In the new post-lockdown era, what are we on the brink of? Ecological, democratic and social anxieties demand we remake our futures. Do viable alternatives exist to allow us to cohabit the planet with reimagined technologies, renewable resources, rewired communities and low impact lifestyles? What can be accomplished if it all falls apart? What new horizons can inspire and prepare us?
Thoughtworks Arts seeks two artists-in-residence for separate but parallel residencies on-site at Mars.college, an educational program, R&D Lab and off-grid residential community in the desert area of Bombay Beach, California. Mars is geographically remote but digitally connected, cultivating a low-cost, high-tech lifestyle exploring emerging technologies.
Artists will receive online incubation and project facilitation through Thoughtworks’ global network of technologists, and a stipend of $11,000 to cover all expenses including transportation and living costs. Mandatory dates of the program run from 1 January to 31 March 2023, with arrival required at least a few days before the program commences. The two artists-in-residence will live in RV’s (recreational vehicles) in the desert full-time throughout the program.
Artists are invited to apply to develop a project on one of two themes:
Theme 1. Speculative Futures - Do It There, Take It Back To The Neighborhood
Mars has an ongoing and developing practice of self sufficiency in a desert environment. You are invited to propose something the artist can create in the desert during 3 months that can help people in underserved neighborhoods in inner cities or rural areas. Focus areas could include:
Mobile living, novel structures or computer aided constructions
The network as place — telepresence
Physical computing and DIY
Remote work and nomadic lifestyles
Decentralization, web3, and online communities
Energy efficiency, renewable and smart grids
Environment control and data
Waste management, trash, recycling, up cycling, grey water, black water
Theme 2. Alternative AI Creative Infrastructures - The Sky’s The Limit
Mars has a robust community of artists and technologists creating and collaborating over a dedicated Discord server. You are invited to submit a new proposal or submit a proposal that builds on one of the following focus areas or projects:
Please make your project proposal to ONLY ONE of these themes. Mars is not able to support large groups or families, or pets, due to the DIY and rugged nature of the living environment, but can support smaller collaborations. If you are applying from a foreign country please check both the visa and immigration policies, as work permits cannot be issued by Thoughtworks Arts or Mars.college. Letters of support for artists grants can be issued.
September 12 - Application deadline
October 10-21 - Finalist interviews
October 26 - Resident selection announcement
Before end of December - Residents arrive in California
January 1 - Residencies commence onsite at Mars
January 2-March 31 - Online incubation with Thoughtworks Arts
March 31 - Residencies conclude
How to Apply
Applicants must submit a proposal using the form below before the application deadline of midnight September 12, 2022.