AHC supports and develops the field of practice-based research in Danish and international contexts, and this summer we launched the first three ‘micro institutes’. A micro institute is a new and unique format, and an alternative to academic programmes in practice-based research. It comprises a one- or two-year research grant for an artist, curator, or writer, enabling them to develop their practice through a focus on process and collaboration.
Any artistic, curatorial, or writing practice is constituted by a diversity of meetings, exchanges, and experiences, not all of which will be represented in the final work or exhibition. The concept of a micro institute is to focus on the working process and collaborative elements of a given practice and make them the points of departure for generating new learning and new methods – for both the practitioner and others. We believe this is a way of enhancing artistic experimentation.
In a nutshell, a micro institute will generally consist of a grant for one third of a full-time position in a one- or two-year period. It is a flexible framework, structured according to the theme and content of the project in question, involving feedback and guidance, practical and theoretical work, collaborations and discussions. There will be regular presentations of the project and its process in the forms of public knowledge sharing –workshops, seminars, publications, and exhibitions etc. – that in themselves contribute to augmenting and providing insight into the learning process. The micro institutes will be funded mainly by AHC, but preferably in collaboration with partner institutions.
For one of the first micro institutes, we’ve selected the project Ghost Agency by Anni Garza Lau and Gro Sarauw; a collaboration with a number of partners who help create cybersecurity for women in Mexico who are exposed to violence. In this newsletter, Gro Sarauw outlines the numerous dimensions of the project, and how it grapples with the murky aspects of surveillance capitalism.