More than once during the symposium Chuz Martinez, chief curator at Museu d'Art Contemporani de Barcelona (MACBA), referred to the role of artists' residencies as cells of knowledge, as alternative 'academies'. She challlenged everyone involved in providing and using artists' residencies not to drown in infrastructural issues. The focus should be on content!
Martinez: "Hospitality is not the same as help. Hospitality is a complex responsibility. When a residential art centre runs for some time, it builds up knowledge, it starts to create a site-specific art history. The centre becomes an 'academy', where guests meet and connect to the knowledge that the centre can provide, and vice versa. It's a matter of change of perspective: instead of focusing all the time on infrastructural issues, we'd better focus on the function of residential art centres as alternative 'academies'."