digi.logue Space at the Zorlu Performing Arts Center. 

Mini quiz

Thank you for taking part in our mini quiz.  The winners who have won tickets for two for Blue Man Group's performance  at Zorlu PSM on 18 February Sunday at 19.30 are listed below. The winners will be contacted via email.

Main winners:

  • Mustafa Balcı
  • Gülay Berber
  • Cem Işıloğlu

Reserved winners: 

  • Ahmet Dincsoy
  • Kerimcan Zereyalp


We are organising two separate talks under the AltCity project:

Across the Line - AltCity Istanbul Exhibition

Date: 14 November - 25 December 2017
Venue: Digi.logue Space, Zorlu PSM
Get details

Accessing Digital Art

Date: Tuesday 24 October 2017
Time: 19.00
Venue: Zorlu PSM Sky Lounge
Get details

How to Create Digital and Interactive Media Experiences? 

Date: Wednesday 1 November 2017
Time: 19.00
Venue: Zorlu PSM Sky Lounge
Get details

AltCity İstanbul applications are now closed. The participant list is as below:

  • Betül Aksu
  • Bilal Yılmaz
  • Deniz Derbent
  • Ege Selçuk
  • Ethem Cem
  • Gulfidan Ozmen
  • Hazal Döleneken
  • Meltem Sahin
  • Özcan Saraç
  • Sadi Kerim Dündar
  • Ufuk Barış Mutlu
  • Zeynep Budak



AltCity Istanbul is essentially a creative collaboration and learning experience. 

The residency will be based on two artistic concept ideas created by Squidsoup. Therefore, Squidsoup retains the copyright and equipment ownership to their artwork concepts used during this residency.

Participants are required to credit Squid Soup and AltCity project partnership when presenting resultant work in their portfolios created during the AltCity residency.  

If participants wish to exhibit the resultant work beyond the AltCity Istanbul project, Squidsoup shall be informed.

What resources and space will there be?

The residency will take place at the Zorlu Performing Arts Center, Sky Lounge, however there will also be occasional site visits if required for filming, guerrilla installs, or workshop production.

The residency will take place in Sky Lounge at the Zorlu Performing Arts Center. 

The residency is free and materials are provided to build the Squidsoup artworks. 

Lunch and coffee breaks will be provided during the residency.

Simultaneous and consecutive translation will be provided. 

Technical Equipment 

At least 4 computers (a mix of Mac and PC) with the following installed:

  • video editing software (Premiere, AfterEffects)
  • processing
  • arduino
  • admin privileges
  • web access

2. 2-4x Full HD data projectors, minimum 4000 lumen.

3. Sound systems and speakers

4. 1 set of 64x LED strands, controller, power supplies, cables

5. 24-36x Blooms, cables, power supplies

6. Cameras (DSLR, DJI Omni (mini steadicam), GoPro)



  • Call for applications: Tuesday 15 August 2017 
  • Deadline for applications: Sunday 24 September, 24.00 
  • Shortlisting of applications: 25 September – 9 October 2017
  • Successful candidates notified: Tuesday 10 October 2017 
  • Contacting the eliminated applicants: w/c Monday 16 October 2017
  • Programme commences: Monday 23 October 2017
  • Programme ends: Saturday 4 November 2017
  • Installation of the exhibition: 6 – 11 November 2017 
  • Exhibition opening: Tuesday 14 November 2017 

How we assesed the applications and selected 12 artists

When we received your application project curators at the British Council and Zorlu PSM first checked whether it was eligible or not. 

We assessed all eligible applications using the information in the application form. It was particularly important for you to clearly express why you are interested in digital art and how you think this programme might help under section 3 – supporting information. 

We also requested comments from the leading digital media and art professionals from Turkey as part of the assessment process.  

  • Bager Akbay, Co-founder, Iskele 47
  • Candaş  Şişman, Artist and Co-founder, Nohlab
  • Cansu Ataman Bilgiç, Arts Manager, British Council
  • Assoc. Prof. Ebru Yetişkin, Istanbul Technical University
  • Esra A Aysun, Head of Arts Turkey, British Council  
  • Asst. Prof. Güven Çatak, Founder and Director, BUG Game Lab Bahçeşehir University
  • Lalin Akalan, Sonar Istanbul + D Curator and Artistic Director, Digi.logue, Zorlu Performing Arts Center

Our assessors used their expertise and judgement to shortlist applications and final selection of 12 artists for the residency was made by Anthony Rowe, Squid Soup. 

We regret that we cannot provide feedback to unsuccessful applicants. 

External links