Open Calls

Wassaic Project 2021 Summer Exhibition and Publication Open Call

Application Deadline: November 16, 2020

Link to Apply: https://wassaicproject.slideroom.com/#/permalink/program/57671

The Wassaic Project is currently holding our annual Open Call for our 2021 Summer Exhibition and publication for artists of all mediums — including 2D, sculpture, video, new media, site-specific installation, performance, text, poems, essays, publication-specific work. If selected, your work will be showcased alongside a diverse range of pieces and performances in and around historic Maxon Mills, as well as in a printed publication. Ideally, the Wassaic Project’s 2021 Summer Exhibition will be free and open to the public every weekend from May 22 through September 18, 2021. If it is not safe to host a physical exhibition due to COVID-19, the work in the show will still appear online and in print. 

Artists interested in creating a site-specific installation for the 2021 Summer Exhibition are also eligible for an Exhibitions Fellowship to help realize their work. Up to five fellows will be offered a no-fee residency between either April 12–26, 2021 or May 3–31, 2021, and will be considered full participants in our residency program. Artists interested in making site-specific work for the exhibition should still apply regardless of whether or not they are interested in or able to be in residence in April or May. 

The Wassaic Project cultivates and supports community for emerging and professional contemporary artists, writers and other creatives. Housed in historic, landmark buildings, the residency program offers 10 artists each month the opportunity to live and work in the heart of a rural community. The Wassaic Project seeks artists working in a diverse range of media who want to produce, explore, challenge, and expand on their current art-making practices, while participating in a community-based arts organization. 

For more information: https://www.wassaicproject.org/artists/summer-exhibition-faq

Ecostage – CASE STUDY CALL OUT

Ecostage is looking for 3 ecological minded professionals who would be interested in writing a case study of one performing arts project relating to the Ecostage principles to help the volunteers build global wholesome content for the website.

🌻🌻🌻Sustainability, Wellbeing, Respect, Collaboration, Responsibility, Integrity, Forward Thinking 🌻🌻🌻

To keep all voices in the discussion, we are particularly interested to hear from non white, LGBTQ+, non designer (we already have 2!) and/or outside of the uk people. You can be in any level of career and type of role (technician, director, performer, production manager, etc).

You can find a case study example on the website holding page for the questions that’ll need answering www.ecostage.online

As we are a volunteer initiative, this is done on a volunteer basis to help the volunteers build global wholesome content for the website.

Please share with your contacts who would be interested. Get in touch at ecostage.online@gmail.com for any questions, thanks!

The Ecostage team 🌱🌻

@ecostage1  @ecostage.online  @eco.stage  @ecostage.online

Call for Chapter Contributions: Routledge Handbook of the Digital Environmental Humanities

Type: Call for Papers
Texas,
Date: January 1, 2021

Subject Fields: Cultural History / Studies, Digital Humanities, Educational Technology, Environmental History / Studies, History of Science, Medicine, and Technology

Call for Chapter Contributions
Routledge Handbook of the Digital Environmental Humanities

Editors:
Luke Bergmann, Arlene Crampsie, Deborah Dixon, Steven Hartman, Robert Legg, Francis Ludlow, Charles Travis

Abstract Submission / Expression of Interests Deadline:  1 January 2021

Precis

Scholars in the emerging field of digital environmental humanities (DEH) observe that  “the idea of nature is becoming very hard to separate from the digital tools and media we use to observe, interpret, and manage it.”[1] The ‘digital turn’ of the last quarter century, and the existential threat of climate change are converging and forcing our species to “reorient  . . . profoundly in relation to the world, to one another, and to ourselves.”[2]Whilst external environments are roiling due to global warming and socio-political conflict, the inner “saturation of our intimate and physical lives by digital, wireless, and virtual technologies,”[3] are causing adaptations on personal, regional, social, theoretical, technological, and ideological scales. 

Our ideas, our standards, for what is natural are distributed and maintained in digital tools and media like databases, computer models, geographical information systems and so on.”[4]  Though an automation predicated on algorithms has become the touchstone for thinking about the future of privacy and consent, issues around data colonialism, data hacking and Lo-TEK point to complicated, ongoing social inequalities in terms of access and inclusion, as well as the resilience and future-facing nature of a range of environmental aesthetics. 

Employing historical, philosophical, linguistic, arts practice-based, literary and cultural lenses, DEH has/have confluences with fields that foreground earthly processes and forms (environmental humanities), interrogate technological apparatus, techniques and framings (digital humanities) and draw out shifting biological, neurological and psychological strata that subtend a ‘human’ being (medical humanities).  Ontologically and epistemologically, the concept of the DEH raises a few pertinent questions:

  • What new objects, relations, capacities and affects are being located and marked for analysis? 
  • What kinds of data are being foregrounded as objects of analysis and as the bases of  empirical findings? 
  • What techniques are being brought to bear, for what purpose and with what import? 
  • And what kinds and forms of story-telling are being undertaken, by what kinds of actors, with what agencies, and for what audiences, users, and communities of interest and practice?

In addition,  humanities, scientific, artistic, geographical, cartographical, informatic and computing disciplines are finding a common space in DEH, and are bringing the use of digital applications, coding and software into league with literary and cultural studies, feminist, queer and critical race studies, and the visual, filmic and performing arts.  As such, DEH is empirically, critically and ethically engaged in exploring digitally mediated, visualized, and parsed framings of past, present and future environments, landscapes and cultures, as well as the ways in which these operate to produce scale, from the intimate and personal to the global and planetary.  Conceptualizations such as PlantationoceneCapitaloceneChthuluceneAnthropo-sceneAnthropobscene, and so on provide alternate framings of ecological and social collapse, loss and extinction, that emphasize the specific time-space emergence of crises, a diversity of lived experiences across the globe, and the work of words (images and graphs) as analytic formulations as well as descriptors. 

Call for Chapters

This volume, edited by human, physical,  and critical geographers, geomaticians, GIScientists, and literary, digital and environmental humanities scholars, aims to help produce a capacious, eclectic space of knowledge on DEH.

We are calling for chapter contributions from researchers in the arts, humanities and sciences, scholars in commensurate fields,  practitioners and professionals, artists, activists, poets, filmmakers and storytellers who engage the environment and the digital and are situated or situate their work in the Global South and Global North (terrestrially and subterraneous) the Oceans, the Arctic, Antarctica (surface and benthic), the Atmosphere and its layers, the Moon, Solar System, Interstellar space and Galaxies beyond. 

We seek chapters on the DEH engagements, practices, pedagogies and applied cases that facilitate trans-disciplinary encounters between fields as diverse as human cognition, and gaming, bioinformatics and linguistics, social media, literature and history, music, geography, geosciences, anthropology, archaeology, painting, philology, philosophy and the earth and environmental sciences.  Potential themes: mediations/ remediationsreflectionsexperiencesdelvingscontestationschallengespraxes,  and pedagogiesPotential subjects (contributors may suggest their own as well): 

  • Applied DEH studies.
  • Art-historical questions, geographic concepts, and digital methods.
  • Aural and visual exhibits, performances.
  • Atmosphere.
  • Big data, longue durée, geographical history. 
  • Climate histories-historiographies.
  • Cyborgs, biologies, environments.
  • Cities, sub-urbs.
  • COVID-19 Pandemic Digital Ecologies
  • DEH activisms.
  • DEH critiques / critiques of DEH.
  • DEH colonizations / decolonizations.
  • DEH facilitating knowledge production in novel transdisciplinary constellations.
  • DEH guides, tools / theories / techniques.
  • DEH hacking.
  • DEH identities, genders, sexualities, networks.
  • DEH pedagogies.
  • DEH and the earth and environmental sciences.
  • DEH storytelling.
  • Digital food production, transportation, consumption geographies.
  • Digital performances, remediations of place.
  • Digital recovery of texts, objects, and traces of human experience thought long since lost to time. 
  • Digital watersheds, riverines, oceanic and benthic systems.
  • Dynamic digital platforms for integrated environmental humanities data management, analysis, synthesis and knowledge dissemination.
  • E-Epidemiology.
  • Film and cinematic approaches.
  • GIS, Geoinformatics, R, Neogeography.
  • Graphesis / counter-visualizations.
  • Open-Source DEH.
  • Indigenous Studies (Indigital).
  • Posthuman landscapes, environments, atmospheres, waters, extra-terrestrial spaces.
  • Resource extraction.
  • Small data and capta.
  • Your own idea here:______________.

Publication Schedule:

1 January 2021, Submission of Abstracts

15 February 2021, Response of Editors to Authors

1 May 2021, Submission of Draft Chapters by Authors

1 June 2021, Editorial Comments / Revision Suggestions Returned to Authors

1 August 2021, Final Submission of Chapters by Authors

1 September 2021, Submission of  DEH Handbook to Routledge

Submission Instructions: 

Listed below are the names and emails of the editors of the Routledge Handbook of the DEH. You may submit your abstract / expression of interest to any one of the editors based upon mutual interests or preference.  Please submit an abstract, or expression of interest, describing the subject of your chapter contribution by 1 January 2021.

Editors:

Sources


[1] Finn Arne Jørgensen. 2014. “The Armchair Traveler’s Guide to Digital Environmental Humanities.” Environmental Humanities 4: 95-112.

[2] Diana Coole and Samantha Frost. 2010.  “Introducing the new materialisms.” New materialisms: Ontology, agency, and politics: 1-43. 

[3] Ibid.

[4] Jørgensen, The Armchair Traveler’s Guide to Digital Environmental Humanities. 109.Contact Info: 

Contact Email: ctravis@tcd.ie

Call for papers: Theatre and Performance Design Special Issue on Ecoscenography (Autumn 2021)

I am excited to announce a call for papers for a special issue of the journal, Theatre and Performance Design, Autumn 2021, on Ecoscenography!

A global ecological awakening is underway; one that calls for a new philosophy for theatre production that promotes more environmentally conscious, holistic, interconnected and symbiotic ways of making. With a global pandemic enforcing a pause in our practices and changing our ways of communicating and collaborating, we are at a unique moment in time that provides an opportunity to rethink the way we produce theatre now and into the future. How can we seize the potential that this new era of uncertainty and environmental focus demands?

This special edition of Theatre and Performance Design will examine the emerging practice of sustainability and ecological thinking in scenography. Related industries, such as architecture, product design and fashion have already shown us how a sustainable ethic can create novel processes and aesthetics. However, we are yet to fully grasp what a socially and environmentally conscious approach entails for the performing arts. ‘Ecoscenography’ is an expansive term that includes theories and practices that bring an increased awareness of broader ecologies and global issues to performance design. In this special issue, we are interested in how sustainability is being embraced in performance platforms across the world. How is ecological thinking evoking new materials and processes for theatrical design? How are practitioners and scholars critiquing and enhancing the social and environmental advocacy of our field? And what new aesthetics are being revealed? Beyond the necessity of energy and waste reduction, this special issue is interested in what an ecological approach to scenography does – how it influences our ways of thinking, and working – as well as how it might be defined within and beyond the performing arts. It calls for a new preoccupation with the agentic capacities of the field not only in terms of the ‘worlds’ that we create for audiences but also the ecological, social and political consequences, impacts and messaging behind our work.

Submissions are invited on, but not limited to, the following topics:

  • Sustainability in theatre production, set, costume, lighting, sound and projection
  • Theatre design and the circular economy
  • Sustainability in theatre design education
  • Sustainability in a digital performance culture
  • Performance and Ecology
  • Environmental advocacy and performance design
  • Climate change activism and urban scenography
  • Ecomaterialism and material ecologies
  • Ecological approaches in expanded scenography
  • Ecological approaches in theatre architecture.

The editors also welcome interviews with designers and architects as well as visual essays. In the first instance proposals should take the form of a 300 word abstract to be submitted to editorial associate Nick Tatchell at tpdjournal@arts.ac.uk by 12th October with accepted articles due in full by 12th May 2021. Articles usually range between 6000-8000 words.

The post, Call for papers: Theatre and Performance Design Special Issue on Ecoscenography (Autumn 2021), appeared first on Ecoscenography.
———-

Ecoscenography.com has been instigated by designer Tanja Beer – a PhD candidate at the University of Melbourne, Australia, investigating the application of ecological design principles to theatre.

Tanja Beer is a researcher and practitioner in ecological design for performance and the creator of The Living Stage – an ecoscenographic work that combines stage design, permaculture and community engagement to create recyclable, biodegradable and edible performance spaces. Tanja has more than 15 years professional experience, including creating over 50 designs for a variety of theatre companies and festivals in Australia (Sydney Opera House, Melbourne International Arts Festival, Queensland Theatre Company, Melbourne Theatre Company, Arts Centre) and overseas (including projects in Vienna, London, Cardiff and Tokyo).

Since 2011, Tanja has been investigating sustainable practices in the theatre. International projects have included a 2011 Asialink Residency (Australia Council for the Arts) with the Tokyo Institute of Technology and a residency with the Royal Central School of Speech and Drama (London) funded by a Norman Macgeorge Scholarship from the University of Melbourne. In 2013, Tanja worked as “activist-in-residence” at Julie’s Bicycle (London), and featured her work at the 2013 World Stage Design Congress (Cardiff)

Tanja has a Masters in Stage Design (KUG, Austria), a Graduate Diploma in Performance Making (VCA, Australia) and is currently a PhD candidate at the University of Melbourne where she also teaches subjects in Design Research, Scenography and Climate Change. A passionate teacher and facilitator, Tanja has been invited as a guest lecturer and speaker at performing arts schools and events in Australia, Canada, the USA and UK. Her design work has been featured in The Age and The Guardian and can be viewed at www.tanjabeer.com

Go to EcoScenography

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Joya: artist in residence / AiR apply

Joya: arte + ecología / AiR is an “off-grid” interdisciplinary residency rooted in the crossroads of art, ecology and sustainable living practice. It is located in the heart of the Parque Natural Sierra María – Los Vélez, in the north of the province of Almería, Andalucía. Joya: AiR offers abundant time and space for residents to make, think, explore and learn from their surroundings.

Joya: AiR supports a range of disciplines including, but not limited to, visual art, writing, music, dance, curatorial and film. Founded by Simon and Donna Beckmann in 2009, the Joya: arte + ecología / AiR programme is grounded in the foundation that dynamic and sustainable creative activity is the backbone to regenerating the land that has been slowly abandoned over the last fifty years. 

Since 2009, Joya: AiR has welcomed over 600 artists and creatives to realise their projects within one of the most unique and beautiful regions of the country. This is one of the sunniest regions of Europe receiving over 3000 hours of sunlight a year.

Residents have access to studio space and 20 hectares of land. Accommodation (private room with attached bathroom) and meals are included, as is collection and return to the nearest public transport system.

We happily cater for vegans, vegetarians and occasional carnivores (we have a reduced meat consumption with an emphasis on all our food being local)
We happily cater for vegans, vegetarians and occasional carnivores (we have a reduced meat consumption with an emphasis on all our food being local)
Accommodation is bright, warm and clean with wood heated radiant floors. More images…  https://joya-air.org/centre/
Accommodation is bright, warm and clean with wood heated radiant floors. More images… https://joya-air.org/centre/

Selected artists are invited to contribute to the Joya: artists listing and are asked to contribute a small text outlining the nature of their practice whilst in residency. This will be posted to the Joya: website along with a link to the artists website. ( examples are to be found here)

Selected artists are requested to make a presentation of their work to other artists in residence during their period at Joya: AiR. This is not obligatory but it does contribute to the overall experience of all artists in residence.

Joya’s working languages are English and Spanish.

NOTE: with reference to Covid 19 Joya: AiR is conforming to the current (July 2020) Spanish law making the wearing of face masks in public obligatory and social distancing of 1.5m. Neither of these regulations will be a problem for resident artists at Joya: AiR as our location is remote and our complex is large. The wearing of masks and social distancing need only apply when in proximity to other artists. The law will not impact your studio/study time or your interaction with other residents.

DISCIPLINES AND MEDIA:

Interdisciplinary: Visual Art / Sculpture / Ceramics (enquire before applying) / Dance / Theatre / Performing Arts / Music / Writing / Educational Programmes / New Media / Curatorial / Film Making /

TYPE OF ORGANISATION:

Independent not for profit association/foundation

APPLICATION:

Joya: AiR is currently accepting applications in Spanish and English only.

RESIDENCY PERIOD:

The length of the residency would be 1 to 2 weeks (longer periods are available)

NOTE* the experience of previous resident artists strongly indicates that a two week residency is much more preferable and productive than one.

NEXT APPLICATION DEADLINE:

MONDAY THE 20TH OF JULY 2020

RESIDENCY PERIOD:

1ST SEPTEMBER – 30TH NOVEMBER 2020

FEE:

The Joya: AiR residency has a subsidised fee of €325 per week + tax (10%). This covers the cost of accommodation, wood for heating and all meals. It also includes collection from our nearest transport hub, Vélez Rubio.

TERMS & CONDITIONS:

Note* in the event of an artist not being able to take up a residency opportunity they have accepted (and paid their deposit), and there are extenuating circumstances, we retain their fee for the next opportunity they can be in residence, typically up to one year after their deposit was paid.

Accompanying friends and family:

Accompanying friends and family are welcome subject  to the contribution of the same outgoing fees as the resident artist (above).

APPLY

The following data is required to consider applications to Joya: AiR and to conform to Spanish law. This data is retained for one year before being deleted. Unsuccessful applicants will have their data deleted as soon as their applications have been processed. Joya: AiR will not use or share your data for any other purpose.

APPLY HERE

Wassaic Project 2020 Haunted Mill Open Call

Applications are run through our Slideroom portal: https://wassaicproject.slideroom.com/#/Login

Applications deadline: May 26, 2020, midnight EST 

The Wassaic Project seeks artists to participate in the Haunted Mill on October 31, 2020, our annual, one-night-only Halloween event in the hamlet of Wassaic. Artists transform the floors of Maxon Mills into a PG-13 haunted house, and throughout the event we host family-friendly hayrides, games, and performances.

We accept three types of proposals for the Haunted Mill: site-specific installations in Maxon Mills, outdoor installations, and performances. 

For site-specific installations in Maxon Mills and outdoor installations:
Artists will have complete creative control over their installation, as long as they keep their work PG-13. We want artists who are excited to participate and get weird, as well as artists who are self-directed and independent with their projects and vision. Wassaic Project offers housing in one of our residency houses for 1 – 4 weeks between October 2 and November 2, 2020, private studio space in Maxon Mills, additional studio space in Luther Barn, and full access to our wood shop and print shop. Artists interested in marking site-specific work for the exhibition should apply regardless of whether or not they are interested or able to be in residence in October. We will offer a modest honorarium to participating artists and artistic teams.

For performances:
Please explain how the piece will look or function. If your work is time-based or or has video documentation, you may also link to media from YouTube, Vimeo and SoundCloud.

Application Requirements:
Contact information
Installation proposal
1 – 10 work samples 
CV 
$25 application fee

IRL, an Artists and Technologists Residency by UKAI Projects

Apply Now!

IRL

A paid artistic residency prompting arts+tech collaborations that respond to the social conditions created by COVID-19 http://newnotnormal.ukai.ca/projects

#newnotnormal

IRL brings together art + tech to develop novel methods of facilitating community connection and momentum building that prioritize those experiencing the greatest risk of exclusion when technology becomes the only source of connection.

All levels of experience welcome.

Deadline May 8th, 2020

Questions? Residency@ukai.ca Apply Now! Newnotnormal.ukai.ca/irl

Call for Papers – [re]Framing the Arts: A Sustainable Shift

International conference organized by Art/Switch
With AHM at the University of Amsterdam and Nyenrode Business University
Location: University of Amsterdam
Dates: Friday 30 – Saturday 31 October 2020
Submission Deadline: 20 April 2020

Ongoing global developments and the rapid growth of the art world highlight the need for a continuous questioning of sustainability in the arts, in terms of actors and methods. In 2020, art institutions and professionals are just beginning to wake up to their role in contributing to climate change. Recent reforms and calls for action, such as the climate emergency declared by the Tate in July 2019, generally focus on the front of house aspects of the art world and the environmental impact of museums. Accompanying these reforms are guidelines and papers from museum associations and NGOs, for instance Resolution No. 1 “On sustainability and the implementation of Agenda 2030, Transforming our World” adopted by ICOM’s 34th General Assembly in 2019. However, the pressing issue of environmental sustainability is still greatly missing from major sectors of the art market, including art transport, storage, insurance, as well as the commercial art flow. In line with the urgent call for action established by the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals in 2015, this conference aims to open up an interdisciplinary space for practitioners and academics in order to connect debates, enhance networks and initiate an international platform for the field of sustainability in the arts. Possible topics for contributions include, yet are not limited to:

1. CARBON FOOTPRINT OF COLLECTION INSTITUTIONS
New building materials; renewable and green energy; museum architecture; waste management/reduction; establishment of effective environmental guidelines.

2. SUSTAINABLE ORGANIZATION OF ART INSTITUTIONS
The vision of art organizations and their commitment to sustainability: management; marketing; catering; digitalization; public programming; education.

3. DEVELOPMENT OF SUSTAINABLE ART STORAGE
Rethinking existing guidelines concerning climate, light and humidity control; sustainable architecture; storage management; green transportation methods.

4. QUESTIONING THE SUSTAINABILITY OF CONSERVATION PRACTICES
Object management; sustainable conservation; collection management; a decrease of collection size in favor of sustainability.

5. CREATING SUSTAINABLE EXHIBITIONS AND OPERATIONS
Sustainable materials for exhibitions, including circular architecture design and the recycling or reuse of exhibition materials.

6. REDUCING ART TRANSPORT AND DEVELOPING SUSTAINABLE METHODS
Questioning shipping practices linked to fairs, exhibitions, and a growing international online market. Thinking of creative and lasting solutions for a more carbon neutral transportation.

7. SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENTS IN ART HANDLING
Innovations in art handling: environment-friendly materials; reusable packaging designs; research into the conservational aptitude of these new materials.

More info and to apply

Submission

Academics, researchers, designers and art professionals – e.g., curators, art handlers, gallery directors, collection managers, architects, art insurers, shipping coordinators, operation managers, heads of sales, fair coordinators – are invited to submit a short bio and abstract (250 words) for an oral presentation (20 minutes average) at info@artswitch.org by 20 April 2020. 


We encourage diverse formats of presentations, including but not limited to talks, videos, workshops, music or performances. Files should be saved as follows: [last name, first name_abstract title]. All contributions will be considered for publication in the conference proceedings. For more details, visit: artswitch.org The conference fee is €200; full-time students €50

The Guapamacátaro Center for Art and Ecology: Interdisciplinary Residency in Art and Ecology Program

Our Interdisciplinary Residency in Art and Ecology Program has been around for 14 years, granting space and production support for people who are doing innovative work worldwide, across the arts and sciences. During their stay (3 weeks), participants use the hacienda grounds as a laboratory for the creative process and engaging with the local community. They are free to work whenever desired in the provided studios and anywhere in the property. Experimentation is encouraged as is discourse and collaboration. 

Eligibility

* Open to professionals from all countries, cultural backgrounds and aesthetics.
* Language requirements: BOTH English and Spanish (at least beginner level).
* Up to 10 people per session are selected from a mix of the following disciplines:

  • Performing Arts (Music, Dance, Performance, Theater, Puppetry, etc)
  • Visual Arts (Painting, Drawing, Mixed-Media, Photography, Film/Video, etc)
  • Sculpture and Installation
  • Design and Architecture
  • Humanities and Social Sciences (Anthropology, Philosophy, Writing, etc)
  • Natural Sciences (Ecology, Hydrology, Biology, Geology, etc)
Award
  • LIVE/WORK SPACE: Single or double occupancy bedrooms and studios, plus common areas at the hacienda, at NO COST.
  • PRODUCTION SUPPORT to realize one or more projects while in residency. 
  • PUBLIC EXHIBITION at the Open House event on the last week of the residency.
  • DIGITAL CATALOG showcasing each participant’s work, with a review written by a guest curator or writer.
  • CONNECTIONS with Mexico’s cultural and academic presenters.
Costs
  • LIVING EXPENSES: All utilities, cleaning services, drinking water and three meals per day at NET COST: $1,000 USD for the 3 weeks.
  • TRANSPORTATION: We do not cover transportation expenses, but can assist you in pursuing additional funding with other sources, to cover such expenses.

APPLY

2020 SUMMER SESSION : July 6-26
APPLICATION DUE: March 1st at midnight
NOTIFICATION OF RESULTS: March 15th

FAQ

Open Call: Apply Now for Ferment

Apply by March 9 here

This article was originally published in 2019 to announce the launch of Year 1 of Ferment. Since then over $65K has been distributed to creators through Ferment. Ferment also does not seek public funding and operates as a stand-alone space experimenting with new ways of making culture.

Ferment: Space for Cultures to Grow

Incubators exist to help startups grow. Incubators are being increasingly leveraged globally to catalyze economic and community development. This is an admirable pursuit but raises important questions about the types of activities that are being supported and the forms that positive development takes. The moral foundations of capitalism are dominating more and more aspects of our culture. Unsurprisingly, incubators echo this, with an emphasis on economic growth, competition, and acquisition.

We will need systems and institutions focused on more than competition and growth if we hope to overcome the massive challenges we face as communities and as a species.

Culture is a collective resource upon which we all draw to make sense of the world. A society that lacks diversity in cultural narratives is a society that lacks the imagination to deal with the massive issues of our times. Incubators, even when ostensibly aimed at solving issues like climate change or inequality, are often deeply rooted in capitalist assumptions about wealth and growth.

New incubators embodying new values are necessary to build our collective resilience and to generate new ideas and approaches to move us forward.

IMG_-6sumh1.jpg

Fermentation is a practice known in most cultures. In fact, there is evidence of beer making in a cave near Haifa, Israel from 13,000 years ago. Fermentation refers to the conversion of sugar into alcohol but is also applied to the leavening of bread (carbon dioxide from yeast activity) and in the preservation of foods through the production of lactic acid (like in pickles and cheese). Ultimately, fermentation serves five basic purposes: to provide greater diversity of flavors, aromas, and textures; to preserve food for later use; to increase the health benefits of a food or drink; to get rid of anti-nutrients, and to reduce the need for cooking and the associated need for fuel.

Ferment therefore becomes a useful metaphor for the work we are trying to do. We seek to:

  1. increase the diversity of stories available to us to make sense of the world.
  2. preserve stories and ways of knowing so that they are not lost to future generations.
  3. offset the trend toward algorithmic optimization of culture at the expense of the hard work and education required to develop personal taste.
  4. offer time and support to approaches that the market might not currently support
  5. accelerate projects that disrupt how we deal with massive problems affecting us and subsequent generations

Fermentation takes patience and there are few quick fixes. Also, we won’t know what we’ve got until adequate time has been given. Ours is a slow and immersive process.

Ferment is an effort to help people outside traditional and institutional spheres of cultural production do their work and contribute to our collective well-being. We are doing this through research and experimentation on emerging business models, new platforms for collaboration, and unexpected sources of income.

Ferment is an effort to understand and enact a different format for ‘incubation’. Ferment is a space for new culture to grow. We intend to create alternatives to state and corporate forms of incubation.

We are following the advice of Noam Chomsky, who calls for, “spontaneous and free experimentation with new social forms”. Furthermore, we are pursuing Chomsky’s goal of “possibilities for reconstruction of society in the interests of those who are now, to a greater or lesser extent, dispossessed”.

Ferment is composed of creators that are advancing ways of understanding and describing the world that might not find a home in institutional creativity (or incubation). This includes diasporic practices, hybridized approaches, creative work that spans disciplines and sectors, and art and design that draws on traditions that do not privilege capitalist models.  

FermentPIC.jpg

Ultimately, we hope to offer a new marketplace for solutions. Traditional approaches to incubation should not be dismissed. Our offer is a way of supporting entrepreneurial activity that is centered in different values and approaches. In farming, mono-cultures are fragile. The same argument applies to entrepreneurship and incubation.

Reach out to find out more or check out the 2019 cohort here.

Apply by March 9 here