February 12-May 9, 2021
Join us February 12, 1pm EST to launch our project UN/MUTE-10002 on
Polish Cultural Institute New York in collaboration with Undercurrent and EUNIC is proud to announce participation in the virtual residency of Polish artist Justyna Banaszczyk.
Creating a fair and equitable space after COVID shuttered artists from residencies, travel, studio visits, exhibitions, and physical networking, UN/MUTE is an online residency that provides artists an opportunity for a critical exchange and collaboration while simultaneously connecting resources from the global cultural epicenter of New York City. This project is co-organized by Undercurrent and the European Union National Institutes for Culture’s New York Cluster. It will go live on unmute.nyc on February 12, 2021, in concurrence with the Lunar New Year, and will continue through May 9th, celebrating Europe Day.
The online world that has emerged in response to the pandemic reshapes our de nition of social contact, obscures our private and public environments, and circumscribes the evolution of communication. UN/MUTE-10002 follows the narra tives of ten European artists who have never visited New York City and ten NYC-based artists, paired into teams of two, one European with one New Yorker. Additionally, one artist is a digital immigrant, born before 1986, and the other is a digital native, born into the world of web browsers and email, after 1986. Over a series of Zoom sessions, each team’s collective creative process will unfold in a series of video recordings.
Language serves as the rst cultural indicator of change. At constant risk of complete extermination, the Amazon is now more recognized as an online shopping platform than one of our planet’s richest natural resources. We stream video content into our living rooms while drinking bottled water branded with pictures of mountain springs, and our most priceless memories are hidden away in a cloud. We sit a virtual world apart from each other – far more than the recom
mended six feet – obscuring the socioeconomic divisions of race, color, national origin, gender identi cation, se xual orientation, religion, and age. The present state of being often sounds more like mythology or folklore than reality.
As the internet conditions our lifestyle, we aim to nd new normalcy amidst a shortage of vaccines, new virus strains, unsettling unemployment rates, and a Western world trying to mitigate racism and xenophobia during a delicate socio political epoch. Regardless of our facility with digital technologies, how do we progress without compromising the past? How can we learn from each other’s individual histories and experiences? Embodying inclusion, multilingualism, and digitalization, UN/MUTE provides an opportunity for two transatlantic strangers to collaborate on a singular project for a sustainable future.
Participating artists include: Eren Aksu (Germany), Aaron Bezzina (Malta), Will Calhoun (NYC), Sanne De Wilde (Flanders, Belgium), FOQL (Poland), Gabrielė Gervickaitė (Lithuania), Kris Grey (NYC), Sophie Guisset (Wallonia-Brussels, Belgium), Kyle Hittmeier (NYC), Mo Kong (NYC), Yi Hsuan Lai (NYC), H. Lan Thao Lam (NYC), Marie Lukáčová (Czech Republic), Olesja Katšanovskaja–Münd (Estonia), Sheila Maldonado (NYC), Barbara Maria Neu (Austria), Emmanuel Massillon (NYC), Alex Mirutziu (Romania), Emily Shanahan (NYC), and Sydney Shavers (NYC).
UN/MUTE-10002 is a project by EUNIC NY and Undercurrent, realized with financial support from EUNIC — European Union National Institutes for Culture — Europe’s network of national cultural institutes and organizations, with 36 mem bers from all EU member states. This project was initiated by the Lithuanian Culture Institute and the Consulate General of Estonia in New York and is co-organized by Austrian Cultural Forum New York, Wallonia-Brussels International in New York, Czech Center New York, Delegation of Flanders to the USA, Goethe-Institut New York, Arts Council Malta in New York, Polish Cultural Institute New York, Romanian Cultural Institute, the Hope Recycling Station, the Jindřich Chalupecký Society, and supported by the European Union Delegation to the United Nations.
More about UN/MUTE
Volume 1, entitled 10001
Was a 2020 pilot project which had asked 12 European artists with a wide variety of backgrounds including music/composition, dance, performance, film, and visual arts and with a connection to NYC from Austria, Belgium/Flanders, Malta, Estonia, Lithuania, and Poland to re-imagine NYC post March 20, 2020, when shelter in place orders were mandated and public and private life shifted to an online mode overnight. 10001 was successfully fulfilled through July – Sept, 2020 and can be viewed at 10001.undercurrent.nyc
Volume 2, entitled 10002
Aims to include 8 artists nominated by the EUNIC cluster countries partner countries which will be paired with NYC based artists nominated by Undercurrent. This project recognizes that artists worldwide face limitations to access and building a network within the global cultural “epicenter” of New York City. Providing an inclusive opportunity regardless of geography, financial limitation, disability, or age, UN/MUTE-10002, pairs one New York City based Artist and one EU based artist who has never visited New York City and who have never met each other before. One is a digital immigrant, born before 1985, and the other is a digital native born into a world of web browsers and email, after 85’. These two artists, divided by age and access to New York City are asked to collaborate on a singular project to imagine a sustainable future.
As a result of these online residencies, Volume 3 will be a physical, co-located exhibition at two contemporary art venues in New York City where a curated selection of these multidisciplinary projects that emerged in volumes 1 and 2 will be organized and presented for a three-month duration in the fall of 2021. Curated by a venerable NYC based curator the show will be simultaneously on display at the Austrian Cultural Forum in Manhattan and Undercurrent in Brooklyn, featuring different aspects of the themes at each venue.