February 18, 2022

Call for applications: SOMA Summer 2022


Courtesy of SOMA.

SOMA Summer is an intensive three-week residency program in Mexico for artistic inquiry that welcomes a cohort of international artists, curators, critics, and art historians interested in collaborative pedagogical models. Each SOMA Summer is organized around a different theme that provides a compelling conceptual framework for research and creative work.

SOMA Summer 2022, Avatars In Paradise, will be articulated through a series of activities around the flexibility of identity, the limitations of ideology, and the potential of play; structured on the ideas of dissolution, projection, and decentering. Curated as a sort of (un)learning resort, this three-week program ​​proposes a connection between low-intensity performative activities led by guest tutors, open leisure spaces, and communal learning situations. It seeks to generate alternative narratives around the construction of subjectivity and the crisis of liberalism by activating communal imaginaries aimed towards new aesthetic discourses and challenging traditional systems of learning and ideating.

The program will take place Santa María Xalostoc, a former Hacienda in Tlaxco, in the state of Tlaxcala, Mexico. It will be led by a group of renowned Mexican and international artists and researchers, under the Academic Direction of Colombian artist and academic, Juan Obando.

All program activities will be conducted in English.

Avatars In Paradise
July 4–24, 2022

We exist in a time when physical existence is confined to isolated spaces while our projections float in unison in a solution of data, self-generated images, facial filters, emojis, virtual presences, chatbots, automated transportation, perpetual visibility, and stock images. Bodies dissolving into the cloud, characters in flux performing a culture that no longer depends on us. A driverless society. Doesn’t it feel free? Today, more than ever, the liquidity of capital depends on complex post-ideological macrostructures that run on the projection of ideology and the exploitation of identity in an all-inclusive system of representation designed to prevent macro-structural changes. What is the role of art in relation to this perfect circuit of production, integration, and consumption? How to interrupt a paradox that we have internalized as the official narrative of our times? What can we learn from this existential contradiction? Should we dance around it? Can we game it?

Avatars In Paradise is a situation of leisure learning where the tension between a playful periphery and an academic axis will form a program geared to building new languages, new narratives, and new spaces. At the end of this experience, we will have expanded our creative minds towards the generation of systems that complicate the relationships of art with the political, personal, spiritual, vital, virtual, viral, transcendental, global, and environmental. Our greatest achievement will be to redirect our imagination towards proactive and transformative actions —as an expression that defies the gravity of our current cultural atmosphere.

Use the online platform to complete your application with the following:
–Short biography
–Curriculum vitae
–Artist's statement
–Letter of interest
–Contact information for three references

Contact ssummer [​at​] for further information regarding your application.

More information about SOMA Summer / Apply online.

SOMA Summer is part of SOMA—an experimental pedagogical project launched in 2009, conceived as a platform for reconsideration and reflection, where participants have the opportunity to critically analyze their proposals and where revisiting creative processes is encouraged. For the past twelve years, SOMA has provided a counterpoint to the dynamics of art schools, museums, and galleries.

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