We are pleased to announce the 2018 call for
Nature, Art & Habitat Residency (NAHR)
An ECO-Laboratory of Multidisciplinary Practice
Taleggio valley, Bergamo – Northern Italy
Nature, Art & Habitat Residency, NAHR in Taleggio Valley, Bergamo, Italy, is a summer program that aims to unfold and display a sensitive type of culture that relates to nature as a source of inspiration and a measure of available resources. The ultimate goal is to unveil intimate links among all living organisms for more resilient development in which humans and nature coexist.
2018 Topic: Now Accepting Applications
Water: Vital Flux, Energy in Transformation
WATER is life and indeed a source of life; an essential, primordial element. Water plasmas the other natural elements, flows generatively to precipitate diversifications across habitat and ecosystem, carving landscapes and islanding continents. Water is a means of access, energy, sustenance, and survival.
Its simple chemical composition – two hydrogen molecules, one oxygen – gives means to mutating, metamorphic abilities. Ceding and absorbing energy, shifting from liquid into solid into gaseous states, water is an always-changing agent propagating continuous cycles: the crystallizations (ice, snow), evaporations (rainfall), the many forms of condensation (fogs, mists, cloudform) and on … in multifarious textures, water’s omni-shapes can shift a place into recognizable patterns.
Water has always flowed. Humans have long sought to stem, staunch, divert, channel (in short, instrumentalize, for our own purposes) this most precious asset. Water flow today is characterized by alteration and interference bent it seems (no matter the cost) on economic profit. The understanding that water is indispensable gives cause now to reflect; in our current era of destabilization and imbalance, we ask applicants to place their submissions within wider strategic contexts, and to make proposals for projects based across the four domains stipulated by NAHR: Regenerative Economy, Bio-Inspired Design and Architecture, Body Performing Nature, Designed Futures, Technology & New Media). Project proposals should focus toward heritage management and ethical action: how and by which means to ensure the continuing flow of this common resource?
The present geological era of the Anthropocene – where humans and our activities are considered the main cause of climatic mutation and environmental imperilment – perhaps marks a new moment in the ethical life of water. We ask applicants to consider the impact of channeling finite resources toward industrial-scale mining/ manufacturing/ agricultural (and aquacultural) enterprises: which (if any) action is plausible? Is the capitalistic control of finite water resources significantly altering its flow, and are we creating consequences both unpredictable and unmanageable?
The 2018 edition of the Nature, Art and Habitat Residency dedicates its program to the theme of WATER, understood here as vital to the flow and flux of the Val Taleggio landscape, an irreplaceable, transformative source of energy.
In the contexts of this pre-Alpine landscape, water is an abundant and indeed dominant element: the streams, lakes, rivers, snows, canyons all supplement and nourish a lush, proliferating, verdant valley. The Val Taleggio area benefits from abundant rainfall, but is also increasingly exposed to the effects of climate change, reflected in a series of recent meteoric events often accompanied by significant localized impact (landslides, floods, rockfall) which affect and risk profoundly altering the area’s ecological dynamics. Within these contexts, when making submissions applicants must demonstrate the ways in which their projects will seek to consider Val Taleggio as a shifting, multiplicitous space:
2018 Residents may propose innovative, forwards-looking projects in two principle areas, connecting to two different scales:
The Natural Environment
Applicants will show how they intend to examine elements and ecosystems within the Val Taleggio, where water is a particularly abundant resource. In the valley, water follows a clear seasonal cycle: snow packs, springs, brooks, streams, waterfalls, rivers, and lakes across grasslands, pastures, marshes, forests, laac (man-made water storage spaces in the mountains’ higher reaches), and so forth; water causes both short and long term transformations (floods, landslides, cultivation; valleys, canyons, mountains).
The Cultural & Built Environment
Water-diverting infrastructures exist across Val Taleggio on both micro- and macroscopic levels. More subtly, locals have across the ages constructed old mills, laac, canals and basins by means of distributing and harnessing water. On a far larger scale, and beyond the scope of local contexts, major works also exist (dams, hydro power stations) and these of course impact on the viability of communities in the valley.
This year’s NAHR theme encourages applications which propose an inter- or trans-disciplinary approach across a range of creative forms and modes, and these might take the shape of designs, actions, events, and so forth, in which water remains a central and key element of the proposal. Projects proposing to observe water in both its natural and humanly diverted states are especially encouraged. The mountains around Taleggio Valley are relatively under-populated, and across the ages water has flowed unimpeded into the lower reaches of the valley; the San Pellegrino Mineral Water factory exports its products all over the world, and is located just 15 km away. This company is an emblematic reference point, its products signifying in images of purity. We intend to invite participants to travel upstream and deeper into the valley, toward the groundswells and fonts of local communities and their topologies.
NAHR is particularly invested in expressing the resiliency of nature in four domains:
Encourages the study of local culture and production/exchange relations extending to observations on local ecosystems in order to generate economic models based on concepts of restoration, regeneration and circularity. These models are ideally exportable to future developments at both local and global scales, promoting a resilient use of natural and cultural resources, eliminating obsolete concepts such as waste and pollution.
Bio-Inspired Design and Architecture:
Development and/or creation of projects and artifacts inspired by form, functions and processes found in the nature of the Valley.
Body Performing Nature:
Artworks production and critical investigations that embody relationships to nature, landscape, sustainability and ecology, extending to all types of performances, dance, choreography and art happenings.
Designed Futures, Technology & New Media:
Use of emerging technology tools/engines: virtual and augmented reality, 3D printing, scanning, artificial intelligence, sensor based systems, robotics, simulations – to investigate the shifting boundary between technology and nature, infrastructure and ecosystem.
NAHR aims to involve bio-inspired multi-disciplinary practitioners, academic and professional, from:
Architecture / Design
Biology/Natural Sciences/ Ecology
Technology and Computational Sciences
Visual Arts/Film/Liberal Studies
Duration of residency: 1-26 June 2017
Artist Accommodation: Provided. Studio, One or Two Bedroom Apartment. Shared studio areas and open-air studio space provided upon request. (more details: www.nahr.it)
Number of artists resident at one time: Between 5 and 7.
Application deadline: February 10, 2018