Life changing experiences - Watershed's Artist Residencies

Posted on Tue 18 Jul 2017
Collagen Scaffold by David Lisser

Collagen Scaffold by David Lisser

“I'm two months into an experience that is significantly changing my life.”

Aidan Moesby, Artist in Residence

Our current Artists in Residence Aidan Moesby and David Lisser have been busily working up their projects at Pervasive Media Studio. With research spanning the creative repurposing of weather-sensing equipment to industrial cannibalism, let’s take a closer look at what they’re up to and how you can get involved…

Conversations fuel Aidan Moesby’s practice, which sits at the intersection of art, health and technology. He is obsessed by weather – both the real physical weather and the psycho-emotional inner kind. After participating in Unfixed last autumn - where disabled artists investigated ideas around art, disability and technology - Aidan felt open to fresh possibilities. In a recent blog post he says:

 “I've met a lot of people in the Studio, talked a lot, listened even more, read, researched, thought my head would explode and yes, I've laughed. I've made mistakes, I've asked for help and been given it gladly, I've learned an amazing amount, about an amazing amount of 'stuff'.”

Now a quarter way through his residency, Aidan feels it’s already had a huge impact giving him the skills and confidence to create Between Stillness and Storm, an outdoor sculptural installation that creatively repurposes weather-sensing equipment such as balloons, anemometers and solar panels. The work is premiering at Bluedot festival this summer. Aidan says:

 “When I got the Festival commission I hadn't yet visited the Studio. But then I participated in Unfixed and that led me to applying for a residency and creating Between Stillness and Storm - which I never would have thought possible two months ago. The Pervasive Media Studio has taught me how to think in a different way.”

You can catch Between Stillness and Storm throughout the summer at Underneath The Stars, Cloudspotting, Just So and Head for the Hills.

Artist David Lisser has also been experiencing some head exploding moments. David makes work that mixes traditional sculptural techniques with baking and cooking. He joined the Studio in May to develop Meal Plans, a project co-supported by At Bristol that imagines the future of food, and food technology, as if it were history. In a recent journal entry he says:

 “Pervasive Media Studio is an absolutely fascinating place, primarily because of the people who congregate there. To have a chat next to the coffee machine can be dangerously interesting – you start talking about coffee or chocolate and in half an hour you’ve covered experiments in isolation, dementia, physical storytelling and the darker side of virtual reality. For anyone who is curious about the world, it is wonderful.”

Meal Plans will result in a museum-style exhibition of sculptural relics from a future age, which he is currently researching and building. His process has included fantastic conversations with futurologist Bill Sharpe, political activist Julie McCalden and many Pervasive Media Studio residents. And when asked what he hopes to reveal through his work, David says:

“It is a fools’ errand to confidently predict an exact future, but by imagining and presenting potential future scenarios we might begin to unpick some of the unexpected implications of our technologies. In doing so we have another tool to assess the path we’re taking today and weigh up whether we want to follow its course into tomorrow.”

Meal Plans will open to the public in At Bristol’s The Box gallery in September and David will be hosting workshops in the run up. Both Residencies were made possible with kind support from Arts Council England’s Grants for the Arts.

And don’t forget, our latest call for Residencies is currently open - so we can help you get your idea off the ground. Deadline for applications is Mon 24 July - apply here. And if our funded programmes don't fit your practice - you can apply any time to join the Pervasive Media Studio community.