The Sidedish

A collection of related items

Wikipedia: A ritual is a re-occurring stereotyped sequence of activities involving gestures, words, and objects, performed in a sequestered place, and designed to influence preternatural entities or forces on behalf of the actors' goals and interests.


Daily Rituals: How Artists Work by Mason Currey (2013)

Above we see a snapshot from one of the pages of the book: Benjamin Franklin's ideal daily routine. In total 234 pages of writers, composers, thinkers, artist about how they create or avoid creating. A dry book, with intimate dry facts concerning time and planning of artists.

An example: Thomas Wolfe wrote standing up in the kitchen, the top of the refrigerator as his desk, dreamily fondling his “male configurations”. . . Jean-Paul Sartre chewed on Corydrane tablets (a mix of amphetamine and aspirin), ingesting ten times the recommended dose each day . . . Descartes liked to linger in bed, his mind wandering in sleep through woods, gardens, and enchanted palaces where he experienced every pleasure imaginable.

“At 1 o'clock, he eats lunch in the dining room, alone. A housekeeper lays out the same meal for him each day: yogurt, tomatoes, bread, olive oil and chamomile tea…” find out who.

video tip

Daily routines by artists on video

morning coffee and sigaret as self portrait:

a 53:35 minute ritual of biking to work:

eating an orange:

Workshops by discipline - technical work spaces

This is a list in the making.

Repetition as a form of mesmerism

Haruki Murakami

When he writes a novel, Murakami wakes at 4:00 A.M. and works for five to six hours straight. In the afternoon he runs and swims, reads, listens to music; bedtime is 9:00 “ I keep this routine every day without variation “ he told The Paris Review (…) The repetition becomes a form of mesmerism, I mesmerize myself to reach a deeper state of mind.”


The Air Collection - rituals in residence

The Air Collection - rituals in residence

There is so much going on in the world of artist residencies that is growing and morphing. In order to see what’s there and to understand what’s going on, every two months we dive in the big pool of data on artist residencies and see what we come across related to one specific theme to serve you a collection connecting new and old stories, big and small projects accompanied with interviews and articles related to this theme.

These kinds of collections allow for a broad perspective through a specific narrow entrance in this immense world of artist residencies, including useful deadlines, background info and a related side dish in the right column of books and readers.

The focus of this collection is Daily Rituals. An Air Collection is long; either meant for hour-long read or just for you to pick out what interests you.

  • Do artists in residence recreate new daily rituals for themselves while being in residence or rather stick with their familiar routines?
  • What are these rituals and are they important?

A daily ritual can be seen as 'closing the gap between art and life, many contemporary artists incorporate everyday rituals, from kissing to cooking to teaching and talking, into their performances' as mentioned in the intro of a radio interview at The Museum of Modern Art; or as 'somewhat deadening to the senses, because it promotes a familiarity with the world that allows one to tune out essential information.' as artist Scott Benefield beliefs.

No ritual

Who Scott Benefield, 56, UK, artist, co-chair of the international GAS conference 2002, former President of GAS the Glass Art Society.
Where Vrij Glas, Zaandam, The Netherlands
When Scott did a four week residency at Vrij Glas in 2008

On Vrij Glas he wrote:

Artists Create a Laboratory

'Vrij Glas: a small handpainted sign rests limply against a utility pole, comical in its humility when seen in contrast to the other sterner, military-issue signs that surround me, warning against trespassers, lighted matches, smoking and open fires. It is January in the Netherlands, bitterly cold, and I find myself walking briskly across an empty parade ground in search of the entrance to a glass studio when I spot this humble signage. Free Glass would be the literal translation of Vrij Glas, which contains within it a much more nuanced message. Vrij Glas was the original name for that branch of the global Studio Glass movement that flourished in the Netherlands and found institutional support in the pioneering glass program at the Gerrit Rietveld Academy. By 'vrij' it meant free of the long tradition of Dutch factory glass; it meant free for glass to be used as a medium for artists in the same sense as paint or bronze or any other visual medium. 'Vrij' is a powerful word in a society that celebrates tolerance and reasonable acceptance, a word that offers up a challenge to limitations as much as it promises a respite from regulation...'

Scott on daily rituals
I don't have a lot of faith in ritual. In fact, I think ritual can be somewhat deadening to the senses, because it promotes a familiarity with the world that allows one to tune out essential information. For instance, I make a practice of taking my coffee somewhat differently each time I drink it: with two sugars, milk and no sugar, black and one sugar, etc. If you always sleep on one side of the bed, every now and then try sleeping on the other...I used to listen to music a loth though when doing something that was exclusively right-brained. It seemed to lubricate the process, as it were. These days, however, I listen to more podcasts and verbal content--exclusively left-brained content--although I can't say why that is.

invisible movement

Who Emilie Gallier

Where Dance workshop CLOUD, The Hague, The Netherlands 2012

CLOUD is a new initiative for the performing arts in the Netherlands. CLOUD is set up by independent artists and organizers from dance and performance art. CLOUD’s goal is to re-articulate the well known Danslab adage - to facilitate performing artists to develop the specific conditions to do work and research.

Emilie Gallier is choreographer. Her work probes ways to expand boundaries by using scores, senses, audience participation, and collaboration. She was a choreographer and dance researcher in residence in May 2012 at CLOUD in The Hague where she organized the workshop ‘reading choreography’ aiming at challenging our understanding of notation and spectatorship. Asking: ‘Can a book-performance allow changes in norms of relation between spectators, performers and makers?’ During this period she traveled up and down between Leiden and The Hague, a time in transit that last about half an hour she uses for mind tuning going through her notebook that contains precise plans for the day, from hour to hour, mentioning specific words, objects and exercises; is a very meticulous planning allowing her to improvise.

Another item she carries with her all the time is a slimy green object.“When I want to tell someone my thoughts on movement I place a slimy children toy in between us. During the conversation this object isn’t in motion, at least not for our eyes to perceive. This object captures my personal idea on what I believe to be movement; to me this is not necessarily visible. For instance this can be a reading on movement.”

follow the fold of the map

Who Nicolas Matzner
Where Nadine, Brussels, Belgium
When 2013

In 2012 Nicolas started a video project called “La Ruta del Trompe”, a hyperactive traveler/road movie that shows the ‘other’ side of different cities around the world through the point of view of local artists and their pieces.

"Originally I am an architect from Chili, during a bike project crossing Europe on a bicycle with 12 artists, following the fold in the map. People usually advise you where to go when you say you are going to travel. But following the line (or maximum 10 kilometers distance from it when there is no road in the fold) is far more interesting, I can advise it to everyone. You will miss the hotspots and most of the big cities but you will really get to know the country you pass. Right now at Nadine I am editing the footage of this project. Being here, I live rather isolated, I don’t go out, and it would be easy to spend the whole time in this state. To connect to the people around me I am collecting time lapses of artistic processes of the artists around me at Nadine. As an architect I like things being built and broken down; these processes I film.

I film my own daily rituals, like for instance going to bed or getting up. I put the camera and the tripod on a fixed position, press record and perform this intimate ritual in front of the camera as if it where natural. The images I make are intimate but always contain a bit of fantasy, reality doesn’t exist, they represent the ideal image of me; in the end everything is fiction, even the most simple gesture I put on camera like walking is constructed, I put down the camera, run and walk back through the frame."

Also captured are moments like being on the phone with his mother, chopping food and filming it with time laps, filming artistic processes by others. I show the B-side, the backstage of life of others and my own life in these videos. Time-lapse is a way to condense time and movement into a few seconds and that’s magic.

Cat-Flower-Nap-Hip hop

Who Marlies de Clerck
Where Frans Masereel Centre, Kasterlee, Belgium
When 2013

Frans Masereel Centre offers residencies for the development of graphic projects based on artistic production, research or based on an artistic/theoretical discourse. Residents are both graphic and non-graphic artists who work individually or together. Frans Masereel Centre welcomes national and international residents to guarantee cultural diversity.

Marlies lives in Bruges and works in Gent, in Spring 2013 she was an artist in residence at The Frans Masereel center for 2 weeks. She tells Trans Artists in which way her daily working rituals differ and are alike being in residence.

home habits

In her own studio she likes to work at night when everything is silent, starting after dinner and continuing until midnight, so when she is in Gent usually only after 20:00 she enters the studio, switches on the light and starts to work. Fully depending on the nature of her project the studio transforms. Working for instance on a collage based project the studio she enters might look like a nest of images covering the floor with one spot left in the middle to sit in with scissors. Approximately once every two weeks she decides the studio needs a good cleaning. This ritual involves taking the archive of images from the ground, cleaning the floor and putting everything back in the same place.

rituals in residence

In Kasterlee her working day starts early in the morning, she stops at 13:00 sharp, than rests and spends some time behind the computer. At 15:00 it's back to work untill 20:00 when the technical workshops close and all the lights switch off automatically.

After that she draws inside her cabin, listens to Hip Hop or has a movie on the computer playing in the back like ‘Spring Breakers’ while she prepares things for the next morning. Here at the Frans Masereel Centre, surrounded by fields an forests it is very silent.

Looking out of her window she glances over a large green field. In this field a man has been spading the ground ever since she has been there, extremely slowly so it seems, far away in the distance. They didn’t wave at each other yet. When it gets to silent she naps for half an hour or takes the car, drives out of the village to a city or buys flowers.


A Plan B

Who Onno Poiesz
Where Beeldenstorm Eindhoven, The Netherlands
When 2013

This residence program is a cooperation between the bronze foundry Beeldenstorm and the graphical workshop Daglicht. They offer a residence program for artists who are open to experiment and research in developing work using the possibillities of these two different fields of art. Onno Poiesz chooses existing images and known icons as its subject. He strips these of its original context by presenting them in another form and material. The altered function transforms a plane from a modern machine into an archaeological object. The whole is thus reduced to a reflection of, and a translation into a new reality. He is looking for images that are originally only intended for a temporary existence and fixates its lifespan in ceramics. (text: NEST)

Photo's by Onno Poies, work in progress at Beeldenstorm

Onno: 'In my studio in Rotterdam most of the time I work alone. Here in the workshop that is also open to people from outside I meet a lot of different people. I am not the kind of artist that needs silence to come to the essence of my artistic practice. I like to have a plan A and plan B, being in residence this is a way for me to deal with time in a productive manner. Always there is this moment where that one thing you need right now to finish a task isn’t there, for these moments it is wise to have a plan B, to continue the workflow and use time in a productive manner.

At home in Rotterdam I work from 10:00 to 19:00. My studio is based in Kunst en Complex. Here in Eindhoven I work from 9 to 5, just like most people do. I feel that how I deal with time differs from my working in my own space. Here I feel I have to deal with the given time in a precise manner because time flies! By nature I am impatient. Learning a new skill and technique requires the investment of patience and time to get acquainted with the new materials I am working with by investing this focus in the beginning of my residency it allowed me to be independent in the process of making.'


the ritual room at Nida Art Colony

From October 1 to November 4 2012 the residency project The Ritual Room took place in Nida Art Colony. Curators of the project Ūla Tornau and Asta Vaičiulytė invited a number of artists using different mediums and ways of creating to live and work together for five weeks. The project topic was left open, but as a starting point the curators suggested immersion into common slow time in the remote landscape of Nida and several keywords: coded languages, contemporary rituals, subjective mythologies, magic of everyday ways, urban tales in the countryside, urban mysticism, nostalgic rock and new / old visuality. Living together in Nida, working collectively and individually, sharing experiences, references, inspirations and conversations would create a possible common space for an upcoming exhibition.

Duration one to four months, between January and May 2014. The recommended duration of a residency is 2 months. Applicants from all over the world may apply.

Grants No grants are currently available; selected candidates are issued a letter of support for individual grant-seeking.

Costs Studio and living space rent is 312 EUR/month, including all taxes, use of equipment, communal spaces and bicycles.

Next deadline 15 February for June-December residencies


Everyday Rituals and Contemporary Art
Ever closing the gap between art and life, many contemporary artists incorporate everyday rituals, from kissing to cooking to teaching and talking, into their performances. As a result, they transform the environments in which they situate their work—and the people whom they engage—into parts of the work itself. Join artists Tino Sehgal and Lee Mingwei as they discuss their practice. Glenn D. Lowry, director of The Museum of Modern Art, moderates a discussion

listen here

the ritual of walking

where Banff center for the arts

what A thematic residency for up to 25 artists, writers, theorists, and curators working in all media.

Walking, one of the most basic of human activities has long been both inspiration and subject of exploration for artists. Whether the location is rural, urban, interior or imaginative, walking continues to stimulate. Now, more than ever, we are witnessing burgeoning activity in this surprisingly rich and interdisciplinary field. Walking is a central element and driving force in many art practices, in current writing, theoretical investigation, and curatorial projects. From the haikus of Basho to Baudelaire’s theory of the flâneur to the current interest in psychogeography, walking continues to animate contemporary art practice.

Banff and the Rocky Mountains with its surrounding network of trails, history, and culture of walking, provide the ideal context for further exploration of this subject. The Walking and Art residency welcomes artists, writers, and curators who wish to pursue their practice, create new work, present and discuss ideas, and of course, walk.

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