2020 was a year of disruption, one in which we were forced to stand still, hold our breath and experience forced closures and sudden and painful losses. The global pandemic caused a collective Break, obstructed human life and suspended our day-to-day routines, but it has also generated space for other forms to thrive. Indeed, it has been through our active engagement with the non-human (i.e. the land, the animals and our surroundings) that virtuality and ecology have acquired new meanings, enhancing the need to gather in study, to care, to think and be otherwise. In this context, we have come together to share research, pique imagination, reflect on how residencies and arts ecologies are affected by today’s challenges and, importantly, define new possible learnings to keep with us for the next future.
Our almost weekly gatherings have initially taken the form of virtual meetings, as we constantly meet across time zones– from Australia to Central Europe, the UK to the US– requiring a serious commitment. Using creative on-line tools to support and share work and ideas, we have turned our working condition into an occasion, a trusted space, for production, self-reflection, care and camaraderie. In fact, our physical so-journ in August 2021 to the Saari Assembly, in the woods of Southwest Finland outside of Turku, was the first time that we’ve met in person, and stood together on the same soil, in one time zone.
As a constellation of moments and spaces where we come to know each other better, share our practices and create anew, we asked ourselves: What if we understand our collaborative efforts as a long term virtual-analog hybrid residency, an opportunity to speculate on a yet-to-become art residency model? We study together in theory and practice, virtually and analogically, through internal gestures and external movements, privately as a group and collaboratively with friends. Our working group fundamentally explores the meaning of presenciliality (the condition of 'being present’) and its others, chronodiversity, radical hospitality and cross-cultural resonances, the disruption of habitus, the perception of space and the creative act as embedded in wider ecologies.
13 June, 2022