Dear artists and AIR hosts,
Welcome to the Microresidence Network, a meeting point for microresidencies around the world!
What is a microresidency*? One might compare them to bento (Japanese for “lunchbox”): They are diverse, bringing together weird and wonderful “foods” and “ingredients”; they can lead to new and unexpected experiences; they are associated with the “hand-made”, with passion and care; and they are borderless, connecting people (creator, host, audience) of different backgrounds and nationalities.
This site, a database of microresidencies around the globe, aims to bring together artists both artists and AIR (microresidence) hosts.
For artists, we hope you will find a unique AIR alternative here: The microresidency, with all its “macro” potential to support your self-directed activities. For AIR hosts, we hope this site will help artists find you, while also offering opportunities to connect with likeminded microresidencies.
By building a network founded on trust and face-to-face connections, and with a strong belief in the vital role AIR play as social vessels supporting the mobility of artists, we hope to introduce creators to hosts and bring greater visibility to the “tantalizing”, diverse activities of both.
The Microresidence Network
Introduction to the Microresidence Network
AIR exist in different forms throughout the world. Since becoming a member of the worldwide network of AIR “Res Artis” in 2000, Youkobo has learned of other AIR outside the network through exchange with other members, leading it to conduct a survey in 2010 (*1).
Coining the term “microresidence” to refer to AIR that are flexible and “micro” in scale while possessing macro-level potential, Youkobo held a small gathering of likeminded AIR during the Res Artis General Meeting in Tokyo in 2012. Together, they launched the Microresidence Network as a global database of microresidencies, aiming to give greater visibility to such organizations that can be likened to “temporary overseas hideaways” for artists who have diverse goals and are at different stages in their careers.
AIR that identify themselves as microresidencies join the Microresidence Network voluntarily, and its members are increasing organically through introductions by inaugural members, new AIR initiatives and artists. There is no central committee leading the Microresidence Network. Rather, its activities develop through voluntary connections and exchange between members, which include direct communication and face-to-face gatherings. With an awareness of the people-to-people bonds and rich individuality that are characteristic of microresidencies scattered throughout the world, the network is founded on informal relations between members who have a mutual knowledge of and respect for each other’s activities.
Since 2012, a te-bento style (*2) microresidence forum has been held almost annually in Japan, and in Armenia and Finland in 2016. Those interested in microresidencies are encouraged to visit likeminded institutions in one’s own region of activity. By talking face-to-face and learning from one another, new impetus leading to further circles of activity is sure to be gained.
The Macro Possibilities of a Micro Art Space – An Interim Report on Microresidence Research -
Te-bento style gathering
A Japanese expression that refers to a lunchbox made by hand, but also means to pay for one’s own participation in an event or programme. It embodies the idea that progress can be achieved more quickly if each person in a group cooperates to “prepare” and “bring to the table” what each can within their means.
In relation to artists, it refers to independently minded individuals who are able to find their own means of financing their participation in AIR.
2005 *“Microresidence” coined by Lois Recoder and Sandra Gibson in relation to their residency experience at Youkobo.
2011 Initiation of a worldwide survey of microresidencies.
2011 Gathering of microresidencies at Youkobo: INSTINC (Sinagpore), Studio Kura (Kyushu, Japan) and Youkobo (Tokyo, Japan)
2012 Interim report on results of survey published as The Great Potential of Small Art Facilities!
2012 Presentation about microresidencies at Res Artis General Meeting 2012 in Tokyo.
2012 First network meeting of microresidence organizers in Asia, Oceania and Europe held at Youkobo (Tokyo, Japan)
2013 Microresidence Network website launched.
2014 International Microresidence Network Forum held in February (Tokyo, Japan)
2014 Microresidence Network Forum for East Asia Region held in November (Cheongju, Korea)
2015 International Microresidence Network Forum held in November (Saitama Triennale 2016 pre-event, Japan)
2016 Microresidence Network Forum for Caucasus Region held in June (Yerevan, Armenia)
2016 Microresidence Network Meeting for North European Region held in September (Oulu, Finland)
2017 Regional Microresidence Network Forum held in February (Tokyo, Japan)
2018 Presentation about the Microresidence Network at Trans Cultural Exchange Conference 2018 February (Quebec, Canada)
2018 Microresidence Network Forum for Nordic Countries in June, a side program of ResArtis Meeting 2018 (Rovaniemi, Finland)
2019 Presentation and workshop about Microresidences at ResArtis Meeting 2019 Kyoto (Kyoto, Japan)
2019 International Microresidence Network Meeting Kyoto in February (Kyoto, Japan)
2019 International Microresidence Network Forum, ‘Armenian Evening’ at Youkobo in February (Tokyo, Japan)
Note about the cover illustration:
By Erik Sille, artist in residence at Youkobo in February, 2017, and in spring 2013.