Image: Celestial Meditations V ©AlbertaWhittle2019
Chisenhale Studios invites applications from artists to join Myco-Lective, a new programme engaging with ecological thinking, climate change, and multispecies futures.
Myco-Lective takes its inspiration from human and non-human models of education, collective action, care, reciprocal networking, and mutual aid, including the mycorrhizal networks of the forest, where plants share nourishment and knowledge via the under-soil web of fungal mycelium. Myco-Lective draws on informal pedagogical models to lead the development of new ideas, skills and collectivities, actively nurturing an ongoing collaborative approach and reciprocal support network.
We are looking for 6 artists who have established an independent practice to participate in and shape a year-long programme of workshops, outings, screenings, discursive co-creation and public facing projects. Myco-Lective will engage with ideas of speculative fiction, climate colonialism, interspecies relations and rhizomatic thinking. It draws from a rich archive of global environmental art-making practices, from Ana Mendieta to Nnedi Okorafor.
The programme will offer theoretical and practical models of learning, with the structure and outcomes shaped by the group as a whole. An initial intention of Myco-Lective is to increase the resilience and productivity of its artist-members over a twelve-month period.
The programme has been developed by Feral Practice in association with Chisenhale Studios. Feral Practice will facilitate, curate, mentor and liaise with artists across the year. The lead artist for 2020-21 is speculative writer and researcher Ama Josephine Budge, who leads on programming a week intensive. Ama brings her expertise in queer identity, speculative fictioning & climate colonialism. Feral Practice brings her experience in artist development, posthumanist thought, practices of attention and multispecies aesthetics. Together we will explore themes of multispecies interdependence and ecofutures.
Key Dates and Commitment
Myco-Lective starts with a week intensive: 11-16 May 2020, running from Monday at 1pm to Saturday at 1pm. During this week we will be based in Studio 4, Chisenhale Studios, London E3, with some off-site visits and events. Participants not based in London will be provided with accommodation locally.
Subsequent to the week intensive, Myco-Lective will meet on a loose monthly basis until April 2021. This latter programme will be collectively developed, and will include practical and theoretical elements, research trips, making work together, and public-facing projects at Chisenhale Studios and with external partners. We will work with a series of organisations to support participant research and projects.
The 6 artists selected for Myco-Lective will be expected to participate fully, attending all scheduled sessions from May 2020 to April 2021, and committing to involvement in events, research/learning activities and group projects.
About the Myco-Lective Team:
Fiona MacDonald works with human and nonhuman beings as Feral Practice to create art projects and interdisciplinary events that develop ethical and imaginative connection across species boundaries. They use moving image, sound, participatory performance and text to explore multispecies aesthetics. Their research draws on artistic, scientific and subjective knowledge practices. Recent projects include Ask Somerset’s Plants: Somerset Art Weeks (2019); Ant-ic Actions (2016-20); Phytocentric: LUX (2019); Mycorrhizal Meditation: Furtherfield Gallery, Taipei Biennale, Governors Island NYC, The Bluecoat, Bánkitó Fesztivál Hungary (2017-19); Rewind/Rewild: OmVed (2019); Ask the Wild: Whitechapel Gallery, Tate St Ives, Turner Contemporary, Whitstable Biennale, South London Botanical Institute (2017-18). Fiona ran Standpoint Futures development residencies for visual artists 2010-2018 and was curator of Standpoint Gallery 2006-2016. Her educational experience includes tutoring at UCA Canterbury, OCA and Winchester School of Art; and delivering lectures, workshops and artist mentoring in a wide variety of contexts.
Ama Josephine Budge is a Speculative Writer, Artist, Curator and Pleasure Activist whose work navigates intimate explorations of race, art, ecology and feminism, working to activate movements that catalyse human rights, environmental evolutions and troublesomely queered identities. Ama is a PhD candidate in Psychosocial Studies with Dr Gail Lewis at Birkbeck. Her research takes a queer, decolonial approach to challenging climate colonialism in Sub-Saharan Africa with a particular focus on inherently environmentalist pleasure practices in Ghana and Kenya. Ama’s fiction and non-fiction has been published internationally by Aperture, The Independent Newspaper, Dispatch Feminist Moving Image, Media Diversified, Skin Deep, Consented, CHEW Magazine, B. Dewitt Gallery and Autograph ABP. She is convenor of I/Mages of Tomorrow anti-conference, co-founder of The Batty Mama queer black club & performance night, and initiator of Self Love and Ecstasy pleasure collective (aka SLAE). Ama has a background in performance art with a BA in Contemporary Performance Practice from the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland then took a U-turn with an MA in Postcolonial Culture and Global Policy from Goldsmiths University working on a thesis exploring Queer Modes of Encounter with Climate Colonialism and Black speculative art practices.
Who Can Apply?
Myco-Lective is open to artists working across disciplines, based anywhere in the UK, who have established an independent practice, and have a commitment to thinking, creating and collaborating with others (other people and/or other life forms). Artists will be expected to be committed to working as part of a critical intersectional team, engaging in contemporary global politics and art making.
What do we mean by ‘established an independent practice’? You will have a minimum of two years of independent creative practice outside of an academic context. You will have pursued a substantial body of work and research, presented your work publicly, and your work will exist within a wider critical discourse. You will be attentive to the politic/s that your work and practice exist within, and aware of your contribution to or challenge of that discourse.
We are interested in artists who want to make ecologically engaged work, but have not done so before, as well as those who have been working within this context for years. You do not need to have an established portfolio of ‘environmental’ work, but you do need to evidence your interest in the intersections between ecology, human behaviour and art making. This may be through hobbies or other practices.
We welcome innovative and unconventional artist methods and approaches.
Travel: Reasonable travel costs will be covered by the programme and artists will receive per diems to participate in the intensive week, as well as accommodation if they are based outside London.
A small bursary is available to support artists who might struggle to participate in the programme due to the need to cover childcare or other financial barriers. Please indicate in your application if you require additional financial support to be able to participate.
How to Apply
You can apply through a written or a video application.
Applications should be submitted to: firstname.lastname@example.org
If you have any questions in advance of applying or would like to discuss your application, you can email email@example.com. Please note, that it might take up to a week to receive a response.
Deadline for Applications Sunday 15 March at Midnight.
Shortlisted artists will be invited to take part in a short Skype interview on Monday 30 March.
Submissions must be sent in ONE of the two following formats:
1. Download and complete the written application form template, which includes space to answer the application questions (which you can also see below) and instructions to attach an annotated portfolio and one-page CV. Once completed please save with your name in the document title (for example ‘Jane Smith MycoLective Application’) and submit as a single PDF that does not exceed 5MB.
2. Download and complete the video application form template, which includes space to add a link to a video file, up to 8 minutes in length, which answers the applications (which you can also see below) and instructions to attach an annotated portfolio and one-page CV. Once completed please save with your name in the document title (for example ‘Jane Smith MycoLective Application’) and submit as a single PDF that does not exceed 5MB.
1. Why are you interested in this opportunity? (200 words)
2. How does your practice engage with ecology / climate change / climate colonialism? Your answer can include everyday practices, activities, and forms of activism. (200 words)
3. How are you interested in exploring collectivity? (150 words)
4. Please share two-three influences that have shaped your engagement with ecology/ecological thinking. This can be an artwork, artist, article, book, poem, song, film, tv series etc. (150 words)
If you want to share time-based media as part of your portfolio, please include links to work online. We will only watch a maximum of 3 minutes of media clips, so either share a 3-minute clip or indicate the 3-minute section that you want us to view.
Applications must be received by Sunday 15 March at Midnight.
Download the call as a PDF here.
image credit: Feral Practice