I was interviewed for a-n when at the Triangle Conference a few weeks back in London:
Todd Lester, founding director of freeDimensional, an organisation that liaises with artist residencies providers to offer emergency and relief accommodation to activists in distress and one of the initiators of ICAHRSJ, does not think this is an issue. Whilst he asserts that the networked format “is inherently political and inherently deliberative”, he is not arguing that all networks are ideologically based. Lester confers, “We’ve had this meaning slide where network can mean everything. Residency can mean everything too. So you have to dig your heels in and know what you [personally] mean by network and by residency. Otherwise freeDimensional would have a foothold in two very loose terms”. Their way of resolving the issue of meaning was to have residency organisations and artist-run networks sign up to a ‘network ideology’ – to be available to be asked to host a persecuted artist at short notice for no charge. The overlapping of artistic practice and social responsibility become within freeDimensional a mutually elected ethos, the result of a conscious decision: the expectation exists because it has been formalised.