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“Artist in Residence 2013 Darren Johnston (UK)”

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(Special feature: Research on Artist-in-Residence Programs run by Arts NPOs)

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“Rikuzentakata Artist in Residence Program 2013”

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Report on the ARCUS Project 20th Anniversary Symposium, “Art and Local Communities”


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“MICRORESIDENCE! 2013/2014: Considering Artist in Residence (AIR)”


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AIR and I, 06: Search and Find in Rikuzentakata

Cornelia Konrads (Artist)

In short, landscape is the link between our outer and inner selves.

Bill Viola, Reasons for Knocking at an Empty House, Writings, p.253

How I encounter “my site”

As a passionate traveller and site specific sculptor, I had the chance to stay and work in various countries all over the world. Mostly (and preferably) I go on a travel without a predefined plan. Starting point after arrival is always: walking. Meandering in an unknown area, in search of the site and the form of a work, I collect what lies on the edge of my path: shapes, materials, local habits and occurrences.
All my works are deeply connected with the place where i build them. I see the site not as a background, but as a texture. The goal is, that my work becomes a part of this texture.

<i>jardin en movement</i>

jardin en movement. 4 x 4 x 1.2 m . stones, cement, iron . Installation around a bended cork oak
Domaine du Rayol – Jardin des Méditerranées, Rayol-Canadel-Sur-Mer (France) 2014

So I’m looking for the smell and the sound of a place as well as for its stories and memories. Meanwhile I know, that those walks will bring me into a close dialogue with the place, reflecting about the landscape, architecture, vegetation and history of the surrounding area. I can rely on the fact, that sooner or later my excursions will bring me to „my site“, a spot where all thoughts and impressions condensate to an image, an idea, a project.
This process of searching and finding, as i experienced it in the context of residencies, commissions and exhibitions, is of course every time exciting and special. Nevertheless it happened in my recent projects, that I sometimes feel a kind of “routine” I would like to avoid.

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AIR and I, 05: Practices of scale. A report on artistic field trip to Japan.

Anna Ptak (Curator and Art Producer)

The Residency Programme Curator

Organising residencies is my daily work. For several years now, I have been involved in collaborating with artists who decide to spend a few months of their lives in Warsaw. As a rule, one of three motives can be attributed to their decision. Some want to engage in a specific artistic activity and an invitation to take part in the A-I-R Laboratory programme corresponds to their search for an institution which will support the accomplishment of their concept in terms of production. Others intend to carry out artistic research, the outcome of which may bear fruit in the emergence of new work. However, a fundamental premise of our programme is that this ‘may’ is indeed ‘may’ and not ‘must’. In these instances, Warsaw’s identified social phenomena, its historical timeline and sui generis collection of relationships which make up the city, as well as its architectural, economic and political fabric, are analysed and mapped, its archives are burrowed into and focused conversations are held with residents and institutions. Then there are those who come to the A-I-R Laboratory in order to reclaim their time; they come in search of a refuge from the pressure of everyday responsibilities and in the hope of a creative experiment.
We A-I-R Laboratory curators act as mediators between the questions and expectations of the artists and the potential offered by our knowledge both of Warsaw itself and of local experts, who may either be researchers or people whose knowledge springs from their daily lives and work in the city. Ultimately, the artists fictionalise and aestheticise the process of seeking and communicating knowledge, subjecting it to artistic interpretation. This element of conceptual artistic practices, which is operating with increasing frequency in the patterns of exhibitions and activities taking place beyond the gallery space, also constitutes a key aspect of the artistic and curatorial work supported by the Warsaw residency centre.

Left: Artists-in-residence of A-I-R Laboratory and employees of the CCA Ujazdowski Castle are planting the seedlings in front of the Laboratory building. Creating the artists’ kitchen garden was part of the project “We Are Like Gardens” (2012) by Juliette Delventhal and Paweł Kruk.
Right: Art workers in their (succesful) attempt to cross the Vistula river in mobile sculpture – amphibian created by Francis Thorburn during his residency at A-I-R Laboratory in 2012.
Photo: Magdalena Starowieyska

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Artist-in-Residence NOW 16
Contributing through Experience: “Why Participate in Artist-in-Residence Programs?” (Review [3] Res Artis General Meeting 2012 Tokyo)

Michiko Tsuda (Artist/ PhD of Film and New Media Studies)

I sometimes reflect on my past experiences of Artist-in-Residence (hereinafter, “AIR”) programs. Artists are sort of like aliens who visit certain places with a piece of security as an outsider. Through my experiences of visiting various places, there have been moments when I realize that some kind of sensors have been set in my body to respond to new discoveries and surprises unique to particular places. Our works are produced using these internal sensors and expressing what is unique to the places we stay as well as the connections and history behind a certain place. Therefore, the process of production itself is a part of program outcomes. Even if we do not explicitly mention these things, producing works while being in a certain place will surely result in some sort of connection.
Is the role of artists to cultivate the richness of a certain area and shed light on it?
If so, wouldn’t it be fair to say that the experiences of artists gained through the various places they have been to are some kind of social contribution?
In this review, I would like to examine a question “Why participate in Artist-in-Residence programs?” based on my own experiences by focusing on differences in experiences of several AIR programs, through referring to key terms I came across at this Res Artis General Meeting.

Do AIR programs have their own purposes?

At “Session 9: Ideal residency for artists” of the General Meeting held on October 27★1, YOUNG-HAE CHANG HEAVY INDUSTRIES, an art unit comprising Young-hae Chang from Korea and Marc Voge from the United States, posed a straightforward question “Why participate in Artist-in-Residence programs?” With this question, the artist talk in this session became more vibrant. In addition, a question from the audience asking “Are residencies really supporting artists?” inspired a fundamental discussion including “What are artists?” and “What is art?” When Chang and Voge said, that the “underlying benefit of AIR programs is to provide an opportunity for artists to experience new places and spend valuable time,” these words seemed to ring a bell for other artists. Thai artist Wit Pimkanchanapong, who works on a project basis, said that once an artist gets one’s carrer off the ground, opportunities for AIR programs inevitably turn up. Other artists agreed with his comment that an ideal AIR program offers “support and a healthy environment not only for artists but also for their families.”

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