Giving focus to the macro possibilities of the micro
What is a microresidence?
• Small scale (size)
• Small scale (budget)
• Artist run
• Grass roots
• High level of support for artists
• Taking special care of human relationships
These terms seek to define Miroresidencies as a whole. Microresidencies themselves fulfil most, if not all, of the above qualities, though given the certain subjectivity of such terms, it is upon each individual organization to define their own position as microresidence or not.
Artist residencies have become a global phenomenon, as exemplified by the sheer range of members of Res Artis. Residencies come in all shapes and sizes and are not only limited to large institutions. But with such a diversity of organizations and groups providing such a variety of programs how do we define an artist in residence? What is its function? The answer is different for each residency program and for the artists they host.
The differences in particular between the social contexts and environments in which these residencies are operating are of clear significance in answering these questions. It is perhaps of particular importance to consider within this the shared social awareness towards artists, the consciousness towards their role in society, and the reality of respect towards their activities.
There is a growing phenomenon of independent, artist run, grassroots residencies spreading globally as artists and arts organizers are inspired to create their own spaces for artistic cross-cultural exchange. It is this growing group of small-scale residencies which have the potential to realize new possibilities and point towards new directions for the field of artist-residencies worldwide.
Recognizing the important contributions that such residencies make, the microresidence network aims to join with these groups and organizations to form a network of mutual support and collaboration. This network aims to connect such residencies in a cooperative relationship through which they may not only promote their activities, but also reflect upon and evaluate their, sharing their challenges as well as models of success.
Although the initial research for this network was initiated by Youkobo Art Space, Tokyo, it is designed to be a decentralized network in which all members take responsibility for its growth and sustainability. It is therefore requested of all members that they consider what they can contribute to the network and to actively pursue this in discussion with all others.
The development of the network has been fostered through the approach of over 160 “microresidence” programs world wide with a request to complete a questionnaire form providing basic details of residence facilities, organization structure and budget etc, as well as insights into the background and motivation of the residence program. Following this requests, over 20 residence organizations have expressed their interest in this network and have kindly shared their information, which have been analyzed to provide an overview of the various conditions of microresidencies world-wide.
As the next step, dialogue is growing among members through an online forum and mailing list, as well as face to face meetings and online broadcasts. w considering how to further develop and activate the network.
We are very keen to connect with further microresidencies which wish to actively engage in this network and request to be contacted via email: firstname.lastname@example.org
• Share experiences and advice
• Offer new opportunities for artists and organizations
• Encourage critical discussion on the role of artist in residence programs – reflection and evaluation
• Tackle issues facing microresidencies
• Pursue new forms of cooperation and collaboration
• Widen the vision of residence programs
• Encourage greater visibility for microresidencies
Form of the Microresidence Network
Decentralized structure which is formed by the active contribution of all members and which can be sustained over the long term. This is still in development but the below activities are currently being considered.
• Discussion platform – currently facilitated through facebook
• Website – introducing all members of the network
• Newsletter – sharing news from each member as well as research in this field
• Collaborative Projects
Relation with Res Artis
The Microresidence Network is an independent initiative from Res Artis and residencies who are not members of Res Artis are of course able to join. However we would like to recognize the significant proportion of Res Artis members amongst the organizations approached and those who kindly expressed interest in the creation of this network. The Microresidence Network therefore has a cooperative relationship with Res Artis and provides an opportunity to address specific issues which affect a significant proportion of its members (small scale artist run spaces).
Read more in this document which collates the thoughts and messages of facilitators and participants of artist in residencies around the Japan and international: