the research program

The overarching Research Program of AIR InSILo is focused on the work within the local context as well with the notion of "locality" in a wider sense. It offers a model and seeks new methodologies of critical work with the concept of non-place, which, particularly here, in Hollabrunn, manifests itself as an average European agricultural settlement without special historical, cultural and political features. The uniqueness of such places is their invisibility. Economic, political and cultural life doesn't reveal itself explicitly; it can become challenging to open up hidden conflicts and struggles concealed under the familiar surface of everyday life. The goal of the program is to create a research platform (in the form of a physical residency as well as a digital magazine) that can function as a template for methodologies of artistic research to be further applied to other realms, conditions, and territories. The research process focuses on the principles of localism and aims to create a critical map bearing in mind topography, ecology, economic division, layers of history, groups of interest, population, anthropology, cultural influences, etc. This approach appears to be important since the urban Umwelt is not representative of the exhaustive understanding of social dynamics. The city areas contain headquarters, but representative outlets of actual processes are embedded in featureless non-places called periphery where the underprivileged and deprived of cultural and political subjectivity are trapped in affirmative, conservative and populist cogitation. To decolonize the own thinking, artistic endeavours aim to recontextualize the obsolete hierarchical concept and make a proposition a decentralized local hub, existing in a horizontal plane towards similar entities of the network.
The subtopics of the Program are formulated with every subsequent open call but aim to enrich the core research direction. The inauguration call (2021/2022) was focused on the notions of decentralization with inclinations to localism and post-development theory, bioregionalism, and the principle of sustainability. The second call (2022/ 2023) focused on a clash of two approaches, degrowth and acceleration, and the third call (2023/2024) revolved around the precarity and current state of artistic labour.

(Un)limited artistic resource
Survey Result
©In SILo Mag, 2024
Illustrations: Maria Safronova Wahlström

At the beginning of 2023, AIR InSILo invited artists to participate in a survey to contextualize the open call 2023/24 (Un)limited Artistic Resource concerning artists‘ wages and working conditions. The Global COVID-19 pandemic, a full-scale war on the territory of Europe, and a devastating natural disaster in Syria and Turkey were just a few examples that significantly exacerbated the life and work insecurity of people in general and artists/ cultural workers in particular during the last years. As of January 2024, 181 international artists had participated in the study voluntarily and on condition of anonymity.
The most significant insight of this research is the total average income from art alone: 4,210 Euros. With additional and non-art-related jobs, the total cumulative average income of the artist per year constitutes 10,814 Euros. It is essential to mention that the demands of the Austrian State for a freelance artist visa are around 20,000 Euros of annual income. Only 3.9% of our respondents can match this criterion.

The full text is in InSILo Mag
Golden Thread by Varvara Sudnik
For the first time, AIR InSILo facilitates a virtual residency, confronting and answering to the reality of the precarity of migration, which bureaucratic, almost frozen temporality restricts not only freedom of movement but slows down creative metabolism.
Varvara Sudnik (b. 2001 in Belarus) during her virtual residency, will explore the connection between poverty, precarious artistic work, and family ties. Artistic projects often mention "family" when discussing memory and origins, not including the artist's family. Residencies and projects only allow "collectives" or "duos" that serve the institution's interests and increase production. Grants focus on social inequalities and new cultural connections but don't provide enough funding for artists' basic needs. Artists are vulnerable and unable to form strong connections due to constant movement. Art institutions offer minimal compensation, don't accommodate family members, and demand quick results. Conversations with colleagues and friends highlight scarcity and the desire to fulfil basic needs. During the residency, Varvara wants to describe the experience of need, strategies for balance, and the value of domestic responsibilities, family, and friendships. She seeks stability and depth while remaining vulnerable. On the other hand, she wants to explore strategies for change and disrupt the current order where artists are underpaid and expected to reshape society.

Protestpilze by Krzysztof Wronski
25.04. - 16.05.2024
We warmly welcome Krzysztof Wronski, who returned to AIR InSILo to realise his new project, Protestpilze. Protestpilze is an outdoor sound installation featuring audio emitting from a series of mushroom-like sculptures placed on the forest floor. Based on the observation that the area around Hollabrunn, Austria continues to be developed with more and more shopping centres, the mushrooms draw attention to neglectful land management practices that favour short-term human-centric desires over long-term ecosystem needs. When open land is paved for the first time, this “seals” the soil, removing the potential for many living creatures to make the land their home. This process can be irreversible for 10.000 years, and research shows that Austria seals almost 2x more soil per year (adjusted for population) compared to the EU average. In response to the grief this causes to the non-human living creatures of Hollabrunn, the Protestpilze are planted in various parts of the Hollabrunner Kirchenwald, a recreational forest where many people go to relax and enjoy nature. As visitors move through the forest, their motion will trigger familiar and annoying sounds of the supermarket, played by the mushrooms as a form of resistance.
mosaic speaking:
“I feel dead, please animate me”

Illustration: © Gaurav Talekar

Following the two workshops and collective intervention to the racist imagery of the mosaic mural located in the Bremen central station which took place under the title “Beyond Undoing a Rediscovery”, with the help of AIR InSILo Aria Farajnezhad turned five of the reconfigured mosaic pieces of the image of the vessel into their original material, meaning ceramics. Farajnezhad uses the time in the residency to develop a workshop and performative piece around these ceramics, to carry them to the city where He meets local artists/activists/actors in Austria as a point of departure to talk about working conditions, forms of producing work with poor material, and recipes for collectivity.
Project by Emirhan Akin
By rethinking the notions of work, exhaustion, and the slash between the precariat/artist, Emirhan Akin aims to unearth the embodied knowledge he has stored from the cleaning job he has been working for to sustain his art practice, to draw parallels between the durational performance pieces (eventually performance art) and the word cleaning (and it’s political, historical and societal connotations). To dissect this immigrant work (and its economy of exhaustion, which is accumulated in the muscle memory), he plans to focus on the invisibility (of both the cleaner and the end product) as in material and medium (he plans to use). Therefore, (not fixed/could potentially change) he is interested in working with sound, whether it’s a field recording of the non-spaces (areas that are overlooked, neglected, transitional in nature or might not be designed for human interaction) or a transcription of a conversation during an encounter (with human and non-human). By researching the architectural approach to the non-spaces of the city (and the residency space), he aims to intervene in those undefined areas with these sonic experiments.

Kada rad radi?
Jovana Blagojević and her project are focused on the question of values around work. When does work bring value and meaning, vs. when is it turned into meaningless, overworking, sophisticated slavery? Furthermore, it explores the virtues of leisure – which brings quality to life, as the time when we can reassess the reasons why and what we are doing. During the residence period at AIR InSILo, Jovana will continue her research on the 'crosswords' between the thoughts and sentences around work, with which we are brought up, and which shape our values of work and our need to create, and the ones that restrain us and keep us in a pointless workaholic state of mind. The research will be done through reading and through interviews with local people on the topic. The outcomes of the research will be rendered as a 'crossword' – in the form of a physical flag with selected and sewed keywords and expressions of labour.
Art apparatus and the technology
of a (fruit fly) encounter
In February and March Tatiana Istomina will work on her project ‘Art apparatus and the technology of a (fruit fly) encounter.’ Tatiana wants to redefine, expand and intensify the concept of technology, applying it to the practice of art making. In this context artworks should be viewed as physical apparatuses, which mediate encounters between humans and the world to generate specific versions of reality. Her project uses insights from experimental physics and biosciences to develop a theoretical framework and a physical model of an art apparatus: a sculptural/pictorial device mapping out the borderline between the notions of a mechanism and a living organism. During the residency, Tatiana focuses on the practices of hand embroidery and fruit fly (drosophila) rearing. Drosophila research is the backbone of contemporary genetic and biological sciences, but it involves ethical and philosophical problems that are largely ignored today. Tatiana’s work will touch on some of these problems, including the consciousness of the fly, the power dynamics between flies and humans, the extent of free will possessed by both species, and the conditions and limits of human knowledge about living nature.
Survey: (Un)limited artistic resource
AIR InSILo invites you to take part in a survey which aims to contextualise the upcoming open call 2023/24 (Un)limited Artistic Resource. As usual, AIR InSIlo will offer five fully paid slots and one emergency slot. Everyone who participates in the survey will receive an early reminder.
The Global COVID-19 pandemic, a full-scale war on the territory of Europe, and a devastating natural disaster in Syria and Turkey – are just a few examples that significantly exacerbated the life and work insecurity of people in general and artists/ cultural workers in particular during the last years. The conditions of artistic work can be described by the term 'precariat,' which means a newly formed class whose hallmark is a lack of job security, continuous search for employment (on average, one artist applies for 50-70 open calls, spending around up to 300 unpaid hours annually) and funding. The notion of artistic creativity continues to be romanticised to exploit the creators' pursuit of fame and success. It leads to the tragic stories of self-exploitations, burnout and severe inequality, where only 1-3% of successful artists get more than 50% of profits. AIR InSILo aims to create a space for reflection and self-reflection of an artist working in a neoliberal contemporaneity. What is more important: the time spent to master the work or the time given to fill in the open calls submissions; the ethical usage of materials or the belief in the dominant importance of artistic expression; a work for own name/ brand or work in the collective?
Implicit Basis

An emergency residence for Olexander Sirous, Danylo Siabro, and Dmytro Tentiuk. April - June 2023 (supported by BMKOES, Grants for UA artists). Development of a media installation, ‘Implicit basis,’ focusing on the topics of human interaction with the global ecosystem in the plane of the physical and digital world.
The artists focus on the topics of human interaction with the global ecosystem in the plane of the physical and digital world. In an attempt to understand the features of the formation of biodiversity, they came to the principle of analyzing phenomena from the point of view of chaos theory, an applied mathematical apparatus for a number of scientific disciplines.
Turning the spotlight on such aspects of structure as fluctuations, bifurcation point, nonlinear processes, they create a digital prototype of a plant organism, which develops in direct connection with the phenomena of the micro and macrocosm.
Ordinary interpretations consider various phenomena of our world - from social to natural - as discrete, closed structures. At the same time, the conclusions of modern science are increasingly talking about these phenomena, not only as an integral interconnected process but also on a single principle of their structures.
01.04 -30.06.2023
DayLight Computer by Başak Tuna
Illustration: © Başak Tuna, 2021, Folding Screens. Broken computer screens, metal frame.

How long does it take the daily cycle of a computer?"

For AIR InSilo Residency, Basak Tuna will develop, rethink and reproduce a project titled DayLight Computer. It is a computer screen that works in front of a window or on a sunny day instead of using the embedded electric light. In other words, a desktop screen that is resistant to function at night times. Technically speaking, the computer screen doesn’t need the LEDs inside in order to function. The artist took the LEDs out of the screen and opened another window behind it. The screen’s light source is now the environmental light or daylight.
At the end of the 3-week residency, Basak will complete the concept and realization of the resisting computer screen.
Autonomous Trees by Krzysztof Wronski
Tree Centered Design Workshop with Krzysztof Wronski
At the Tree Centered Design Workshop, participants will react to known tree challenges as well as potential scenarios that threaten tree life and explore interventions with possible or imaginary social or technical developments. Working in small groups, they will share ideas with each other and develop a new scenario that will be communicated with workshop participants in the form of a short performance. No specific skills or experience are required other than curiosity and an openness to imagine new things. The workshop will be a guided step-by-step experience conducted in English.
*Tree Centered Design is a practice focused on inviting people to collaborate and collectively explore what a design or innovation process might look like if it was focused on the needs of trees (or other life) rather than human.

Fr 19:00 – 20:30
Galerie grenzART,
Sparkassegasse 1, 2020 Hollabrunn

Autonomous Trees are living trees with enhanced agency and abilities, assisted by systems developed and operated by Krzysztof Wronski. Through prototypes and real-world interventions, trees are equipped with capabilities that primarily serve them and challenge relations between people and living systems struggling with the climate emergency.
A tree is presented as an authority figure serving the interests of non-humans. Physical symbolic artefacts and devices associated with human authority are installed on and around a local tree selected as a temporary agent. These represent industrial components utilised on autonomous vehicles and security apparatus. People, subjected to the tree's authority, can interact with the tree by accessing an arboreal chatbot on their phones. The chatbot enables a conversation between humans and trees — during which visitors hear the tree's perspective and receive an assessment and fine as punishment for the collective harm they cause to living systems.
This is Not-a-Game
The kick-off of the new round 2022/23 is made by David Sypniewski and Magda ‘Bronka‘ Braniewska, who, during the short-term residence slot, will start to work on their project ‘This is Not-a-Game,’ a comment on incremental games and their symbolism.
Incremental games make a perfect illustration of how modern marketing works. Based on deep knowledge of human atavisms, those games use our biological mechanisms that were designed by evolution to help us survive to a different, rather cynical cause – maximising income by increasing players’ impulsive consumption. Modern marketing also uses neuroscience to explore customer buying decisions and paths. The artists want to go back to the roots of the first clicker game, and go deeper into deconstruction, uncover how the market developed the original idea into a money-making machine. In other words: they want to create an honest version of an incremental game.
A new emergency resident, Olga Pylnyk, will spend the upcoming three months working on her project "Festina Lente" – "Hurry Slowly", as translated from Latin. The artist ponders around the fast pace of life and its contemporary consumer model. In particular, in the field of fashion, that pushes a consumer to buy many times more clothes than in the last century and to wear them just a few times. Clothing acquires the status of "disposable". This model has a detrimental effect on the ecology of the planet. In her works, Olga focuses on enlarged textile weaves to demonstrate the beauty of fabrics from the inside and suggests the viewer love their clothes, not the shopping process. The gesture of hyperbolizing aims to raise attention to the problem and to propose a solution in the upcycling process.
1.09.- 30.11.2022

"Festina Lente" by Olga Pylnyk

"ÁNOMOS, or the lawless land"
The first long-term resident of the round 2022/23 is starting to work on his proposal for AIR InSILo. "ÁNOMOS, or the lawless land", is a multidisciplinary research project situated in an iconic agricultural area of Central Europe that imagines the environmental implications of the disintegration of the code that orders the land distribution among humans. Parting from an art-sci approach and using different technological tools, the project will imagine the Hollabrunn territory inhabited not by sedentary human collectivities but by nomad ones. This exercise imagines the territory before the establishment of any settlement but also identifies those 'heterotopian spaces' that exemplify in the present time the lawless condition of certain pieces of the land. Also, it reviews local legends that could give an account of the non-human presence and its resistance to the anthropogenic domain. The project aims to question the ethics behind the act of appropriation of the land and to propose a reflection on the conceptual basis that justify the instrumentation of the non-human others and the contemporary forms of collective organization.
boundaries of sustain-ability by Jennetta Petch and Szymon Kula

During the residency, the artists will continue their research around the boundaries of sustainability of artistic production by developing an ongoing project that was started in rural France, in Embrun, over the winter of 2020. It will be carried out by the investigation of how one can use materials to adapt to the chaos of the environmental crisis and what materials can do to help us to exist and even thrive in a chaotic world as well as how making can provide a sense of structure in time and space.

<Biotope- Metamorphic Symbiosis> by Jungeun Lee
The first long-term resident of 2022 is Jungeun Lee, who is working on her Biotope- Metamorphic Symbiosis installation that visualizes and sonifies the relations between microorganisms and humans. In AIR InSILo, the artist plans to research various types of water sources such as lakes, rivers, swamps and build ecospheres, to convert the movement of microorganisms into sound and amplify them. Movements and vitality of snails scratching moss on the wall, hydra hanging upside down on the plants using long tentacles, and stone leech hunting for food larger than their bodies, all is going to be collected by using motion tracking and transferred to the audience through an amplifier. The project takes a challenge to give a voice to many of those unheard and invisible. In a time when our planet is threatened, the ecosphere represents a contemporary oasis. These ecosystems are like time-capsules. The ecosphere contains dormant resources and myriad other species with whom we share life on this planet. They contain enormous biodiversity and are inhabited by numerous plant and animal species and various communities of living microorganisms.
TIST Collective - new artists-in-residence
In March 2022, AIR InSILo hosts a collective of two artists/ curators Yulia Tikhomirova and Michele Liparesi - TIST (This Is So Temporary) from Bologna, Italy. TIST manifests the necessity to build a creative, open and inclusive artistic process outside of traditional, institutional and alas! capitalistic system of production.
The artist run space TIST is situated in an old fabric shed in an industrial peripheral zone of the city and offers studios for young artists, exposition space, community garden, workshop facilities and a leisure zone. The project grew up out of disagreement with continuous and growing concentration of art production in the hands of few institutions financed both by public and private money, where the same small group of people, in practice, decide what contemporary art should be and exclude any possibility to differentiate the discourse, the content and the politics of art.
How the
world works
How the World Works by Maria Safronova Wahlström and Johannes Wahlström intends to describe the rapidly changing world that we and our societies are surrounded by; and that became more visible in connection with the pandemic. How the World Works is based on the UN Sustainability Goals 2030 and interviews of the people active in the fields affected by the proposed changes. The answers will form the basis for a series of graphic works that playfully highlight the topics that we all too often resign ourselves to considering too complicated to understand. The project aims to connect the research on current political and economic issues with a simple and playful graphic form, which can be exhibited and distributed in art contexts as well as in schools.
All Nonsense Cancels Itself
In AIR InSILo, the invited artist and writer Bernhard Kathan will work on his sound piece All Nonsense Cancels Itself, which will be presented during the Open Studio Days on 16-17 October. The piece is dedicated to Daniel Paul Schreber (1842 - 1911) who is considered the most prominent case in the history of psychiatry thanks to his book Memoirs of My Nervous Illness. Among many others, Sigmund Freud, C.G. Jung, Elias Canetti, Jacques Lacan, Gilles Deleuze and Félix Guattari occupied themselves with his bizarre imagery.
It is commonly thought that doctors are trying to understand the patients. Kathan reveals, that Schreber's story teaches us the opposite: in fact, the patients are required to understand the doctors who are treating them.
Kathan recontextualizes the Memoirs of My Nervous Illness, and by the means of sound and graphic art, reveals meaning in the chaotic. By refusing to see Schreber as a "case", just a madman, he points that the patient to facilitate his doctors was by purpose producing all the signs he was expected to.

Scoby Spin Cycle

The first OPEN CALL artist of AIR InSILo is Mary Maggic who during the last week in October will work on the SCOBY SPIN CYCLE. It is a post-anthropocentric performative art installation and absurd machine object that optimizes the industrial production of SCOBY (symbiotic culture of bacteria and yeast) made from a kombucha bioreactor that is kept in constant rotation by the physical and demanding labor of a human subject on a gym exercise machine. The project reflects on the role of technology in human and non-human relationships of resource extraction and exploitation, as well as human technological desires for fitness, perfection and optimization. Can feminist practices of care and kinship re-insert the necessary intimacy within multi species relationships that have been largely and historically driven by capitalism?