Our 2023 Winter Residencies programme supported three incredible artists – Kexin Liu, Ashley Peevor and Deanna Rodger, who responded to the theme: ‘Making the World Differently’.
The funded programme offered our artists the chance to take a step back from the day-to-day to think, experiment, imagine and develop early-stage ideas involving creative technology.
Take a look at what they got up to during their time with us...
Kexin Liu is a multidisciplinary artist and researcher who has been examining how the wealth of information we receive every day, affects our attention and undermines our ability to tackle climate change and other complex global issues. Kexin has been developing an interactive web-based zine that examines our current information environment and reimagines more productive ways to engage people in social movements. Her research spans an investigation into clickbait, plus research into attention though podcasts and books, understanding how technology can control and manipulate us, and ways that we can align technology with humanity’s bests interests.
Kexin is continuing development of the Zine and hopes to launch the first issue at the end of the year.
“Participating in the Winter Residency programme at Watershed's Pervasive Media Studio has been a deeply transformative and gratifying experience for me. As an emerging artist who is still in the process of discovering their creative voice, I feel incredibly fortunate to have had this opportunity as one of my early introductions into the professional world.
Throughout the course of my research and production of my first prototype of the web-based zine, I have been encouraged by the team to take risks, tinker with new mediums, and embrace failure, which has proven to be an invaluable learning experience. In addition to the creative freedom, the sense of community at the studio has also been extremely rewarding. I have had the chance to connect with many talented residents who share my passion for interactive and digital art. Their generous feedback and support have been invaluable to the creation of this project.”
Ashley Peevor is a multidisciplinary artist who uses mysticism, absurdity, living costumes (suits grown from local plants) and hydroponics (the art of growing plants in a chemical solution), to reimagine our relationship with nature. Ashley has been developing a portable Living Costume Kit and thinking about ways to invite communities worldwide to create locally grown suits and performances.
Ashley is interested in disrupting dominant systems of sharing art that parachutes work into communities or uses a community as a workforce to complete an already existing idea. The research period has opened up a lot of questions around the practicalities of shipping suit kits, growing them in different global climates, what the experience of participating will be like and how people might connect with one another. There is lots to do and Ashley is excited to take idea to the next stage.
Deanna Rodger is an established poet with a keen interest in creative technology. Bringing these interests together, she has spent time developing of a poetic fortune teller machine, a window onto the world that challenges those who happen upon it to think differently about their fortune and the power they hold in their hands. Deanna’s research has involved much experimentation with technologies, gaining insights from others, and reflecting on what it means to be part of the Pervasive Media Studio community. Deanna will be testing a version of the project at our First Friday event on 5 May. Come along to hear more and explore your own fortune.
“What I've (re)learnt through participation in Watershed’s Winter Residencies programme, is that believing in and encouraging people, sign posting them and listening to the development of their ideas is transformative. It cannot be underestimated. The Poetic Fortune Teller Machine became what it is through being believed in. And now I have built an evocative, kind machine that softly challenges participants to see the world differently. I'm head over heels to develop it further.”
About Watershed’s Residency Programmes:
Our annual Residency programmes support artists to experiment, make and think at the Pervasive Media Studio. We work with creative practitioners from varied disciplines, career stages and backgrounds, who have ideas for projects that blend art and technology. We will be releasing an open call for our next round of residencies later in the year.
Early career artists can also get involved with Make Shift, a year round programme of meetups and opportunities to support those who are getting their careers off the ground.
Watershed's Winter Residency programme is made possible with support from Arts Council England.