Residency Unlimited

PAST – 2019 Dirt & Debt Residency at Residency Unlimited (RU)

Dirt & Debt Residency at Residency Unlimited (RU)
Dates: February 1-April 30 2019

Deadline for submission: Tuesday, July 31, 2018, 11.59pm EST

Artists today are key actors in bringing vitality back to the land, taking back their towns, and staking an active claim in re-envisioning their communities’ future. RU invites applications from US-based artists for Dirt & Debt, a 3-month thematic residency, conceived and curated by Livia Alexander  and Jane Philbrick , for artists whose medium is the built and/or natural world. Criteria of selection will include working at the community level in the global context.

Dirt & Debt explores artists’ relation to the built and natural world in the era of superabundant capital, in which corporate profits are disconnected from local economies and artists are deployed to grace and animate the enterprise. Far from benign, art and real estate intersect at a global crossroads of wealth creation that accelerates inequality and ecological degradation.

Against a backdrop of the ever-expanding portfolio of initiatives undertaken by municipal leaders and real estate developers in various urban centers in the US and internationally to deploy the arts as a catalyst for economic growth, through this residency, RU aims to look at what other, more symbiotic models may look like.

Residency Features:

Buckminster Fuller astutely observed, “You never change things by fighting existing reality. To change something, build a new model that makes the existing model obsolete.” In order to build a new model, the logic of the existing model must be identified and understood.

Drawing on RU’s model of customized support, Dirt & Debt will take the form of a think-tank/street studio model of cross-discipline exchange and collaboration. Artists will work from RU’s headquarters in Brooklyn and have the option to develop projects while taking part in weekly discussions, meetings, and mentored workshops with key professionals in the built environment, including climate and soil scientists, real estate financiers, municipal leaders, land use and policy experts, and others. Artists can apply and develop their creative practice and processes around issues such as climate change, alternative transportation models, new technologies towards land remediation, and the transitioning relationship of the city to exurban peripheries.

Dirt & Debt is offered in two 3-month residencies; the first session runs February 1-April 30, 2019, the second in 2020 (dates TBA). Each cycle brings together 4 US-based and 4 international artists.


– We are inviting applications from US-based artists only.
– Based on available funding, housing and travel stipends will be provided to selected artists if they are based outside of New York City. In addition we are planning for each selected artist to receive a stipend that will be determined in accordance to funds secured by RU.

Application and Selection Timeline

– June 1, 2018: Applications Open
– July 31, 2018: Applications Close
– August 24, 2018:  Applications Review by RU’s curatorial staff and external advisors
– September 6 snd 7, 2018: Interviews with the finalists
– October 1, 2018: Announcement of 4 selected US-based artists

Please provide the following  material via the Submission Form below:

– Contact information
– 500-word statement of interest
– Digital portfolio of 10-15 images (up to 5MB) and/or up to 90 seconds sound or video excerpts;
– CV and narrative bio
– Up to 5 URLs to a project website, social media, talks, reviews

Receipt of your submission will be confirmed by email. Please direct application concerns or questions to Natasa Prljevic, RU Executive and Curatorial Assistant:


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