Silence Awareness Existence residency program
Michael West
Flagstaff, Arizona, USA

Writing

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Follow your bliss and the universe will open doors for you where there were only walls,” wrote Joseph Campbell, the American mythologist.

I’ve been a professional astronomer for three decades and feel blessed to be able to explore the universe for a living. I got my PhD in astronomy from Yale University in 1987 and have held research, teaching and leadership positions around the world since then.

One of the things I’m proudest of is my willingness to take risks and to follow my bliss wherever it leads. I’ve lived on four continents, learned several languages, and given up tenured professorships at two universities, all in pursuit of my dreams.

I love writing and sharing the wonders of the universe through words and images. I’m particularly fascinated by the interplay between science and culture. As Maria Mitchell, America’s first woman astronomer, said, “We especially need imagination in science. It is not all mathematics nor all logic, but it is somewhat beauty and poetry.”

My essays have been published by The Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, USA Today, Scientific American, Discover magazine and more. I’ve also written two books, most recently A Sky Wonderful with Stars, published by University of Hawaii Press.

Life is short, and in the end we're the sum of our experiences. Carpe diem!
Louise Page
Calgary, Canada

Painting, installation, video

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I was born and raised in northern Saskatchewan, where the prairies and the boreal forest meet. The light and the infinite sense of space peculiar to that landscape influences my work, you could even say that they are the source of it.

My work is grounded within the framework of inquiry and exploration - spiritual, psychological, metaphysical, conceptual and visual curiosity.

My process is intuitive. I’m drawn to the transient nature of the world, the fluidity of perception, visual impressions that are both fleeting and lasting, universally shared experiences, privately felt.

My tendencies lean towards making large-scale work that transcends the everyday, creating visual experiences in alternate environments, inviting the viewer into a natural correspondence with beauty, encouraging pause and reflection.

Bringing an idea to life is like an ongoing conversation between me the receiver, me the messenger, me the maker and me the witness.

For the last couple of years I have been working exclusively with my ‘hai’ lights project, rice paper collages and piano wire - travelling throughout western Canada creating distinctly unique visual expressions, using the environment as canvas, mark making in space, weaving light throughout the countryside - much like a spider weaving its’ web through the landscape -
both seen and unseen - visible and invisible -
The transient nature of this work lends itself to cycles and ceremonies, comings and goings - reminding us of the temporary nature of everything - of everything!

January
Pauline Batista
Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Visual arts, photography

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I was born and raised in Rio de Janeiro (Brazil) and have since lived in the US, Germany and the UK. I recently finished my MFA at Goldsmiths University in 2017, and continue to live and work in London. For myself, research and exchange with other artists form the base of my practice. Last year I collaborated with artist Madeleine Stack on a film and an exhibition Fatal Softness- which was subsequently reviewed MAP Magazine and featured on AQNB. This year I exhibited as part of She Performs, a platform for “female artists to show work and discuss current social issues surrounding the questions of feminism and gender relations”.

About my practice:
My practice questions the impulse to render information, bodies and the ‘quantified self’ transparent. I examine the implications of the blurred lines between artificial and organic, virtual and physical, inert and animate and highlight our society’s misguided aim at human perfection and cyborg immortality.

My work gives access via an oscillation between body and machine, connecting different nodes of research and medium from photography to sculpture, video and prose in order to create a larger network that the viewer is invited to decode. I explore the ways in which technological advancements allow unprecedented access to the inner workings of the flesh, and the ensuing trans-humanist hopes of the convergence between technology and the body.

As sci-fi dreams and nightmares become a reality, I question whether those who are granted access will determine the social, economic and genetic casts of the future.
Asako Shimizu
Tokyo, Japan

Photography
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I am a Tokyo-based professional photographer. The camera for me is a magic tool which could reveal some tiny messages. I carefully try to feel the aesthetic message itself through nature. “Taking things as they come” is very important for my awareness. We have a word “Sinrabansyou” in Japan. In English it might refer to the whole of creation, the universe, or all nature beyond human concept.There is also a word “Hokou” which suggests a faint light which glows gently inside from the bottom. This is a unique word about the truth and wisdom in a figurative sense as expressed by Chinese philosopher Zhuangzi. I believe that the particles I captured with my camera could be the one of pale lights. It dawns on me that I could be a connector “myself” just as a USB connects between subjects and lens. So I scoop up the little “Hokou” particles and lights, and unleash them on my image works.
Ji Yoon Lee
South Korea

Painting, installation art, media art
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I am a visual artist with a Bachelor of Art in sculpture from South Korea. I would describe my art as a tool for self-psychotherapy.

“Solitude is independence. It had been my wish and with the years I had attained it. It was cold. Oh, cold enough! But it was also still, wonderfully still and vast like the cold stillness of space in which the stars revolve.”-Hermann Hesse

The quote of Hermann Hesse inspired me to pursue a positive aspect my solitude. During living in London(UK) for 2 years and I met a psychotherapist. Whilst having counselling, I became interested in self-knowledge and the existence of solitude. Through my art, I realised my Freudian superego dominating my ego and the existence of the average in the society which influenced my unconsciousness. In my recent work, I am focused on the mixing and the solidifying two materials to explore the beauty of solitude and the brutality of the standardisation process in the society.

Ji Yoon Lee had participated in several group exhibitions in Seoul(South Korea) and London(UK). Currently, she is based in South Korea.
Kenneth Lambert
Australia

Video, installation

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Lambert is a conceptually driven artist whose practice investigates the human psyche through the lens of technology. His practice extends across digital media and installation. Lambert approaches his experimental art practice with the deliberation of a scientist and philosopher combined. His intention is to entice the viewer into a state that is self-reflective.

Lambert’s work has been recently recognized with his inclusion in 2018 the Churchie Emerging Artist Prize, Lismore Portrait Prize, Hidden Sculpture Walk and the Alice Prize. He is also this year’s recipient of the Newington Armory Award: Artist in Residency and has been invited to take part in 2019 Arteles Artist residency program in Finland.
Henning Gärtner
Tromsø, Norway

Writing, theatre, performance
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I am a writer and theatre maker.

I come from Tromsø in the North of Norway. I have spent my life looking for a home, a community, a place to belong. Does such a place exist? I think it does; and the place is art. As I never seem to settle down, I have come to accept that my home is the art and the artists I love, and the art I make.

Currently I live in Berlin. The book I am working on, is a memoir in which I explore shame, loneliness, and longing.
Nicki Brancatisano
Sydney, Australia

Drawing, animation, installation

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Nicki Brancatisano's expanded drawing practice is driven by her deep interest in the temporality and spatiality of thought and thinking. She derives meaning by inhabiting these planes and timelines in a playful and productive manner. She gathers information empirically and sets out to question and critique her own perception and experience of thought through the process of making. Nicki is perplexed and enchanted by the gap that we can or cannot create between us and our thinking selves.
Dóra Lázár &
Gábor István Karaba

Budapest, Hungary

conceptual art

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In their artistic work, they deal with the relationship between the original and the copy, with the special and problematic characteristics of objective perception, with reality and reproducing mechanisms as well as with the contradictions of economic and social processes (with a special attention towards civil rights and possible ways of protest).

Dóra Lázár studied Scandinavian Studies (BA), Psychology (BA) and Photography (BA) in Budapest, Hungary. Gábor studied Visual Communication at the École D'Art Maryse Eloy, which is a French Institute in Budapest. Right now Gábor works as an art director and Dóra teaches art at the Metropolitan University in Budapest and in two other schools as well.

As conceptual artists, they are interested in the connections of image and text, in pushing the boundary of the medium of photography, and in the future of images and photography. Their analytical creative processes often set off from basic questions of psychology, literary theory, linguistics and/or philosophy and they apply the practices of these disciplines to reach conclusions. They consider art a form of communication.
Charlotte Watson
New Zealand

Drawing, sculpture, writing
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Since practising in Melbourne, Watson’s primary method of working has been drawing, particularly as a means of relaying the internal and unspeakable. Monochromatic materials, chosen for their sublime but historical qualities, draw the viewer into a space that is seductive but psychologically charged; where distorted geographies and obscured figures stand in for the unconscious and its volatile role in informing narratives of the self. Graduating from the University of Canterbury (Christchurch, New Zealand) in 2011 with a BFA in Sculpture, Watson is now based in Melbourne, Australia.
Ioana Vrabie
Italy / Romania

Analogue photography

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"reality as subjective layering of quantic possibilities"

Ioana was born in Communist Romania, was raised in Tuscany, Italy and studied photography at University of the Arts London. Her artistic production is the intuitive response to her own sensibilities and her multilayered identity.

A part from living in different countries, as a former flight attendant, she has travelled all around the world, experiencing a reality that has always been extremely changeable and dynamic. Therefore, in her images, she aims to see beyond the palpable and to dissolve the concrete and substantial of conventional reality to explore the quantic possibilities somehow contained within them.

Each photograph is triggered by a state of profound emotional connection with her surroundings and it contains an extraordinary layering, where even dissonant slivers of existence merge to create what Ioana calls, a New Reality.

The eye is inescapably drawn deeper and deeper into images that appear almost as oneiric sculptures, a mesmeric shaping of the visibly predictable into fresh, intensely vibrant forms and concepts merged in an unexpected unity.

In an age that thrives on technological advancement, Ioana shuns the digital, because she really enjoys the state of profound presence that only shooting analogue allows. She is fascinated by the fact that everything happens in the camera and it remains a mystery until the film gets developed.

Far from being digitally contrived, her pictures are conceived through a multiple exposure technique that allows the essential grace and elegance of her subjects to merge and melt together to radiate from within each photograph.

“Ioana Vrabie's analogue photography represents what I call Romantic Conceptualism. Personal yet Universal concepts wrapped in exquisite beauty.”
- Lorenzo Belenguer, Art Critic for the Huffington Post based in London.
Paul Rubery
USA

Philosophy, art history, photography


Paul Thomas Rubery is a Ph.D. student in Art History, Theory & Criticism at Stony Brook University. His research concerns the transition from doubt to worry in the anti-skeptical tradition in European philosophy, and the effects of calculative technologies on vernacular epistemology. Examples of his writing can be found at Media-N: A Journal of New Media Criticism and The Journal of Visual Culture.
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