I applied for a Mead Residency because I felt that the BSR would provide me with a rich and reflective environment for my studio based research practice. The interdisciplinary nature of my practice falls within several of the BSR’s current research themes, with a focus on vision, sensory perception and representation and I envisioned that I would be able to meet with and discuss my practice with other artists and researchers in this context. The timing of the residency was also important, coming at the end of my first year of research. I wished to use it to contemplate what I had achieved but also reflect upon new potential avenues within my practice and writing. The pace of life in London moves quickly and I was also looking to take this opportunity to get away and detach from daily routines to potentially develop a new critical approach that would be productive not only on the residency but also afterwards upon returning to London.
By Stephanie Spindler, practice-based PhD candidate,
Camberwell, Chelsea and Wimbledon (CCW)
In this report I will briefly describe my cultural context, research and give a brief description of the artwork and research done during the September 2017 residency. The time and resource of the residency allowed an intense and creative focus that was heightened by the rich history, cultural immersion and dynamic community at the BSR.
By Matt Parker practice-based PhD candidate,
Infrastructural Tourism and the vibrations of the Roman Palimpsest
At the time of applying for the UAL MEAD PhD Residency at The British School at Rome, I had been looking for avenues to pursue with my practice that would lead to interesting case studies and feature works that could be included in my final portfolio. As an artist whose primary interest is with site, listening, and sound, I have been researching modes of listening to media infrastructures; the physical, material sites of the Internet. I had become increasingly interested in tracing historicised but nonlinear narratives of communication infrastructure and the opportunity to spend a month studying communication infrastructures in one of the West’s premium historical cities struck a chord. How did mass communication work in ancient Rome? I was also struck by a statement made by the curator Jose Luis de Vicente who had described data centres as ‘modern day monuments’. As a major global tourist destination, Rome has become a site for remembering the palimpsestuous monuments of western civilization. In a city filled with monuments, how might these modern day communication monoliths hide in plain sight?
Text and images by Stephen Bennett, MA Art and Science, Central Saint Martins
The Art for the Environment International Artist Residency Programme (AER) was launched in 2015 by member of the UAL Research Centre for Sustainable Fashion and UAL Chair of Art and the Environment Professor Lucy Orta and coordinated by CSF Associate Curator Camilla Palestra.
Stephen Bennett from the MA Art and Science course at Central Saint Martins was selected for this years’ AER 2017 Residency at the Joya: arte + ecología in Provincia de Almería, Spain and reports back to the Postgraduate Community at UAL here:
The map and the terrain: Joya: arte + ecología
Joya: arte + ecología is located in Eastern Andalusia, in the rain shadow of the great Sierra Nevada. It is in the driest part of Spain, a place that John Vidal has described as one of the world’s global climate hotspots. The earth is silvery white clay, baked rock hard by the Mediterranean sun. The countryside is inhabited by Aleppo pines, almond groves and few people. The aroma is intoxicating, partly heated-up pine trees, mainly the hardy herbs which are essential for knitting together the soil: thyme, lavender, sage, rosemary.
This is the setting in which the Joya arts-led field research centre operates. There are hardships, certainly – water is trucked in, telecommunications are intermittent, wasps less so. And there are amazing amenities: the inspiring sights, smells and sounds; the time and space to reflect.
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