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Frontiers in retreat
Multidisciplinary approaches to ecology in contemporary art

Frontiers in Retreat, a five-year EU project coordinated by HIAP – Helsinki International Artist Programme fosters dialogue on ecological issues within a new European network of artist residencies. The aim of the project is to broaden the understanding of global ecological changes and their local impacts on European natural environments by means of contemporary artistic practices and a multidisciplinary approach. The project will take place in 2013–2018.

The partners invite twenty contemporary artists from various parts of Europe for research and production residencies in seven European residency centres. During the residencies the artists move within the residency network, research the particular ecological contexts of the sites, exchange knowledge between diverse disciplines in incubator workshops, and develop new artworks. An extensive outreach and education programme as well as several exhibitions communicate the residency processes to diverse audiences. There will also be a web platform, a publication, and a permanent archive out of all the research processes at each residency location.

Frontiers in Retreat responds to an urgency to rediscover relationship with environments that are decreasing in permanent inhabitation while at the same time becoming under increasing attention for various ecological and economic reasons. These specific “natural environments” within Europe, supposedly detached from the urban areas, are approached in the project as sites where global ecological changes in their complexity become apparent and negotiable.

The residency activities start in the Autumn 2013.

The project is made possible by the EU Culture Programme. It supports Frontiers in Retreat by 1,1 million euros, thus covering 50 per cent of its total budget. The EU funding is allocated between the eight project partners.

Project Organisers


HIAP ry; Finland