Friday, April 17, 2009

Day One

Friday April 17th, 2009.
Portuguese Park @ Marie Anne & St. Laurent (across from Leonard Cohen's house)

Four residencies were had today. 16 pages total. Forty sore fingers.

Anna J. McIntyre
Taien Ng-Chan
Valérie Robitaille
Kim Fu

It was a beautiful day to sit in the park and run the first day of residencies.

Everyone did a great job of delving into their own words and immersing themselves in public while the clack of the typewriter competed with sirens and construction. Pigeons and pedestrians posed gawking obstacles but everyone seemed very pleased to watch me push someone in a wheel chair typing to their hearts content. At times it felt as though we entered a bubble that excluded all that whirled around us.

Writers had the option of remaining stationary in the park or going for an assisted stroll. The stationary spectacle in the park allowed bypassers to observe the writer's habits and patterns. Pushing the cart proved to be an interesting psychological experiment. Writing has become such a non-physical venture nowadays. What with computers we try to tell stories by hitting the same button over and over again. I'll always thought it was fascinating that writing by hand with a pen built muscle memory that triggered creative brain patterns. The digital realm provides mostly visual and auditory distraction, none of the texture of real writing. Using a typewriter though is also an odd action as it demands a considerable physical output to write. It becomes very methodical. The typewriter coupled with being pushed around on a wheelchair proves to create an wonderful rhythm as the typing sound clacks against brick and the wheels dip and drop in each sidewalk split.

Speaking with Kim Fu this afternoon we discussed how she was able to focus her attention even when rolling thorugh the intersection of Mont-Royal and St. Laurent. It seems that the Nomadesk creates a pretty strong physical experience. Motion -in the Futurist sense- is constantly felt. The filling of peripheral vision. Fingers pushing keys. The changing smells of streets - burning meat, garbage, spring dirt, coffee, dog poo, the buds of plants. The rumbling beneath your bum, the bounce of the wheels. It all adds up to be a strong sensory load, and yet each author did a stellar job of staying focused and productive in their environment.

Tomorrow is another day. Four more residents are slotted in at the CCA and the FOFA and there are two more open spaces. Five more residents on Sunday in Parc Lafontaine.


Sunday, April 12, 2009

Current Call Out for Residents!

›››Nomadesk Writer's Residency‹‹‹

The Nomadesk Writer's Residency is a site-specific-residency in Montreal, Canada. It is an experiment in nomadic authorship and writing in public space. The residency intends to expose the writer's secret craft to the public, while simultaneously providing the writer with portable solitude.

The Nomadesk is a traveling cart/writer's studio available for short-term residencies in both pre-chosen and requested locations in parts of Montreal. Residents are invited to write for one 30/60 minute slot. A small portable library is avalable for inspirational reading material.

Currently Available Sites in April:
Marie Anne Parkette (St. Laurent + Marie Anne) - April 17th - 10 - 1pm
Parc Lafontaine - April 19th - 12 - 3pm
The CCA - April 18th - 1:30 - 4:30 pm
The FOFA Gallery - April 18th - 5 - 7pm

The Nomadesk is currently accepting suggested sites during the following days: April 17, 18, 19, during hours not mentioned above.

The Application Process:

Applications should be included in the body of an email and contain:
-the writer's name
-their preferred date
-preferred time (flexibility is appreciated)
-a phone number
-a specific location if desired
-no more than four sentences as to why they wish to participate and what they expect to accomplish.

Application Deadline: Wednesday April 15th, 2009

Please send submissions to:

The rights to the work written during the residency belong to the individual author, but the Nomadesk Writer's Residency reserves the right to own the original document and will provide digital copies to authors. Possibility of publication will be discussed with author.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Call For Proposals: Studio Intensive Residency at Crawl Space

The resident artist will commit to a full seven days and nights of working and living at Crawl Space. Arriving at the gallery with whatever art-making and survival supplies he or she brings along, the artist will establish a studio workspace and squatting quarters for the week. The resident artist will receive a $500 honorarium but is responsible for all costs of transportation and production beyond that amount. A hot plate, refrigerator, toilet, sink, and air mattress will also be provided.

Friday, February 20, 2009


The Nomadesk Blueprint

Here is my initial blueprint for the Nomadesk.

The Mcleave Gallery of Fine Arts

The McCleave Gallery of Fine Art (est. 2002) is a performance-based curatorial project consisting of a portable, nomadic suitcase art gallery available on a ‘by chance or appointment’ basis. Curatorial statements and exhibition themes vary from season to season as the gallery travels, accompanied by an attendant, presenting it in an adjustable manner, responding to the places that we are visit by attempting to participate in and honor our host cultures while sharing with them a small sample of our own.

OCAD Nomadic Residents

Nomadic Residents – International Artist Residencies at OCAD
Nomadic Residents aims to inspire and influence the OCAD community by featuring artists from around the world whose work questions issues such as travel, mobility, displacement, dislocation, and homelessness, as well as the speed or instability of modern life.

In bringing innovative and diverse artists to take up temporary residence at OCAD, Nomadic Residents will join here to there, the local to the global and the provisional and the permanent.

Islands Fold Residency

A small invitation only residency in a couple's house on Vancouver island with a focus on collaborative book making and healthy nutritional feasts.

Islands Fold™ is an independent publisher and artist residency created and operated by Angela Conley and Luke Ramsey. It's about inviting artists into our home, supporting creative identity, collaborating, promoting health and well being and producing unique art. Established on Pender Island B.C, Canada in the Spring of 2006. For the first two years, Islands Fold has offered residencies to artists at no charge. Due to rising expenses and no grant funding, we now offer the residencies by donation to any amount an artist feels comfortable with. Our residencies are also sustained from public support by purchasing the art and publications made available online. We are also supported by generous art donations from artists who believe in our cause.

We rent the house we live in, so we keep things simple by only having one guest stay with us. Selling art online is the business side of Islands Fold. The residency is not a business, but a way to make friends and art.

Islands Fold personally invites artists. We are not currently taking submissions. Thanks for your interest.

A Documentary on Islands Fold:

Islands Fold from chris shier on Vimeo.

Kerouac's Scroll of On The Road

Leighton Artist's Colony - Fishing Boat Studio

Part of the Leighton Artist's Colony at The Banff Center, The Henriquez Studio is in an old, refurbished fishing boat about 10 metres long.

Designed by
Richard Henriquez, Vancouver
Floor dimensions:
2.5 metres wide x 10 metres long

The inspiration for this "studio in a boat" was derived from the desire to create a link with the past by bringing an artifact to Banff with a history of its own. The studio is in an old, refurbished fishing boat about 10 metres long. Its exterior has been restored to its original lines while the interior has been refitted to fulfil the functional needs of an artist: a small galley for snacks, a bunk area and washroom.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

History of artist-in-residence programs

History of artist-in-residence programs

It seems that we are currently dealing with a fashionable phenomenon that owes its explosive growth solely to globalization of artists’ ‘nomadic’ behavior. However, artist-in-residence programs have not appeared out of the blue. The phenomenon has been part of the international art world for over a century.

In any case, the artist residency appears to have arisen from two streams.

1. Those who wish to bring artists into their environments, so as to 'humanize' them, or to extend research and development outside of traditional fields.

2. Those who wish to provide solitude, space, resources for artists.

1900 First development of artist in residence programs

The first wave of artist-in-residence programs came at the beginning of the last century. Often founded by art-loving benefactors or corporations, they regarded offering guest studios to individual artists as a new kind of patronage. On the other hand, residencies founded by artists were run on their own terms: a sense of community was very prominent in these artists' colonies. Both models were typical of a lot of other artist-in-residence programs which were set up during the first decades of the 20th century, both in the United States and Europe.

The University Residency was intended to humanize the university and allowed for interdepartmental hybridity or persons able to float through resources.

1960 Second development of artist in residence programs

A new wave of artist-in-residence programs emerged in the 1960s, adding two new models to the ones that already existed. One new model offered artists the opportunity to withdraw temporarily from a society which was considered bourgeois. They preferred to create their own utopia in seclusion. The other new model, on the other hand, tried to contact the public and aimed for social engagement: guest studios in villages and cities served as a base for society change.

1990 Globalization: new wave of artist in residence programs

As from the nineties a third wave of residency programs proliferated all over the globe: from Brazil to Taiwan, from Estonia to Zambia, from Japan to Vietnam. Characteristic of this new wave is the rich diversity of residency models: from not required hospitality at one end of the spectrum, to almost commission-like projects at the other end of the spectrum. Because of its global expansion and its seemingly unrestrained popularity, these new artist-in-residence opportunities have attracted more attention in the art world. However, we must not forget that new residency opportunities do have their historical roots. Neither should we forget that the 'old', established programs are still offering their expertise, contacts, advice and support to the new opportunities.

The Nomadesk's Historical Situation

The Nomadesk Writer's Residency intends to fulfill both of the primary models set forth. It first provides space and resource to the writer, fulfilling the studio/office-like needs. It secondly inserts writers into the public space, often absent of authors. By extending the studio into public space I intend to provide both resource & spectacle, and alleviating or intensifying myths of writers-in-solitude. Lastly, while the residency is intended to be nomadic and wandering, it is, in this case, conatined to The Island of Montreal.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Katie Bethune-Leaman “Mushroom Studio”

Katie Bethune-Leaman will occupy this mushroom-shaped artist studio for the next year in Toronto's Sculpture Garden.

Presumably the point of all this is to probe the rarefied place of the artist in the contemporary city: a figure who at times is officially licensed to explore realms of kitschy, childish creativity, but is often objectified in the process.

Found here: Eye Weekly

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

The Mobile Museum

The Mobile Museum is:

human powered, bicycle transported, and Open Content-perhaps one of the only physical museums in existence that boasts this combination! Our goal is to generate new insights, possibilities, and appreciation for individual interpretation of information via visual forms. The Mobile Museum recognizes museums as valuable structures for learning about the world around us- unfortunately, they are becoming quickly outmoded as information access shifts to more accessible and malleable forms. What to do?

Here's one solution. An evolution!

The Mobile Museum offers a fusion of resources to keep the idea of museums afloat:

The Museum: A means of display and input + Open Content Information Resources: You take the cart, you share the artwork or invention, you pass on the idea that others can do the same!

Portable Theater

From: Ally Reeves

2007 Stormy Weather is a hand-cranked portable mini-theater intended to function as a device for busking in city spaces. Passers-by are invited to peek through an opening in the front and watch a small tornado pass though a tiny city. Stormy Weather is an experiment in creating an alternative economic model for a fine artist to explore an economic niche.

Wikipedia's Variety of Desks

Desk forms

Desk types

See also these specific desks

Lap Desk


Dimensions: 17 in. deep by 23 in. wide by 4 in. tall.

History of "The Portable Writer's Desk"

Called Jefferson Boxes in America, the writing box was a staple piece of furniture of the wealthy in Georgian and Victorian Britain.

From: Suite101

During the middle-ages, when the vast majority of the population of Britain was illiterate, there was little need for a specific piece of furniture for writing or reading. Only the monks, who laboured away copying and recopying holy books and stories had pulpit like writing tables. However, as the middle-ages drew to a close, both literacy and leisure-time increased among the wealthy classes.

By the dawn of the Georgian age, letter writing had become popular among the upper-classes and was often used as a means to spread political discourse. Stories were written in letter form, and many letters were printed in magazine and newspaper like publications. To aid in this new activity, a new piece of furniture became popular.

The writing box, or portable writing desk, was a hinged rectangular box that when unfolded provided a continuous slope upon which to write. It also normally contained an area where quills, ink-bottles, and paper could be stored.

Writers such as Sir Walter Scott, Alexander Pope, Jane Austin, and the Bronte sisters all used writing boxes, as did Sir Admiral Lord Nelson. In fact, a portable writing desk was deemed essential for any travelling military officer. In America, the most famous writing box user was Thomas Jefferson, and thus writing boxes became known as Jefferson boxes in America.

Today, some of the spirit of the writing box lives on in the laptop computer.

Primary information for this article obtained from Portable Writing Desks by David Harris, Shire Publications, 2001.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

The Cloche Gallery

This is a piece by Lance Blomgren at the Cloche Gallery.

Matthew Forbes, the curator, mails this glass cloche to artists, where they use it as the central component in a site-specific exhibition.

The glass cloche is provided to artists upon request. The artist is free to make a piece of art, with the cloche being an integral element in the piece. Contact me to request The Cloche or for more instructions.

Friday, January 30, 2009

from: Nomadic Structures

Extracts from the text: The Artist as Res(iden)t by Hito Steyerl & Boris Buden

Residencies create trans-national sets of relations: like space stations for upwardly mobile self-entrepreneurs they function as accelerators for self-marketing and as training grounds for the lifestyle of highly mobile cultural operators. They shape slightly eccentric subjectivities, which are perfectly aligned to the rhythm of global cultural industries.

But let’s ask now: to what public space belongs an artist in residence? It seems very easy to answer this question as long as we imagine a trans-national public space as a sort of mechanical extension of a national public. But the condition of residency – as we have indicated above – doesn’t simply displace the public space of artist’s national origin, nor does it simply enlarge the residential public space in terms of adding to it some sort of trans-national quality. Its impact is much deeper. It hybridizes both public spaces and blurs the very boundary between them, thus between a national and a trans-national public space. Moreover, it makes almost all of the termini technici of the traditional public space – the crucial distinction between public and private, its differentiation into separate spheres of culture, material production, politics, etc, its normativity, the very idea of authorship, etc. – obsolete. But what is even more important, the condition of residency challenges the traditional idea of artist’s political engagement. Becoming political meant for an artist before all his or her ability to make an impact on the public and thus on political decisions, which are in a democratic society supposed to be made in accordance with common will, articulated, again, through the public space. But residency participates in, and simultaneously creates, a public space, which has lost its crucial connection with the monopoly of political decision, that is, with the place where the sovereign (more or less democratically elected political representatives of the people/nation) makes these decisions.

Residency is, therefore, a manifestation of the irreducible liminality of a new public space, which transcends all forms of traditional political subjectification and goes even beyond the very idea of political democracy and beyond the way of life it generates. It is a space of an experience, which hasn’t learned yet to speak and articulate itself. Thus the artist in residency is both a living embodiment of this experience and an authentic witness to it, its non-authorized, silent speaker, a subject-object of a new noise without shape and origin, in short, a messenger without message to deliver. The rest is future.

The idea is born

From a flurry of synaptic sympathies for writers on the run, in need of solitude and space, came the idea for the Nomadesk. Part of a larger exhibition of traveling carts that will take place in early 2009, the Nomadesk will provide nomadic opportunities for writers in Montreal, Canada.

Affixing a wheelchair to a desk with a typewriter, a small portable library, and a cup holder, the Nomadesk has everything a writer needs to expell the creative genius that awaits "the right moment"

Sites and Locations will be predetermined, but also available upon request.

Prestigious Residencies will last for 30 mins to 2 hours, with a coffee service provided, and will be accepted upon a 50 word explanation of why/how the Nomadesk Prestigious Residence will benefit you.

Pictures and Blueprints to come.