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Cambridge Sustainability Residency .pdf (52.82 MB)

Cambridge Sustainability Residence

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posted on 2023-07-26, 13:37 authored by Sally Stenton, Marina Velez Vago
The Sustainability Residency started as a playful experiment, dreamed up by two alumni of the Cambridge School of Art, Marina Velez and Russell Cuthbert, back in 2012. As artists preoccupied with the idea of sustainability, we wanted to re-frame, re-connect and re-think with dialectics of liberation present in art movements in the 60s and 80s, and artists such as Joseph Beuys and Gustav Metzger. Driven by the idea that cross-disciplinary work is pivotal in order to create a society in which people and technology co-exist sustainably, the artists’ residency has been from its beginnings a multidisciplinary project. We wanted to bring together artists, scientists, biologists, engineers and other experts working in the field of sustainability and to provide a space for reflection, debate and experimentation that is open ended, inspirational and experimental. We believe that experimentation has its own value, which usually acts as an antidote to discipline narcissism, and affects sensitivity and perception in powerful ways. The residency aspires to act as a lab for what Beuys called ‘social sculpture’, by encouraging the participants to critically engage with ideas of sustainability and visions towards an ecologically viable and humane society. Critical to the residency and its projects are the collaboration between institutions and artists, where the former provide the infrastructure and support needed for the project and the latter bring a fresh, creative, non-linear and unconstrained approach. The structure, length, theme and scope of the residency varies each year as new artists join in and influence and shape the project. The residency will continue working with people, growing, questioning and will be present in the world in a diversity of ways that may include symposiums, exchanges, exhibitions, publications and academic research. This research has to be inclusive because, as Shelley Sacks says on the Social Sculpture Research Unit website: “there is only one field of transformation, and no-one is outside”. MILK. is the first in a series of publications to be generated by the residency, capturing both the independent and collaborative research of the participating artists. It comprises a compilation of images and text which, in their different ways, give an insight into the dialogue, inspirations, ideas and energy arising from the first two residencies.



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