OPEN CALL

Opportunities: Three Art Research residencies & one Production Grant.

Application deadline: March 17th, 2024 (11:59:59 pm CEST).

Successful artists notified by: 12 April, 2024.

Duration of the three Residencies: 6 weeks.
Barcelona area: divided into 2 periods of 3-weeks stay each, to be scheduled between November 2024 and May 2025.
Bologna: divided into 3 different stays, to be scheduled between July 2024 and May 2025.

Production Grant - finished work by: June 2025.

Art research residencies - finished work by: August 2025.

Commitments 

  • The four selected artists will take part in a 5-day Summer School organized within the Resilienze Festival in Bologna, scheduled for Summer 2024 (final dates to be confirmed by March 2024).
  • Each selected artist will conduct a capacity-building workshop in the country of the mentor organization, during their residency period.
  • All projects must be developed in direct collaboration with farmers and residency hosts in both rural and urban contexts.

Public Presentations: On each residency location & Ars Electronica Festival 2025.

AIM OF THE OPEN CALL

We are thrilled to invite artists and collectives to participate in "Tilling Roots & Seeds", an initiative offering four artistic grants. This includes one grant specifically dedicated to the creation of a groundbreaking artwork, and three grants for 6-week research-based artist residencies, with two residencies hosted in Bologna, Italy, under the supervision of Kilowatt Bologna, in partnership with Alce Nero  and Il Poggiolo Rifugio Re-Esistente, one residency will take place in Barcelona (Spain), supervised by Quo Artis, in association with Ferrer Sustainability, Tectum Garden, Fundació Catalunya La Pedrera and  Contorno Urbano.

Focus Areas:

The project seeks to illuminate the critical connection between planetary health and the evolution of our food systems, particularly in the context of the climate and biodiversity crisis. We encourage applications that integrate scientific and statistical data to offer fresh perspectives. 

We are looking for artists or collectives that delve into:

  • new narratives or rituals regarding food production and consumption
  • agroecology and other systemic approaches to agriculture
  • transdisciplinary collaborations between disciplines aimed at better imaging the future of food; 
  • food production as a practice of care 
  • experiment practices of re-enchanting the world connected to the care of the land
  • techno-agrarian society

 We welcome applications from artists and collectives centered around the exploration of land stewardship and the crafting of innovative speculative narratives, critical tools and experimental practices that challenge the status quo of current unsustainable food production. We also encourage the exploration of new rituals linked to the notion of land care and the collective empowerment of local communities anywhere in Europe. 

This Open Call will support:

  • A & B) Three 6-week research-based artist residencies, targeting international artists residing in Europe. One residency will be hosted in Barcelona, Spain, and it will be divided into two periods of 3-week stays each time. These periods are to be scheduled with the hosting organization between November 2024 and May 2025, with mentorship provided by Quo Artis. Additionally, two residencies will take place in Italy, each divided into three different stays. These stays are to be scheduled with the hosting organization between July 2024 and May 2025, with mentorship provided by Kilowatt. All disciplines are welcome: architecture, IT, design, music, engineering, etc.
  • C) One Artwork Production Grant aimed at international artists or art collectives, both established and emerging, residing in Europe and working with any kind of media and formats. The production of the artwork is expected to be completed by June 2025.

About Tilling Roots & Seeds

Tilling Roots & Seeds. Biodiversity Crisis and a better future for agriculture is an international cooperation project developed by Ars Electronica, Kilowatt, University of Barcelona and Quo Artis as lead partner. 

Tilling Roots and Seeds aims to enhance European cultural cooperation and capacity for artistic  research and practice on the topic of the plant biodiversity crisis and sustainable food system in  Europe. The  project also supports the role of art as a tool to awaken a critical understanding of climate change that sheds light on how humans generate and affect it through the current food consumption systems. The project assumes that innovative solutions require the engagement of those involved in farming and food production as well as the voice of communities, as innovation can derive also from traditional knowledge.
 

The overall objective of Tilling Roots and Seeds is to find collaborative ways to discover, regenerate and narrate the work of the farmers in every aspect, by working in a way that is interconnected and in harmony with the natural world and respectful of future generations.

This project builds upon the lessons learned through the EU funded project Roots and Seeds  XXI. It further expands the capabilities and opportunities of the EU creative sector to contribute to fight the biodiversity crisis and the environmental degradation of our times and opens up opportunities for artists to collaborate with the scientific and farming sectors to imagine future sustainable scenarios. It also transfers knowledge and disseminates good practices and results to the cultural and scientific sector as well as to the general public. 

Objectives

  1. To experiment transdisciplinary collaboration between artists, researchers, local growers and consumers, to understand the relation between climate change and agriculture.
  2. To build capacities on climate change and sustainable food production through art and creativity, building on the ability to reconnect humankind and Nature.
  3. To present new narratives and rituals through artistic practices and research, that help building future sustainable food scenarios.

Photo Credits: Ferrer Sustainability. Sant Pol de Mar. Spain

A) TWO 6-WEEK RESEARCH RESIDENCIES - MENTORED BY KILOWATT

The residences will be hybrid, taking place both online and in-person, and the on-site residency period will last six weeks. Accommodation in each country, along with travel and subsistence expenses, will be covered up to a maximum of 1600 EUR for each residency.

Residencies mentored by Kilowatt (Italy)

The two, 6-weeks research-led residencies, mentored by Kilowatt, will take place in collaboration with 2 organizations committed to regenerative agriculture, ecology and creativity, located in two very different contexts and with two different identities. Applicants in fact should indicate in which location they wish to undertake the residency.

Azienda agricola Selvello

Il Selvello is located in Tuscany, specifically in the Tuscan Maremma. The farm has been converted from extensive cereal and sunflower cultivation to an organic farm. There are currently about 50 hectares of pear trees, 40 of apple trees, 17 of apricot trees and 17 of plum trees. Harvesting is all done by hand and the fruits are picked at the right stage of ripeness, all destined for processing.

A reservoir has also been built to collect rainwater and groundwater during the winter months. Irrigation is drip irrigation, which helps saving precious water.

The farm also has an agritourism to welcome visitors interested in immersing themselves in nature.

Azienda il Poggiolo

Il Poggiolo began as a visitor center in the historical and natural park of Monte Sole (Bologna), a very important location for its symbolic and historical meaning. In fact it is the place of an important Nazi-Fascist massacre (1944). It is managed by Ozono Factory APS, a cultural association that is working to transform Poggiolo into a cutting-edge cultural center, fostering collective imagination, inclusivity, and sustainability. 

The organization manages the area, hosting events and cultural activities, producing wine and taking care of a vegetable garden. It also promotes local products and sustainable practices, aspiring to a self-sufficient, local food chain to create a new menu identity,  and works on sustainable education, particularly targeting students. 

Ozono seeks a harmonious cultural exchange between the city and mountains, emphasizing respect for nature, humanity, and relationships.

B) ONE 6-WEEK RESEARCH RESIDENCY - MENTORED BY QUO ARTIS

The residences will be hybrid, taking place both online and in-person, and the on-site residency period will last six weeks. Accommodation in each country, along with travel and subsistence expenses, will be covered up to a maximum of 1600 EUR for each residency.

Residency mentored by Quo Artis (Spain)

The 6-weeks research-led residency, mentored by Quo Artis, will take place in the Barcelona area and will be developed in collaboration with the following urban and rural horticultural organizations:

Ferrer Sustainability 

The Ferrer Sustainability Foundation, a non-profit organization, is dedicated to transforming lives and working towards a more equitable and just society through social cohesion and environmental preservation. One of their notable initiatives, "Green for Good," focuses on social urban horticulture. This project aims to reshape Barcelona and its Metropolitan Area by promoting a greener, inclusive, sustainable, and agro-regenerative city model. It involves the establishment of urban and peri-urban social gardens managed by collectives facing vulnerability, contributing to positive societal and environmental change.

Tectum Garden Glòries

Tectum is a Catalan company created in 2020 that was born with the aim of moving towards a more sustainable and local food production model. Born from the Sostenipra research group of the Institute of Environmental Science and Technology (ICTA-UAB) of the Autonomous University of Barcelona, they are specialists in urban agriculture and have very diverse expertise in order to provide interdisciplinary answers to the challenges of moving towards more sustainable cities

Fundació Catalunya La Pedrera - Horts de Sant Benet

The Catalunya La Pedrera Foundation works via the Alícia Foundation to research, create and disseminate knowledge to improve eating habits and create solutions for individuals, with a particular focus on those who have illnesses or food restrictions. The primary goal of the organic farm at Sant Benet vegetable gardens is the job placement of individuals at risk of social exclusion, especially youths, and thus improve their living conditions and have access to a better future.

Contorno Urbano-Ecological & Cultural Centre

The Ecological Cultural Center at Contorno Urbano seeks to reinterpret the territory as a common, related space that makes visible what is not in the focus of major debates and reinvents itself from the margins and peripheries. This way of working make them transform their environment into an open, plural, public, recycled, sustainable, self-produced, common city. A prosperous, empowered, ductile city, of collective management and responsible for its consumption. Therefore, the project always transforms urban territory and people from an ecofeminist point of view. 

Details

Each selected artist or collective will receive a total grant of €6000 gross broken down as follows:

Artist Fee: €2000 gross

Research Grant: €4000 gross

This funding is dedicated to cover the costs associated with the research process, including materials, and other essential expenses incurred during the residency.

C) 1 PRODUCTION GRANT -  MENTORED BY QUO ARTIS

In addition to the produced artwork, the author(s) of the selected proposal will participate in the Summer School of the Resilienze Festival and the capacity-building workshop in Barcelona, and will present the produced artwork at Ars Electronica Festival in September 2025. Travel, subsistence and accommodation for the three activities will be provided.

Details

The selected artist will receive a total grant of €8000 gross broken down as follows:

Artist Fee: €2000 gross

Production Grant: €6000 gross

Funding dedicated to covering the costs associated with the creation and realization of the proposed artwork.

Photo Credits: Alce Nero. Italy.

COMMITMENTS

  • The authors of the four selected projects (3 residencies and 1 production grant) will take part in a 5-day Summer School organized within the Resilienze Festival in Bologna, scheduled for Summer 2024 (final dates to be confirmed by March 2024), which will have a transdisciplinary approach to ecological and biodiversity crisis and food sustainability.This activity will feed the problem definition of the creative process proposed by the artists and will allow them to gather information in order to solve or respond to the artistic mandate of the call during the residency or production research. 
  • The four selected artists or collectives will conduct a capacity-building workshop in the country of the mentor organization, in the early Summer of 2025, and they will present the results of their research in either Italy or Spain to the hosting farmers. 
  • Additionally, they will showcase their work at the Ars Electronica Festival in September 2025. 

All travel costs, subsistence and accommodation associated with participation in these activities will be covered.

All projects must be developed in direct collaboration with farmers and residency hosts in both rural and urban contexts.

Photo Credits: Ferrer Sustainability. Spain.

APPLICATION PROCESS

How to apply

  • Entries will be submitted exclusively by email to info@rootsandseedsxxi.eu. Please state “Category - Artist Name” (for example: ‘PRODUCTION - Artist Name’ or ‘RESIDENCY- BOLOGNA Artist Name’) or ‘RESIDENCY- BARCELONA Artist Name’), as the subject of the email.
  • Fill out the application forms: for PRODUCTION,  RESIDENCY ITALY or RESIDENCY SPAIN.
  • Send a single ZIP folder per category with the application form in .PDF, CV and portfolio (maximum 5 MB).

Only one project, which must be new or a recently developed part of a previously existing project or research will be accepted per person or group. The applicants are allowed to submit ONE proposal in each category (production and residency), but cannot apply to both Barcelona and Italy residences.

There is no limitation on the medium/technique, but both scientific and artistic ideas and collaborations must be represented.

  • The application must be written in English.
  • No entry or administration fee is required. 

GENERAL

An official schedule will be set after the announcement of the selected projects.

No additional benefits or extensions may be requested.

The author or authors must mention Tilling Roots & Seeds. Biodiversity Crisis and a better future for agriculture the Support of the Creative Europe Programme of the European Union every time the artwork and research outcomes are exhibited or advertised by any means or in any other field.

Reproduction rights

The participants must cede the texts and images reproduction non-exclusive rights to Tilling Roots & Seeds, to be used for the sole purpose of non-profit cultural dissemination.

Acceptance of the conditions of entry

All applicants, by virtue of their participation, fully accept these rules. Any issue not covered by these guidelines will be discussed and agreed between the authors and the Tilling Roots & Seeds organizers during the execution of the projects.

 

For further information

info@rootsandseedsxxi.eu