Second open call Hydromedia

This is the second open call for the Hydromedia-residency project, supported by the Creative Europe-programme of the European Union. The second residency period will take place at the HKU Utrecht from 2 until 31 October 2023. The deadline for applying is June 18th, 2023.






2–31 OKTOBER 2023






The unfolding climate crisis is also a crisis of the image and the imagination. Scientific and jour- nalistic imagery alone doesn’t seem to communicate a sense of urgency. Such imagery can be either too complicated or overwhelming. We need more artistic imagination as well as practical means to stimulate ecological imagination beyond the arts.


The artist-in-residency program Hydromedia: Seeing With Water proposes to sidestep conven- tional visual approaches to global warming. We invite artists and experimental photographers
to submit a proposal to develop innovative and hands-on tools during a one-month residency in October 2023 at the Utrecht University of the Arts (HKU) and in their own studio in the months thereafter. You may extend an already existing practice or propose to make new work pertaining to the theme.


The guiding theme is water (in whatever manifestation you prefer) and the residency will be multidisciplinary. You explore your preferred angle to this theme within local settings. During the residency you will also be offered the possibility to collaborate with (or get inspired by) the work of scientists and ecologists around water and sustainable water management.


We invite you to explore and develop innovative ways of looking at (or with) water by using an- alog and/or digital means. The creative process must be documented and processed into a type of artistic protocol, so the work will give a wider audience the tools to reimagine their relationship to nature. Furthermore, such an approach stimulates reflection on the conditions of the employed media, how a medium co-shapes us and how water could be considered a medium, too.


The Hydromedia project consists of three residency periods (four selected artists per residency): The Royal Academy of Fine Arts in Antwerp (Belgium) in April 2023, the Utrecht University of the Arts (HKU) in Utrecht (The Netherlands) in October 2023, and the Hochschule für Gestaltung in Karlsruhe (Germany) in the spring of 2024. Within a few months after each residency there will be a small exhibition in the vicinity of the residency location showing the works as developed during and shortly after the working period. In the fall of 2024 the work of all 12 participants will be shown together in a curated group show at the Dresden Museum of Technology and Industry (Germany).


This is the open call for the second residency period, at the Utrecht University of the Arts (HKU) in Utrecht (The Netherlands) in October 2023. The open call for the third residency period, to be held at the Hochschule für Gestaltung (HfG) in Karlsruhe (Germany) in the spring of 2024, will be announced soon.


Four artists will be selected per residency location. Each artist receives a € 2000 fee, a € 2000 working budget, as well as reimbursement of travel costs. Accommodation and subsistence will also be provided for.




ABOUT THE SECOND RESIDENCY PERIOD – the city of Utrecht and it’s surroundings

The city of Utrecht and its wider surroundings, nearly located in the geographical center of the Netherlands, are located on ecological borderlines, including multiple waterways and various soil types, from clay and peat to the sandy grounds of the more hilly area further east. The city itself contains canals, rivers and some smaller streams, and of course the bodies of its human and non-human inhabitants for whom water is vitally important. In recent years, several scientific and crowd-sourced studies have pointed out, however, that the quality of the Dutch surface waters

is sub-standard. The residency period in Utrecht runs from 2 October 2023 through 31 October 2023. After the residency period the selected artists will have some time to further develop their work, which will be shown in a local exhibition starting in January or February 2024.
The deadline to apply for the residency at the Utrecht University of the Arts is set for 18 June 2023, 23:59 CET. Applicants will be notified within two weeks after the deadline has closed about the results.


—You are an active visual artist currently living and working in Europe and/or possess the nationality of one of the countries in the European Union. Traveling by train or bus is preferred. —You are available for the entire period of the residency and committed to presenting the work at the local exhibition in early 2024.

—You have a thorough working knowledge of English so you can collaborate with others during the project.
—You are willing to share your working methods with the general public (via the paper publications that will be launched during the exhibitions) and provide the team with representative documentation for the project’s website and social media throughout the Hydromedia timeline.


Your application should be submitted before 18 June 2023, 23:59 CET by sending it to this email address: [email protected]
The application should contain:
A motivation letter (max. 500 words) explaining why you wish to participate in this project

A short bio (max. 200 words)
A portfolio containing a representative selection of recent work (please link to the portfolio in Dropbox or by using a filesender — do not email us large files)
For questions concerning the application, please get in touch at [email protected]


The application submitted will be judged by a professional jury working for the project partners. Selected artists will receive notification of acceptance in the week of 26 June 2023.
The decision of the jury is final and cannot be discussed.

SELECTED ARTISTS receive remuneration for the travel, accommodation and subsistence during the residency period, receive an artist’s fee of € 2000 as well as a working budget of € 2000 for the production of their work(s).
Selected artists are expected to:

—be present at and collaborate actively during the research residency
—available for online meetings after the residency for feedback and follow up of the work in progress
—keep a visual diary of their process
—describe their working method and share it with the general public
—promote the project via their websites and social media profiles
—participate in the local exhibition and the final group exhibition in Dresden
—fulfill requirements concerning financial reporting

Sjoerd Knibbeler, Untitled, 2023