A three-month high mountain art and research residency program responding to the impact of environmental crises on communities in the Swiss Alps.
ALTER- is a three-month residency in Chandolin, a village perched at an altitude of 2,000 meters in the Val d’Anniviers, that invites one transdisciplinary team of artists and researchers a year to rethink and respond to growing environmental crises and their associated social, economic, and cultural shifts. Each team will spend twelve weeks exploring the valley, learning from local villagers, developing work that will be publicly shared on a weekly basis, and presenting a final project. While the residency builds on this locale, the work and wisdom generated by each team could have far-reaching implications for high-mountain communities around the world.
What’s happening to the cycle of seasons in the Alps as the frozen earth thaws?
How will the loss of glaciers affect water availability for farming and hydroelectricity? What do the valley residents remember about the plants and animals of their youth? What is gone, and what has taken its place? How can we live together with more-than-humans in the land we share?
This is just a sampling of questions ALTER-, a three-month residency responding to the environmental crises in the Alps, invites each team selected annually to explore. Now, more than ever, we need transdisciplinary artists and researchers to challenge our perceptions of the rapidly evolving climate paradigm and motivate us to find new knowledge and new ways of living.
Once ALTER- selects a team, you will begin your residency in the village of Chandolin. Curators Julie Beauvais and Horace Lundd will connect you to local villagers, who will introduce you to the land, culture, history, and environmental issues. For the next 11 weeks, you will work throughout the Val d’Anniviers to develop site-specific research, pausing every Saturday to informally share your discoveries with the villagers and special guests in a different location. The sharings can include the villagers and be a photo slideshow, discussion, improvised performance, workshop, installation, or whatever creative format you envision. These events will most certainly involve regional dishes and flavors!
At the end of three months, you will present a final project in Chandolin to a broad audience from the whole region. From 2023 onwards, this closing event will be co-produced by our partner festival, who will also help promote the event regionally, nationally, and internationally. The residency includes financial support for the 6 to 11 informal events and closing presentation.
Unlike many residencies, in which participants work in isolation, ALTER- takes a different approach. It is not uncommon for those most affected by climate change to be excluded from policymaking, research, on-the-ground solutions, and other approaches to addressing environmental, social, and economic shifts. However, our neighbors of the Val d’Anniviers are living with these shifts and are ready to be equal partners. Active, inclusive, sustained engagement with them is essential to developing your work. Depending on your focus, you might collaborate with a dairy farmer, botanist, local historian, or woodworker, and the ALTER- curators will help you connect to the right partners.
In addition, we do not view the weekly sharings as a one-way conversation in which you report on your latest findings. Instead, we envision meaningful connections and stimulating dialogues in which you benefit from local villagers’ perspectives and lived experiences as much as they do from your explorations. Together we can give voice to the unheard.
Because there is no one solution to environmental change and its impacts, ALTER- will consider teams that cross disciplines, including visual/sound/performing/media arts, architecture, writing, environmental studies, the biological sciences, the humanities, and more. Teams may focus on themes as broad-reaching as changing ecosystems, their impact on human and non-human communities, and social, environmental, technological, or economic solutions for thriving in the face of loss.
ALTER- was conceived by artists Julie Beauvais and Horace Lundd, in collaboration with Sarah Huber, and co-created with the residents of Val d’Anniviers. With over 20 years of combined experience, Julie and Horace have been collaborating with local communities, artists, and researchers on nearly every continent working at the intersection of the arts, spiritualities, indigenous knowledge, and worldviews. Now, as full-time residents of Chandolin, a village in Val d’Anniviers, they are returning home — turning their global lens on a shifting planet to the sweeping landscapes, humans, and non-humans right outside their door.
The summer 2022 application process is now closed.
We will announce the deadline for the 2023 residency in October 2022.
Questions about the residency can be addressed to email@example.com.