Forms for Encounter and Exchange: an artist field school at Laughing Waters Residency

"From shops, gifts, and dinner parties to contract labor and petty theft, contemporary artists have used a variety of methods that both connect participants to tangible goods and services and, at the same time, offer critiques of and alternatives to global capitalism and other forms of social interaction."

Ted Purves, What We Want Is Free, 2nd Edition, Critical Exchanges in Recent Art, SUNY Publishing, 2014

The Centre for Cultural Partnerships (Faculty of the VCA and MCM, University of Melbourne) is pleased to announce a call for Expressions of Interest (EOI) to our practice-led field school residency in Eltham, Victoria, Australia this May 2015. The ten-day intensive explores artistic strategies of exchange, generosity, hospitality, and reciprocity in contemporary art and society. Applicants are invited to share their own approach to engagement in their creative work. We welcome proposals for artworks, workshops, lectures and activities that draw on histories and practices of the social economy, cultural democracy, and socially-engaged art historical movements.

Designed as a master class with Ted Purves and Susanne Cockrell (San Francisco artists and California College of the Arts faculty) the residency is convened by artist-researchers Marnie Badham and Amy Spiers (Centre for Cultural Partnerships) and Margaret Summerton at the Arts and Culture team at Nillumbik Shire Council.

Situated at the historical site of Laughing Waters where the Wurundjeri people are the traditional custodians of the land now known as the Shire of Nillumbik, this residency engages with local communities and context and developing new modes of site-specific art making. The program focuses on the social and aesthetic elements of place-based collaborative art practice. Participants will develop advanced skills for working in the public sphere through both critical theory and practical project-based work through emersion in a community partnership environment. The program is complimented by sessions run by local community groups and artists including storytelling around the bonfire, bushwalking along the river, and field trips to community sites including public artworks commemorative of the 2009 bushfires.

Ted Purves is an artist, educator, and independent Curator living in Oakland, California. He is the chair of the first Social Practice graduate program in the US, at the California College of the Arts in San Francisco, California. Interested in both criticality and public engagement, Ted’s thinking is influenced by the resourcefulness of the punk scene and DIY publishing.

Susanne Cockrell came to visual art with a background in experimental dance and theatre, creating large-scale commissions for museums and public spaces. These collaborative projects ask questions about systems of critical exchange, food and farming in the urban landscape, and explorations of informal social economies. Cockrell is an Associate Professor and Chair of Community Arts at California College of the Arts.

More information about the residency and application and selection process can be found here.

Expressions of Interest will be competitive and will be reviewed by residency faculty. Please note, the EOI deadline has been extended from 27 February 2015 to 6 March 2015 with outcomes emailed by March 16, 2015.
Laughing Waters artist residency, supporters