[ISEA2022] Paper: Sylvain Martet — Artistic residencies in digital companies


Full Paper. Session:Educations and Societies/ Electronic art in higher education and artistic residencies

Keywords: Artistic residency, creative industry, digital companies, artistic intervention, digital art

Artistic residencies outside the art world are a growing phenomenon. Our work is centered on an artistic residency program in digital companies in Montreal, Quebec and offer leads to understand why the different parties gets involved in this kind of program, while highlighting the good practices and the inherent challenges.

This paper aims to enrich the knowledge of artists’ residencies in digital companies, both to understand their particularities and to help develop methods to evaluate the processes and effects of these initiatives. The popularity of artists’ residencies has increased since the 1990s. This can be seen in the funding organizations that develop support programs but also in the diversity of the host institutions, community organizations and private companies that want to welcome artists and develop links with the art worlds. What explains this growth? What are the different parties involved looking for? What are the effects of these residencies on artistic careers? This research brings a particular attention to artists’ residencies in digital companies. Acting as a precursor in Quebec, the Conseil québécois des arts médiatiques (CQAM) set up its first residency in 2016 at the interactive media company Turbulent, followed the next year by another at the audiovisual entertainment company VYV and in 2018 by Milieux, an Institute of Arts and Technologies. Our research explores the ten residencies that have taken place to date, based on interviews with artists and company employees. A literature search was also conducted to better understand this growing phenomenon. Our work allows us to better understand what artists’ residencies in companies are, do and allow. The host companies seem to seek, in the presence of the artist, a force of reflection and change for the practices and rhythms of work. For artists, the main interest of residencies is the possibility to devote time and resources to a project. However, the link between these two worlds is not automatic and requires a strong commitment, which in turn requires the involvement of intermediary organizations.

  • Sylvain Martet holds a PhD in sociology from the Université du Québec à Montréal (CA). As a researcher, he has been involved for the past ten years in numerous research projects on cultural mediation practices, the impact of digital technology on cultural occupations and cultural participation. His work focuses on the circulation of music, particularly in a digital context. He is a member of the Observatory of Cultural Mediations (OMEC), of the Partnership Study for the Mediation of Music (EPMM), of the Interdisciplinary Observatory of Creation and Research in Music (OICRM), and of the International Association for the Study of Popular Music (IASPM). https://artenso.ca/en/homepage-english