• Liminal Space – リミナル・スペース" Open Call Artist-Residency 

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    Posted: 19 August 2020

    Open Call: Online Artist-in-Residence

    organised by Baltan Laboratories and Arts Initiative Tokyo [AIT]

    Submission deadline: November 15, 2020 (23:59 P.M. local time)
    Notification of acceptance: November 30, 2020
    Residency period: January 15 – February 26, 2021 (subject to change)

    To foster and accelerate the exchange of artistic research and collaboration between contemporary artists and/or (social) designers based in the Netherlands and Japan, the inaugural online residency initiated by the two art organizations will launch early next year. In this duo-residency, we require participants to interact, collaborate and communicate with an artist or designer from Japan, to be selected by Arts Initiative Tokyo [AIT]. The Dutch participant will be selected by Baltan Laboratories. People with an open attitude towards learning from others are encouraged to apply.

    Baltan Laboratories (NL) and Arts Initiative Tokyo [AIT] (JP) invite contemporary artists and (social) designers for transcultural collaboration by openly exchanging ideas, thoughts and work processes via digital means and online communication tools between the two selected participants from Japan and The Netherlands. The selected participants will be introduced to each other online. We especially encourage applicants to develop ideas which keep in mind the collaborative nature of this online residency.

    Due to the impact partially driven by the COVID-19 pandemic, most events during this 6-week residency will take place online, as international travel has been significantly limited. We acknowledge that such travel opportunities have greatly contributed to the research and production practices of creative professionals. With this renewed format, we'd like to challenge individuals and organizations to alter familiar forms of "artist-in-residence" with renewed ambitions and ideas. At the same time, we believe this online program will open up new possibilities to reach out to the world in unorthodox ways and inspire artists and artist collectives, who may otherwise have experienced difficulties traveling, to take part in this program.

    "Liminal Space - リミナル・スペース”
    The program entitled "Liminal Space – リミナル・スペース" is inspired on the word ‘liminal’ which refers to the space beyond a boundary or threshold: an area of the unknown. A liminal space is between the ‘what was’ and the ‘What will be.’ It is a place of transition, a season of waiting, and not knowing.

    Liminal space is where all transformation takes place, if we learn to wait and let it form us. It is where we are betwixt and between, having left one room or stage of life but not yet entered the next. We usually enter the liminal space when our former way of being is challenged or changed. In such space, we are not certain or in control. The global pandemic we are currently facing is an example of an immense, collective liminal space."

    We would like to propose the current confinement, as a space in which we allow ourselves to discover new ways of seeing; new ways of being. A non-binary state where transformation takes place directly and indirectly, in various interrelationships in today’s social, economical, political, spiritual, and environmental landscapes. In such space, we sometimes need to not-do and not-perform according to our usual successful patterns.

    The idea for this online residency is to connect people, cultures, thoughts, and to initiate collaborative processes to better understand the relationship between people in various cultures and backgrounds and to collectively explore the meaning of “being in-between.” We are looking for creative professionals based in the Netherlands and Japan, who would like to share their ideas in an ongoing dialogue during this (online) residency.

    Practical information
    Baltan Laboratories and AIT offer a (liminal) space for participating artists to explore, discuss, and reorient ideas, thoughts, and actions. With support of the two organizations, the participants will collaboratively work in a pair to conduct artistic or design driven research in their home countries on behalf of one another. The bi-weekly online meeting will gather selected artists and organizations to exchange their process and ongoing dialogue. At the end of the residency period, the collaboration will be concluded with an e-public event to unfold the artistic path developed, while welcoming a wider audience beyond the two countries.

    *During the residency, participating artists are encouraged to be in frequent communication via online tools or apps, in any format.

    *Planned bi-weekly, participants will be able to discuss their process and updates with Baltan Laboratories and AIT via live chat, video or any other ways.

    *Meetings, and events will be digitally recorded and documented.

    *The first introduction meeting between the selected participants from Japan and The Netherlands is planned on December 7th, 2020.

    *A public event will be organised online aimed to present the outcomes of the research process and the creation of the project (artwork) in any preferable format.

    *The program will be conducted in English.

    To apply
    Please prepare following documents in a folder titled "Liminal Space" with your name and send your email with the same title to info@baltanlaboratories and by November 15th (23:59 P.M. local time). If using a file-sharing service such as Google document, wetransfer, and dropbox, please be sure to include a link in the email body.

    1) Application form (attached here)
    2) CV, Artist Statement (A4, max. 2 pages)
    3) Images of your works and/or projects with a list (up to 5, jpeg format)
    4) Residency plan/idea with an expected final creation (max. 450 words)
    5) 1-minuite video clip (mov., mpeg4 format, or a link to your youtube or vimeo) to introduce yourself
    6) Short financial plan aligned with the overall budget.
    *Please make sure to have a copy, as the application will not be returned.

    Financial Support
    Baltan offers a total estimated fee of 4.000,- EUR for the Dutch participant. This includes the artist fee, domestic travel, shippings, etc. The Japanese participant will be financed by AIT.

    *One of the significant benefits of a residency is to experience and learn about different cultures. Although physical travel is limited, the program encourages participants to explore their own surroundings and to find small items to represent this cultural exchange, relating to the (overlapping) research subject or each interest.

    The small publication created at the end of the program will include interviews of the artists, organizations, and collaborators.

    About Arts Initiative Tokyo [AIT]
    Arts Initiative Tokyo [AIT] is a non-profit organization to function as a contemporary art platform which creates a wide range of programs and events in Tokyo. Begun in 2001, AIT organized a pioneering independent contemporary art school, Making Art Different – MAD, running over decades for a general public, the first systematic artist-in-residence program in Tokyo since 2003, curated experimental events, symposia, and exhibitions. In recent years, various programs were curated under the ‘holistic’ approaches to examine how contemporary arts and culture are interwoven into the lives of various people. More details and archives of the initiatives can be found at

    About Baltan Laboratories
    Baltan initiates experimentation on the crossroads of art, design, science and technology, evoking inquisitive ideas and insights by bridging the gaps between disciplines. The lab functions as a collaborative mindset and network, connecting curious individuals and organizations. By placing art and design research at the core of its activities, Baltan explores the implications, promises and pitfalls of our technological society. Baltan translates these ideas into different outputs, including collaborations, events, workshops, storytelling, publications and expos, creating a space for reflection, research and experimentation.

    This Artist-in-Residency is organized by Baltan Laboratories and Arts Initiative Tokyo (AIT) and kindly supported by Creative Industries Fund NL, Stichting Cultuur Eindhoven and The Agency for Cultural Affairs Government of Japan.


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