The COVID-19 pandemic has posed challenges to the global art sector. It’s time to regroup, rebuild, and reconnect. From August to October 2021, we have launched this «To-gather» International Collaboration open call. This call supports 2–3-year collaborations between partners in Switzerland and in the regions of the Pro Helvetia liaison offices. We expect these 3 selected projects to have a critical reflection on the current situation, to share ideas towards more equal forms of exchange between cultures and across contexts, and to experiment with new formats for collaborating.
Focusing on the roles of arts and curation on the intersections of disciplines, the “UN-Curating: Arts and Interdisciplinary Collaboration” will build an interdisciplinary network through the 3-year collaborative work in writing, editing, discussing, and curating between the two journals UNArt 2020 and OnCurating.
UNArt 2020 and OnCurating have shared traditions in interdisciplinary discourses and international collaboration, and the joint project will examine the functions of arts and curation across branches of knowledge; build a network among the uncertain and turbulent relations to connect artists, curators, and art communities in China and Switzerland; explore new models of collaboration in the aftermath of the pandemic; and develop a common ground on which people from diverse professions and territories can exchange ideas.
UNArt 2020 and OnCurating will establish a joint working group and produce 10 issues throughout the period of 2022-2024. In each year, centered on different themes, the first issue will republish OnCurating’s previous articles, the second issue will commission international scholars to write new articles about interdisciplinary collaborations, and the third issue will be co-edited by independent artists, curators, and art academies selected by the group. The theme of the 2022 issues will be “Curating the Digital” and the following two years’ themes will analyze the worldwide arts environment from local and terrestrial perspectives.
In addition, artist-in-residence programs, seminars, and showcases will take place along with the digital journal. A printed catalog will also be produced and published toward the end of the project. These practices will have long-term impacts on exploring a collaborative mechanism and building a sustainable network of interdisciplinary collaboration.
OnCurating.org is a non-profit association based in Zurich, Switzerland. It runs the OnCurating Journal and exhibition space in Zurich (oncurating-space.org). The journal is independent with a focus on curating both on the web and in print. The publications are openly accessible on the website. It collaborates with different partner institutions.
To bridge the communications between the art circles in Switzerland and China and provide an alternative space for interdisciplinary writing, curating, art residency, and other art practices, the executive editors from UNArt 2020 and OnCurating will co-direct the editorial contents of the new joint journal, and through the platform together build a network that connects the emerging artists and curators from worldwide, especially in the local context and the area of operation. In this manner, the group will form a wider range of collaboration, establish solid relationships with different participating partners, and explore long-term new models of collaboration.
About the Team
As an institution that aims to encourage multidisciplinary discourses and promote collaborations of science, technology, and art education, the UNArt Center launched the Chinese/English online journal in Fall 2020. Since then, the journal has studied biotechnology, science fiction, new infrastructures, speculative design, and future collaboration with its five issues. And recently it launched its inaugural youth issue “Imagine-Create I” and co-curated interdisciplinary projects such as “UNLearn” and “Complexity-X.”
Project Co-curators: Fen Lei, Li Ruixuan
Project Director: Xie Wen
Executive Editors: Li Ruixuan, Dorothee Richter, Ronald Kolb
Interdisciplinary Researchers: Cao Xuefei, Liu Jia
(Banner image: Past issues of UNArt 2020. )