© Adam Jeppesen   BO  Uyuni 2015

A European Art Laboratory & Residency

In 2016 & 2017 The Independent AIR’s residency will be a working european art laboratory taking place in Portugal. For the duration of 6 months in total (one period of three months in both 2016 and 2017) a group of 6 emerging photographers/lens based artists  will live, discuss and inspire each other to work under the theme Human Ecology // Images in the Anthropocene.
The 6 artist in residence will be guided by a team of internationally established artists and mentors, who will conduct several workshops throughout the residency period. The artists in residence 2016/2017 are: Clément Verger, Ana Catarina Pinho, Constantin Schlachter, Michelle Palazzi, Sissel Thastum and Bärbel Praun

The concept and the topic to be explored at the residency

The Independent AIR has chosen to work with the topic Human Ecology  for the years 2016-2017 to explore what it means for art to encounter the anthropocene.  We intend to address the human disturbance of the earth’s ecosystem by focusing on how artistic activism can engage and communicate the environmental and social reality to a wider audience.

Photographic art can address complex and important issues in a way that factual texts, statistics  and information cannot do. We have chosen to focus on this topic for obvious reasons, in an attempt to illustrate the environmental and social consequences of the seeming polarisation between nature and society, as well as new agendas and future possibilities. The complex nature of human ecology in the anthropocene is understood in a cross-disciplinary way and embodies both social, political and environmental structures. The independent AIR is a sustainable cultural project at all levels, thus the theme of Human Ecology // Images in the Anthropocene is consistent with the ethos of our organisation. We aim to show the role of the arts in the development of alternatives that include a holistic approach to the way we interact with the world and each other. As the theme is wide and complex, the participants will be provided with texts and other audiovisual materials in order to create a shared platform and inspiration for the photographic projects.

© Esther Teichmann Untitled from Fractal Scars, Salt Water and Tears | 2012-2014


During each residency period a team of internationally established artists and mentors will conduct several workshops to discuss the projects being developed, offer intensive roundtable discussions and encourage comprehensive and critical feedback to push participants forward with their work.  The workshops are an essential part of the residency which offer the participating artists the unique opportunity to work closely together with internationally renowned artists and experts.  

The confirmed guest artists and mentors are:

Esther Teichmann (DE/USA) PhD. Visual artist

Adam Jeppesen (DK) Visual artist

Lucy Olivia Smith (USA) MA. Curator Platform Berlin and Senior researcher at Ecologic Institute

Finn Arler (DK)Professor, Dr Scient, PhD, MA, Director of Center for Practical Ethics, Aalborg University

Maya Byskov (DK) MSc. Curator, Independent researcher

Line Thasthum (DK) BA Human Ecologist, environmental consultant


Exhibition and Publication

The projects developed during the residency will be shown in a traveling group exhibition in Aarhus (DK), Braga (PT) and Berlin (DE) in 2017. In addition to the works produced during the residency, the exhibitions will also feature works of internationally recognized artists working at the interface of art and human ecology. A publication will be produced presenting the exhibited works together with accompanying texts, both academic and literary. The publication will function not only as an exhibition catalogue, but as an independent artefact that will exist beyond the scope of the project, and will be widely distributed internationally.
All artworks, the exhibition as well as the publication will be produced as in an environmentally conscientious way, complementing the overall philosophy of the project.


Symposiums and Artist Talks

In connection with the exhibitions several symposiums and artist talks will take place. In late June 2016 the first symposium will be held in Aarhus to start off and introduce the project. 
The following symposiums and artist talks  will be held in Aarhus (DK), Braga (PT) and Berlin (DE) in connection with the exhibitions and are open to the public. The events focus on the role of visual arts in understanding and addressing environmental and social challenges and possibilities of the Anthropocene. The participants will be the artists and experts from the residency, as well as subject-related local actors. As a part of our efforts to engage a varied audience, the artists talks will take place in private living rooms. People open their homes and welcome artists to explain their work, which is an intimate and fruitful way of communicating the artistic research. 



The Independent AIR will assume the costs of all workshops, project coordination and production of the exhibitions and publication. The participants are expected to pay their own transportation to and from the residency, local transport, food and other personal supplies. A fee of  50€ a month covering the cost of utilities is to be paid by the participants.

International Photography festival Encontros da Imagem
The Independent AIR residency is held in collaboration with International Photography Festival Encontros da Imagem and director Angela Ferreira.  As a part the collaboration the projects created during the residency will be exhibited as a main part of the Festival programme in 2017, including artists talks and portfolio reviews. 

In collaboration with  ARCHIVO The Independent AIR will issue a special edition of ArchivoZine in the summer of 2017. The Zine will focus on the theme Human Ecology // Images in the Anthropocene  presenting the works of the artists in residence along with interviews and articles by established writers and curators.

ARCHIVO is a documentary photography project, founded in 2012 by Ana Catarina Pinho, created to be a research tool and discussion platform to think about the medium of photography and its uses. One of the initiatives developed in this project is ArchivoZine, a thematic quarterly magazine that features the work of both established and emerging photographers. 


Platform-Berlin is a project exhibiting art in unused and ordinarily commercial spaces on the underground rail line. It is designed to spark U-Bahn riders to interact with an art installation in an unusual space and to affect people’s physical path of movement, routine and thought process.

Berlin’s U-Bahn averages 500-million riders annually. Platform-Berlin aims to transform their experience from the humdrum everyday into that of reflection and delight.