REMIX residency sprung up in 2018 after reflecting on the pitfalls and successes of Con|VERGE
How to design a frame that gives both structure and freedom?
Artists were invited to a new collaborative experiment at Betonest, an art residency space adjacent to Ponderosa Dance by a short bike along the canal, on the industrial site of a disused concrete factory. REMIX was facilitated by Yoav Admoni, Kata Kovács and Mary Pearson.
REMIX began with a weekend of sharing art. All artists in residence had the opportunity to show, experience, and get inspired by each other’s work and then join in collaboration with other resident artists of their choosing.
Take your work(s) apart. Make a prequel. Or the sequel. Re-construct it. End with the beginning. Start over. Dance the re-write. Make the film. Drift into the landscape. Turn it into a theme park. Choose your own adventure.
The final weekend was the REMIX: all new works by all new collaborations.
To build a collective experience, we asked artists to think beyond their individual desires ‘who do I want to work with?’ and consider each other's work with these provocations:
Did you experience something you wanted to steal? What moments came closest to you? Did any fantasies spring from the works? As a matchmaker, who would you put together? What mash-ups would you make? What happens next? Is there a skill you saw that you want? What do you insist on doing while you’re here?
We drew up a complex and multi-faceted schedule:
a blank wall filled with as many or as few commitments as the artists wanted. This illuminated a diversity of appetites for work and play, and ways to contribute. There was an exclusive duo; some engaged in 4-5 different collaborations; one coordinated an entire group project.
We reflected on collaboration and ownership, making invitations, resistances to opening up our work to others, process, decision making, and the roles we take.
May 16-27, 2018
Con|VERGE interdisciplinary performance residency focused on collaboration and ran annually 2013-2015. Curated by Miriam Wolodarski and Mary Pearson, with Ponderosa team Adi Brief and Kata Kovács, and including Shelley Etkin in 2015.
Our aim was to offer a supportive frame for artists to meet new collaborators, exchange skills and art making practices, and make work in a residential context that nurtures process as much as product. Networks created during the residencies led to many continued collaborations across continents -- including my ongoing transatlantic collaboration with mayfield brooks, How to Be Afraid?
Performance makers and artists of all kinds applied either with specific project ideas in mind, or as available collaborators in the following ways:
Ensemble Collaborators worked without a specified hierarchy. Artists within the group decided how to navigate decision-making and role structures. Residency curators placed artists into a group with shared interests and a generous potential for exchange.
Lead Artists brought a specific project, with a clear concept and vision. Their challenge was to create enough space within their process to truly invite and utilise the diverse skills of the collaborators curated into their project.
Project Collaborators participated in a led project, and contributed their unique skills and perspectives to its creation. We aimed to pair artists with projects to form exciting and cohesive working groups.
Workshops led by some residency artists created more opportunities for the whole group to engage one another in their current artistic explorations.
Con|VERGE began with a period of focused collaborative creation, interspersed by a weekend of workshops, and finished with 2 days of public showings of the work generated during the residency.
Definitions and interpretations of ‘collaboration’ are wide and varied, and that was part of the residency’s ongoing research.
September 9-21, 2013
September 22 - October 5, 2014
August 29 -September 13, 2015
Con|VERGE was the European cousin of E|MERGE, after which it was inspired and modeled. E|MERGE is an interdisciplinary artist residency program that takes place annually at Earthdance in Plainfield, MA. Founded in 2010 by Karen Bernard, Dan Bear Davis, Krista DeNio and Melinda Buckwalter. Part of its mission is to seed other Interdisciplinary Artist Residencies with shared organizing principles nationally, and internationally, so that multiple organizing bodies can develop, and artist networks may flourish.