This month Te Arerenga residency had the opportunity to attend the 2019 Micresidency Network meeting. We thought a lot about ‘What is a Microresidency?’ and this is what we believe to be true:
It doesn’t really matter what you are called, what matters is the spirit inherent within a thing. It is with this spirit that each organism that considers itself a microresidency should be free to decipher and reinterpret as they evolve, I imagine what Microresidency means to them will change over time as it has for us, it is for those seeking that we write this essay.
Today, Te Arerenga is excited to be considered a Microresidency as we learn to navigate the best path for our vaka(canoe)/project. What do we have that we can share with others in the hopes of furthering art and design in the Pacific? This will change every year For us, this is an exciting place to exist. With the freedom to make decisions that larger and older organisations cannot do. So in a way Microresidencies teach others what is possible in this area. Smaller sub-cultures can innovate in ways that larger machines cannot.
Why is this important?
Because, over the course of the ResArtis conference we heard from Curators, Professionals and Arts Organisations all over the world asking ‘How do we find a new way to operate? How do we create new models for operating?’
It is Microresidency’s that can innovate in this area with the freedom to try new things and an ability to be open to new ideas. When smaller, independent, artist-run, artist-in-residence programmes that are unconnected to any educational institute or major arts organisation use art and design as a compass to guide the exchange of space, materials, work, culture and ideas so much more is possible. Following the ResArtis meeting, a network of Microresidencies from all over the world met in Kyoto to discuss this topic further and speak with others, so we believe there is potential to understand on a global scale more about great new ways to host international opportunities for artists to travel, and make and show new work.
I would support aiming to go 100% digital with the conference brochures next time. The printing costs must be phenomenal and our carbon footprint would be as big considering how far every attendee would have travelled to be there. Making a conference app or Microresidency Network app could be huge!
Pouarii Tanner and Sam Thomas
Representing Te Arerenga, Rarotonga, Cook Islands