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Announcement
December 16, 2015

Artists’ residencies: call for projects 2016–17

Utopiana
Thierry Fontaine, Bonnes étoiles, 2015.

BioTopes/BioChores
The activities of mankind have generated an instability on earth that calls for the emergence of a “biospheric consciousness.” “The absence of future is already here” and “the end of the world” have established themselves as a form of mythical fabulation in the contemporary imagination. How can we learn to be affected by this situation? How can we reinvent our relationship with the earthly/Earth?

When in A Thousand Plateaus Deuleuze and Guattari make territory the result of art and position the artist as “the first person to set out a boundary stone, or to make a mark,” they point towards the essential link that humankind maintains with the earth, revealing the human’s endless effort to position itself within it and to make it habitable. In other words, the creative act is linked to what instigates and produces changes within the biotopes and what makes the movement towards new equilibriums possible.

Underlying this gesture of reinvention is the inclusion of human beings into ecological biotopes. Indeed, descriptions of biotopes omit to mention the human amongst the other living organisms such as mushrooms, bacteria, vegetation, animals. Ecosystemic properties are preserved thanks to the diversity amongst these living organisms and they maintain and encourage multitudes of relations and exchanges.

However, in order to integrate humans into the biotopes, we must think alongside the image of a biochore. While the Greek topos sends us back to a static and constrained understanding of space, the chora represents a place of human becoming, its matrix and its traces. This relational understanding of space makes the chora a place of  “growing togetherness of things within the concreteness of the sensible world.” (A. Berque). Thus, in becoming biochore, the biotope opens itself up to the question of meaning and of possibilities, to the creative work where the foundations of all life forms are forged, including human life interacting with all other forms.

How can we challenge and rethink the imaginary so as to include mankind as an active agent participating in equal measure with other life forms in the production of and care for an ecosystem? How can a biotope/biochore welcome and integrate other communities into its processes?

The prospective candidates must send their applications via email to the address [email protected]. Applications must include:
–a letter of motivation mentioning the artist’s availabilities between March 2016 and December 2017 (max. three months)
–description of the project including participative activities such as workshop, conferences, etc.
–portfolio (photographs, video, and sound files, etc.)
–CV

Conditions of residency
Each application will be carefully reviewed by the selection committee at Utopiana. Utopiana offers housing and a participation of about 1000 CHF each month all included.

Nonetheless and if possible, we encourage each artist to apply for complementary funding.

Once the application is accepted, and in order to create the optimal working conditions for the project, a collaborative exchange will begin between the artist and Utopiana. Artists in residence can count on administrative support from Utopiana.

For more information, please write to us at [email protected].

During the residency, the participants will have access to the following: a room in Utopiana’s house, a shared studio space, access to cooking and common areas, use of a bicycle belonging to the association, and a washing machine.

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