September 16, 2020

Call for applications: Neringa Forest Architecture residency and research programme

Nida Art Colony of Vilnius Academy of Arts

First material cycle at Neringa Forest Architecture, 2020. Material from 2019/2020 timber logging season. Photos: Julija Navarskaitė and Jonas Žukauskas.

Nida Art Colony (NAC) is seeking applications from researchers, designers and artists from Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden, including the autonomous areas of the Faroe Islands, the Åland Islands and Greenland for a new research/residency programme focused on the features of both the human-made and natural forest: its ecological rhythms, organic and industrial material cycles, timber-based material development, socio-political discourses, history, forestry and policy-making; art, design and architecture.

NAC is located on the Curonian Spit, a 98km-long sand dune shared by Lithuania and Russia, separating the Curonian Lagoon from the Baltic Sea. It is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Here, forests planted over the span of 200 years formed an environment dedicated to managing natural geomorphological processes. In this human-made space, actions were and continue to be planned, executed and represented by a range of state and civic agencies that translate natural processes into data, tables, systems, and regulations.

Neringa Forest Architecture analyses this cultural landscape as a case study in the context of Baltic and Scandinavian forests by tracing the relationship between ecological, recreational, representational, and industrial narratives, and by presenting the possibility to perceive the forest as an infrastructure formed by a diverse civic consensus. In this residency, the trees of the Curonian forest and all of its distinct eco-socio-political features are literally, and figuratively, the foundational material of the programme.

As discussions surrounding human intervention and activities in the natural landscape gain increasing significance, NAC’s new programme positions the forests of the Curonian Spit as a foundation from which residents can analyze the broader scope of forest-as-infrastructure in the Nordic-Baltic region. This research/residency programme is an attempt to align local spatial practices with an international network of creative practitioners while redefining the Neringa Forest as a conceptually expansive space: a space of, and for, thinking and producing.

Who can apply
NAC is encouraging designers, architects, artists, historians, new materials’ scientists and forest researchers, in particular women and underrepresented minorities, to propose projects featuring intersecting, interdisciplinary practices, which have the potential to rearticulate society’s relationship to this particular woodland environment. The programme is also open to curators, as well as those working with performing arts, sound, material research/craft, and film. In addition, interdisciplinary proposals from professionals in other fields are welcome.

Residency duration and application deadline
-Applicants based in Lithuania: one to two months within the period of November and December 2020. Application deadline: October 4, 2020, Midnight EET
-Applicants from Latvia, Estonia and the Nordic region: one to two months within the period of December 2020 and March 2021. Application deadline: November 1, 2020, Midnight EET

Each selected resident will receive a monthly grant of 1000 EUR and additional travel costs.

Living and working conditions
Each NAC live/work studio is 65m2 and equipped with basic kitchen, bathroom, bedroom, and workspace facilities. Full access is given to the common spaces such as the library and the professional workshop with weaving looms, ceramic kiln, laser cutting, wood and metalworking tools, photo, video, and sound equipment.

Residents will have access to naturally seasoned, Neringa sourced, timber boards, (10m3) cut during the 2019/2020 logging season and stored on-site at NAC (subject to availability).

The programme can host up to five international residents at a time. NAC is a department of Vilnius Academy of Arts and hosts students’ seminars and work retreats, organizes educational and research projects as well as exhibitions.

How to apply
The program guidelines are available online at NAC.

Co-funded by NERINGA Lithuanian Capital of Culture 2021, Lithuanian Council for Culture and Nordic Culture Point.

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