Schlosspost is an English-language online platform for a global audience of young artists and those interested in the arts. Part of the Digital Solitude program, the website was founded in 2015 by the international artist residence Akademie Schloss Solitude and focuses on communicating content from the Solitude network in the fields of art and science. It also supports new digital talents and their projects. The Digital Solitude program provides fellowships for artists, designers, and web-based media researchers and offers online »web residencies.«
Akademie Schloss Solitude is a public-law foundation supporting an interdisciplinary and international artist-in-residence program featuring residency and work fellowships for young artists, scientists, and economists. Since opening its doors in 1990, the Akademie has supported more than 1,400 fellows from over 120 countries from a wide array of disciplines, including architecture, visual arts, performing arts, design, literature, music and sound, time- and web-based media, humanities, social sciences, and economics. Residencies at Akademie Schloss Solitude allow fellows to devote themselves to their research projects under favorable material and intellectual conditions. In tune with the castle’s location, history, and name, Solitude is a retreat and »free zone« for art and life.
Schlosspost contributors come from all artistic disciplines and science, including current and former fellows, jurors, journalists, curators, and web residents. They run their own blog projects reflecting on their artistic research, show works-in-progress in studio visits, or contribute to ongoing online editions with topics discussed at Akademie Schloss Solitude in art and science, digital/net art, net culture as well as Internet, technology, and society.
Editorial team: Clara Herrmann & Judith Engel
Web Residencies by Solitude & ZKM
The web residencies program was initiated by Akademie Schloss Solitude in 2016 to support young talents from the international digital scene, and artists of all disciplines who deal with web-based practices. These present the process and results of their work online on the platform www.schloss-post.com. For each call, curators select four people or teams for a four-week web residency, each of which is rewarded with 500 USD.
Three times a year, calls with different focuses – themes might include virtual reality, artificial intelligence, or surveillance technologies – are developed in the web residency framework. In two years, approximately 550 artists, coders, designers, technologists, and scientists have submitted ideas.
What are international Internet creatives working on? What topics drive their work? What are their questions? And what artistic answers to developments in technology, society, and the Internet do they provide?
So far the residents have produced work that was poetic, political, experimental, and even utopian. The works are primarily situated in the interstitial space between critique and optimism, reality and fiction. They reveal the tensions of technology and humans, intervene into common narrations of the Internet and society, or create space for new imaginations of another future. They reflect the role of art and its institutions in the age of the Internet and digital (re-)production.
Since 2017, Solitude has organized the web residencies with ZKM | Center for Art and Media Karlsruhe. Solitude as an artist residency and the ZKM as a museum and place of artistic research and development merge their expertise and practice to work together on the program. Both institutions consider online artist residencies a relevant format for supporting artists in a globalized art world shaped by digitalization. The program is designed to be open, shaped by the ideas, concepts, and methods of a scene that operates beyond the mainstream art establishment.
Web residencies’ focus is not in the finished art piece; artists are rather invited to experiment with digital technologies and new art forms within a defined thematic framework. They’re in direct exchange with the professional network of both institutions as well as a broad digital public which in turn gets immediate access to the artists’ works. This format allows a decentralized and international discussion on topics set by the invited curators from the worlds of digital arts, net culture, and digital technology and society.
Program coordinators are Clara Herrmann (Solitude) and Margit Rosen (ZKM).
Production Prize HASH
The Akademie Schloss Solitude, Stuttgart, and the ZKM | Center for Art and Media Karlsruhe have jointly established the HASH award, an international prize for Net Art for Internet-based projects in the fields of art, technology, and design.
Inspired by the Hash value from information technology, which is unique for each file and used as a test value for data transfer, the HASH award stands for project excellence. The production prize was awarded for the first time to one of the 2016/17 web residents on February 15, 2018, at ZKM.
The 8,000-euro prize is donated by the Foundation of the Landesbank Baden-Württemberg.
All works by the web residencies are also shown in the »Open Codes« exhibition at ZKM.
Videos from the last HASH award can be found here.
Digital Solitude Fellowships
As part of the Digital Solitude program, Akademie Schloss Solitude awards fellowships in the field of web-based media to artists, developers/coders, designers, as well as journalists and all other creatives and professionals who work on the development of new digital content and formats. Among former fellows were Rosa Menkman, Sebastian Schmieg, Fei Liu, Taietzel Ticalos, Netro (Ole Fach, Kim Asendorf, Jana Lange), Elisabeth Weydt, Adityan Melekalam, Andrius Lekavicius.
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The Digital Solitude program with fellowships and the online platform Schlosspost are supported by the State Ministry of Baden-Wuerttemberg for Science, Research and the Arts.