|Research Residency Program
The residency will be used to explore the independent and self-organised communities of creative practitioners in Tokyo, with a particular focus on how the COVID-19 pandemic has influenced their strategies and approaches to practice. Alongside this, research into the histories of those communities in recent years pre-pandemic will also be undertaken. It is hoped that through this, a detailed record of self-organised practices in one of the most populous cities in the world will evolve, which can then be used to develop broader collaborative global networks of like-minded artists, curators, organisations, groups and collectives.
During the residency I spent time conducting a number of activities including:
-Visiting numerous artist-run, independent and alternative projects and organisations in Tokyo and beyond.
-Taking part in organised dedicated meetings with artists, curators and other organisational staff.
-Attending exhibitions and events at other arts organisations to compare methods of programming and organisational structures.
This was in order to develop a clear understanding of how self-organised practices have responded to conditions brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic, and how those people and organisations operate in relation to other organisations within the arts community of the city of Tokyo and beyond. By spending time with individuals/collectives/organisations it allowed me to gather much deeper and richer information to inform my research and residency outcome project moving forward, whilst developing trust and working relationships with those practitioners and organisations.
The residency has helped to shift my own views on self-organised artistic practices in Tokyo (and beyond), and has given me tangible examples of new and innovative approaches to issues that impact practitioners globally. I would consider my achievements to be based on the new working relationships I have developed with individuals and organisations. Moving forwards, these relationships, and the experiences I have had, have shifted my future outlook of what is possible for knowledge and experiential exchange between practitioners working in self-organised contexts to provide broader forms of solidarity globally. If I had the residency time again, I would have liked to have had more time overall to spend in Japan to conduct even more detailed research – possibly spending time within artist-run organisations to directly contribute to their programmes and observe in more detail how they operate on a daily basis.
Dinner service at Tohmei Diner
View from the balcony out into the neighbourhood around The 5th Floor
Cooking a communal meal at Cocoroom
Learning to play the saw as a musical instrument from a visiting musician at Cocoroom
Curator talk about the Pacific Crossings programme at Art Center Ongoing