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CONJUNCTION to participate on the UNIDEE Residency: Groundwork for Embedded Arts Practice.

CONJUNCTION is announced as one of the selected participants on the UNIDEE Residency spring/summer 2021: Groundwork for Embedded Arts Practice.

And I’m delighted to be one of the two collective members representing CONJUNCTION. IIiyana Nedkova and I are participating together in this residency bringing back the resources, critique and conversation to the collective.

UNIDEE – University of Ideas is the higher educational programme for art and social change of Cittadellarte – Fondazione Pistoletto. Weaving together moments of interdisciplinary research, knowledge sharing and practical activities, the objective of the programme is to provide the participants with inspiration, motivation and instruments to activate or develop artistic initiatives based on the engagement of local ecologies. Open to artists and professionals from all over the world through residential dynamics, the programme intends to form “artivators”, i.e. people working at the boundaries between artistic practices, processes of social change and collaborations with communities outside the art world.

The 2021 program has a specific focus on alternative structures, frameworks, ecologies and organisational forms for socially engaged art projects, and the ‘groundwork’ required to build and sustain them. 

UNIDEE ask’s, “How are artists and artworkers laying the foundations for new realities through creative approaches to collaboration, exchange, economy, labour, policy, pedagogy and networks? How essential is this infrastructure to the success of socially transformative art projects? In what spaces, places and contexts can it emerge and grow? To what extent can we consider its development a part of the practice, and how can we maintain it together?”

These questions align well with CONJUCTION’s collective practice, together we create trans local/national solidarities on a register of scales and timeframes. We use the alternative infrastructure of our online platform collective to investigate digitally-mediated forms of socially-engaged art practice. Our ongoing research is concerned with the politics, economics, ethics and aesthetics of digitally-mediated commons. We critically question disembodied engagement with the wider world, exploring less rigid and rectangular, more human and interspecies experiences in the digital domain. 

The UNIDEE 2021 programme will gives us a timely opportunity to articulate our position around a number of research questions. Currently, we are para-hosting events at the contemporary art spaces Guesthouse (Cork, Ireland), Studio Alight (Gothenburg, Sweden) and Harlan Levey Projects (Brussels, Belgium) through experimentation with multiple online platforms, including the open-source platform Mozilla Hubs. As we move to populate these online realms, we will draw together publics from our partner organisations, our own practices, the host institutions and beyond, connecting across borders.

For example, our socially-engaged artistic and curatorial enquiry at the Guesthouse, Cork experiments with the twinning of real-world spaces/communities and virtual reality imaginaries, using the model of the global town twinning movement which was initiated by Cork’s twin city of Coventry, UK in 1944, when the women of Coventry decided to reach out to today’s Volgograd, Russia to form a ‘bond of friendship’. 

The UNIDEE 2021 residency will allow us to expand on these research questions:

  • Can we reimagine the town twinning as an online/onsite symbiosis? 
  • What does e-twinning emote? 
  • What can e-twinning accommodate and activate? 
  • What solidarities can it produce and how can they be sustained?

The nine founding members of CONJUNCTION are , Iliyana Nedkova, Marilyn Lennon, Julie Griffiths, Samantha Hookway, Juliette Harvey, Max RipponSebastian FreytagSara Brolund de Carvalho and Kerstin Bergendal.


Stayed tuned to this blog for further signals coming from UNIDEE – University of Ideas!

UNIDEE programme


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