TransCultural Exchange Conference: Expanding worlds

TransCultural Exchange Conference: Expanding worlds

TransCultural Exchange's 2016 International Conference on Opportunities in the Arts: Expanding Worlds gathered more than 600 persons over two days in Boston, USA - artists, curators, scientists, gallery owners, funders, critics, artist-in-residency directors and those from other fields looking to work with artists.

The packed schedule offered the possibility to dive into various aspect of  international residency programs, provided practical advice, discussed how art can play a vital role in social and political interventions and promoted ways for artists to collaborate with those in other disciplines, including medicine, architecture, conservation and engineering. There were also plently opportunities for individual talks and conversations among speakers and participants, which enabled a lot of direct connections.

TransArtists participated in the opening panel on "The Internet: The Future of Artists Residencies" led by Jean-Baptiste Joly, director of Academie Schloss Solitude (Germany) together with Caitlin Strokosch, Executive Director, Alliance of Artists Communities (USA), Luc Courchesne, Artist, Designer, Co-Director of Research, Society for Arts and Technology (Canada) and Benjamín Juárez, Professor and former Dean, College of Fine Arts, Boston University (USA).

This panel questioned the relevance of artist residency programmes in an over-connected world: At the very heart of any artist residency there is the obligation for the participants of being physically present in the place hosting them. For this reason internet can be considered as endangering the „raison d’être“ of artists residences. But artists residences can’t ignore a medium that has drastically transformed artistic, musical and literary practices. What, if artists residences use internet not only as a communication medium for the institution itself but also as a genuine space for artistic projects? Which consequences does it have on their organization and on the way they see and understand their own practice?

TransArtists presented a short overview of residency programs incorporating the internet into the core of their existence - see on this topic the very interesting article by Weronika Trojanska for InterArtive Virtual Art Residencies: A manual, 2013. However, it shouldn't be forgotten that many artists don't have regular access to internet and therefore internet and virtual artistic exchange cannot "replace" what artist residencies provide.

Furthermore, TransArtists' Bojana Panevska gave a workshop for artists on " Finding the Best Fit: Researching and Applying for Artist-in-Residence Programs". This workshop, despite being at the same time as the opening panel, was very well attended and many artists found there a good start for the rest of the TCE conference.

The full conference overview can be found here.

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