At the Art center, education is in progress at all times – it is our day-to-day living and working process that intertwines with specific projects, workshops on-site or long-term program, initiated through collaboration or on our own.
It’s all interconnected. And all happening at the same time.
Most of our projects and programs happen in collaboration/through our social network with people from different backgrounds, professions and rainbow of interests.
We are looking for new models in developing the Art center and support pilot projects that we can bring to a new level together.
And we are interested in just about anything.
Art & Sustainability
Art is one of the basic gradients of our world. It changes us – our habitual ways of looking, moving, talking etc. and ways of thinking are challenged by emancipatory values of art. Art dares us to see and understand things differently.
Art doesn’t make a difference… until it does.
The idea of sustainable development (financial, social and environmental) requires a radical change in our culture/consumer society and lifestyle. We see development as an intertwining of art and ecology through transdisciplinary research and education.
Connected with individual and collective experiences, art is influencing culture in so many ways. Art can be at the heart of sustainable worldview; ecological question is – above all – a question of culture and consciousness and there lies it’s transformativve power.
Art is about taking visions and turning them ito reality, along the way combining thinking with doing. We are nurturing confidence that art is one of rare fields that show us possibilities with how to understand and live sustainably.
Residencies & the Ecosystem of contemporary art
Residential art centers are spaces commited to artistic creation. They offer living and working conditions for guest artists – time and space, equipment, technical and organizational help for realization of artistic projects.
Residencies for individual artists or groups can last from few days or weeks to one year, sometimes even more. Since there are usually more artists living and working together at the same time – from different fields and environments – they share experiences, information, ideas and knowledge. Residential art centers are therefore stimulative production spaces for in-depth reflection and critical encounters.
Art centers are internationally oriented spaces thus at the same time connected to the local environment and its contexts. In many other countries in Europe and worldwide residential art centers and Artist in Residence programs (AiR) are successfully functioning for decades as spaces that ensure artistic development and mobility of artists.
Next to their basic role, art centers usually offer also additional public program and activities such as organizing cultural events, presentations, lectures, workshops etc. for residents and wider public, collaborate by developmental, ecological, scientific projects…
First art center in Slovenia
Worldwide there are more than many, each unique and special in its own way. In Slovenia, Art center in Središče/Szerdahely is yet the first and only one.
Art center is situated in NE part of Slovenia, Goričko area of Prekmurje. Prekmurje is mainly an agricultural region, with the highest rate of unemployment, low educational level and high depopulation level.
Art center tries to be actively involved part of the local and wider community through cultural offers (exhibitions, creative workshops, concerts, cinema), educational workshops and in its’ own way fights against isolation and marginalization of rural areas through artistic & developmental projects and the use of innovative approaches.
Art center embraces and connects:
- Artist in Residence (AiR) program
- center for informal education & development
- ecological center
We work on local, national and international level and bring together people from different countries, cultures, backgrounds, professions etc. and encourage mutual understanding. We promote mobility, voluntary work and informal education.
One of our missions is to gather knowledge and encourage discourse on art centers & residencies and their increasingly important role as support structures in the field of contemporary art today.
Another important aspect connected to art residencies we are dealing with are their impacts. Experimentation and research without predefined end results or academic framework, involved extended (and sometimes not intended) networks and communities, transdisciplinarity and transcultural dialogue, all escape accepted means of quantifiable measures, recognition and articulation.
Our vision of sustainable development of Art center goes two ways – within and beyond:
- Development of the institution: finishing the art center complex, ensuring fully functional artist-run institution (management & organization, staff, funding), meeting point/brainstorming center
- Local, national & international networking: individuals, institutions, organisations
- Implementation of transdisciplinary discourse and research results in wider environment
- Collaboration on development of sustainable cultural policies on local, national and international level
Transdisciplinarity is a holistic research approach offering solutions to new and complex (global) concerns such as climate change, sustainability etc. and extending to areas concerning science, social problems, technology, policies, education and the arts, among many others.
Transdisciplinarity is a way of tackling problems that are in dire need of creative solutions, engaged involvement and socially responsible science. It represents unity of knowledge beyond disciplines.
Think transdisciplinary. Think change.
We’ve first come across the term transdisciplinarity through a cross-border cooperation project and have fallen in love with the concept of transdisciplinary work and its potential. It is how we want to work.
Artist as activist
Artist brain is a special kind of brain, encouraging us to see things from different angles, enabling us to tackle things from another kind of view and providing insights to problem solving other proffessions might not.
Our understanding of an artist is broadly defined – it’s not so much about the genre but the ability to be effective in terms of the project/idea you want to pursue.
We are studying and experimenting with new ways of living, working and learning in our daily lives and as a form of creative/artistic practice.
Our educational work encourages a certain sense of sobriety – leading us to respect the natural cycles and to the appreciation of nature, while based upon scientific knowledge of today and being aware of the effects of the deterioration of the environment and of its tolerance capacity.
Development of Art center is deeply connected with environmental sustainability through ecological building, energy systems, water treatment, landscape use and cultivation, and artistic content as well.
While trying to limit and improve our environmental impact, we are joining movements demanding the same of government policies and corporations.
Association ONEJ and the team of Art center decided that the time to rethink our dependencies has come and to find alternatives for future development of the institution.
Decision to fully self-build presented a chance to create a different approach to working and living conditions by expressing ourselves and changing our lifestyles. It brought us back to the knowledge of our ancestors, understanding the basics of human existance and embracing the challenges of our time.
Self-building is uniquely rewarding, with minimal impact and maximum well-being.
Ecological building of Art center has been a continuous process since 2005, when german craftsmen guild Axt & Kelle helped us build the residential house till 3rd construction phase (foundations, walls, floor, roof). Since then, Art center organized several ecological building workshops with natural materials (wood, clay, straw, reed plates) and we will continue to do so in the coming years.
Reedbed waste water management
In most of the villages in Goričko region there are no sewage water treatment systems except individual and pontual septic tanks.
Different pollutants from the households and other toxic substances (pesticides, artificial fertilizers) end up poluting natural sources of drinking water and soil and are consequently found in the food we eat. Because of their excessive use, a high number of cancer conditions is present in Prekmurje region.
A reed-bed waste water management system is an engineered structure that harnesses natural ecological processes for the breakdown of the organic matter in wastewater.
Art center started to build a biological system for sewage water treatment in 2012 together with participants of ecological building workshop that took place during July and September.
When finished, the project will treat the Art center’s sewage by the end of 2016 and serve as a pilot project to promote ecological sewage treatment system in the local environment.
Food for thought: Soil as creative material of life
By being intimately connected to our environment, plants and animals, nature is sculpting our lives in so many ways.
Gardening is about learning how to work in harmony with the seasons and seasonal transitions, the moon and daily weather. It is teaching us about life, death, decay and regeneration – change as the one certain thing of life.
Being our own small informal growers of food makes us a part of agricultural revitalization and decentralisation, sharing through alternative economies (such as gift exchange, barter and community supported models) and a certain level of economic stability. We are proud to be actively involved in food sovereignty movements.
The idea of sharing knowledge, ideas, thoughts and worlds is freedom of communication, education and entertainment. Access to information is at the core of our institution.
Workshops & Study visits
In the past we offered numerous wide-ranging workshops in different fields (art, ecology, social sciences, etc) and possibility of study visits (students, internships). Art center is actually a living laboratory.
Although we have limited resources at the moment, we are open to all sorts of collaborations with individuals as well as organizations and institutions.
All our future calls for participation will be published on our website and through our networks.
Art center’s Library
We are very proud to have a small, but growing library – most of our books were donated by numerous authors, individuals and organizations.
Art center’s library offers access to a wide range of publications, books, music and films.
Coming soon: on-line database of all library materials available at the Art center!
Use our knowledge & skills
Look no further for creative problem solving, consulting & idea development or design.
If we connect with your idea/project and share a common goal or vision, we gladly offer our skills and help you with realization – contact us on our e-mail and we’ll see what we can do.