Published: Nov. 15, 2017

CU Boulder's Department of Religious Studies, CU Libraries and Archives, CU Art Museum, Center for Humanities and the Arts (CHA), Center for Western Civilization, Thought & Policy (CWCTP), along with the Louis P. Singer Fund for Jewish History and several departments, are proud to launch a call for proposals for Archive Transformed: A CU Boulder Artist/Scholar Collaborative Residency.

This residency is the first of its kind, bringing together artists and scholars to take archival material, broadly conceived, and transform or reimagine it to create new knowledge. The archive under investigation can reflect the history of an individual, family or institution—whether a government institution, non-governmental organization or community group.

Some examples would be a business; a hospital and its MRI archive; a Native American community; a church, synagogue or mosque; or a photographer’s archive full of negatives. Importantly, if the artist/scholar collaboration chooses to work with a particular individual, institution, or community, either the scholar or artist (or both) should ideally have a relationship with that entity.

The residency is wide-ranging and can bring together anyone from a neuroscientist interpreting fMRIs working with a painter who visualizes the brain to a historian investigating slave trading routes and a musician working with music that reflects the slave experience. These collaborations will take archival material and transform it for the 21st century in some innovative way, whether musical, filmic, dance, visual, digital or other modes of presentation not yet imagined.

The inaugural residency

For this inaugural year, we will invite up to six collaborations (12 people) to participate in this all-expenses-paid residency (travel, lodging and food). Freelancers, either artists or scholars, will be additionally compensated for their time. In addition, funding will be available for the dissemination of these projects.

Archive Transformed is a five-day residency in which all artists and scholars will come to CU Boulder residing in two-bedroom apartments at Chautauqua, which has a history of university-community collaboration going back to the 19th century.

The first half-day will be devoted to learning about the resources that CU has available and then to start working on the project. Breakfasts and dinners will be communal and will involve a morning agenda setting for the collaborators and a dinner-time check-in about what was accomplished. These communal meals will also give time for cross-collaborative synergies, as each pair might have ideas for the others.

The conclusion of the residency will be a public presentation of the “archive transformed” innovative product that will have been incubated at CU Boulder. This raw work will be a project that the collaborators can take with them as they present the material to the broader public and, when relevant, to the community whose material they were working with. 

​ If you apply

For full consideration for your collaborative residency, the following must be received by Jan. 4 to

  • CV for each collaborator (two can be in residence, but more than two people can be involved in the collaboration)
  • Description of the proposed project that responds to the following (750 words maximum):
    • What is the project, and identify your archive, broadly conceived?
    • What will be the impact of your proposed project on yourselves and your audiences, and (if you’re working with one) your institution/community/individual who provided the archival material?
    • How have you two worked together in the past? What do each of you bring to the project and how to you imagine learning from each other?
    • What does the project need, in terms of technical/space support, for it to be most successful? Think black box theater, digital platforms, projection equipment, stages, gallery space, laboratory, pen and paper, etc.

The evaluation committee will take into account the criteria outlined by our advisory team:

  • How is the archive being transformed for the 21st century?
  • Is it being done in a way that redefines the meaning of a creative work?
  • Are there relationships with the individual or institutional archive being presented?
  • Is there enough of a relationship between the collaborators to lead to a meaningful product after the residency?
  • How impactful is the presentation plan for both the artist/scholar and, if relevant, the institution or community?
  • Priority will be given to pairs who have at least one current CU affiliate involved in the collaboration, so if this applies to your collaboration, please state so.