Introduction to AIR
AIR at LACI is a one-of-a-kind residency program inviting Los Angeles based fine artists to work alongside innovators and thought leaders who are addressing issues of climate change, sustainability and related issues; resulting in an approachable interdisciplinary dialogue, and a new way of investigating global environmental problems and solutions.
Situated in the heart of Los Angeles’ Arts District, AIR completes LACI’s innovation community by introducing fine artists to a thriving environment: where entrepreneurs, engineers, environmental organizations and policy makers collaborate, promote and support the development of clean technologies.
AIR supports Los Angeles based artists whose work addresses ideas of agriculture, environment, energy, transportation, waste, water and related themes. In bringing together thought leaders from various disciplines, we align expertise, experience, creativity and innovation to address global environmental problems. 2018 is the inaugural year of AIR. The two artists selected from this year’s open call, along with Lead Artist and Program Director Debra Scacco, will play a pivotal role in shaping this pioneering program for years to come.
The benefits of the 6-month residency are multitiered and include:
— $10,000 stipend to research and develop artwork centered around climate change, sustainability and related themes
— Access to leading minds working in agriculture, environment, energy, transportation, waste, water and related themes
— Training and access to over $10M of prototyping equipment in the Advanced Prototyping Center (APC)
Mission and Goals
- 1. AIR, the Artist-in-Residence Program at Los Angeles Cleantech Incubator (LACI), empowers innovation by uniting the creative and cleantech communities in the shared aim of addressing global environmental problems and empowering underrepresented communities through outreach and professional development programming.
- 2. AIR provides Los Angeles based artists with access to new tools, technologies, and subject matter experts in the fields of climate change, sustainability and related themes.
- 3. AIR sparks new collaborations between artists and LACI’s Portfolio Companies and Resident Experts working across diverse disciplines (i.e. agriculture, environment, energy, transportation, waste, water and related themes).
- 4. AIR encourages dialogue and community engagement at the interplay of technology, sustainability, and the arts across Los Angeles and beyond.
Origin of AIR
The origin of AIR is as unique as the program itself. In fall 2016, Debra Scacco, an artist making work about water and the built environment, took a public tour of LACI. On seeing the APC and reflecting on the Arts District location, she immediately suggested becoming the first LACI Artist-in-Residence. In conversation with LACI SVP Ben Stapleton, the two recognized the potential to grow this idea. Scacco would lead the development of a robust, one-of-a-kind program merging the creative community with the incredible intellectual and mechanical resources at LACI.
Now, one year later, Debra will not only be among the first Resident Artists, but is also AIR Program Director; tending to every developmental detail since day one. And in addition to his ongoing dedication to building the program, Ben became a significant early financial supporter of AIR.
The genesis of AIR is rooted in collaboration, generosity and the vision to pursue what we know to be possible.
The Ideal Candidate
AIR is rooted in research, collaboration, and exploration.
The ideal Resident Artist (RA) will encompass the following:
- 1. Have the capacity to work in a truly multidisciplinary form: instinctively rotating between researcher (in collaboration with LACI’s portfolio of clean technology startup companies), student (when learning new mechanical techniques in the APC), studio artist (when ideas and process integrate into the artist’s wider Los Angeles based studio practice) and communicator (when discussing their work and learning with the public).
- 2. Willingness to collaborate with campus members to challenge ways of thinking and expand practices across all disciplines.
- 3. Instigate discussion around sustainability related issues in a way other disciplines simply cannot.
- 4. Be a strategic thinker, challenger of ideas, interdisciplinary collaborator and entrepreneur in their own right.
- 5. Seek to plant intellectual seeds and grow relationships that will have tangible impact in Los Angeles and beyond.
Professional artists from all backgrounds and of all disciplines are invited to apply.
Please see Eligibility Criteria for further information.
AIR offers Resident Artists (RA):
- 1. Full access to a professional prototyping facility within a clean technology startup environment.
- 2. Full training for software and equipment in the APC. (No previous experience is necessary. Artists new to prototyping are actively encouraged to apply.) Further details on the APC can be found here.
- 3. A stipend of $10,000 over 6 months.
- 4. A one-time materials stipend of $1,000.
- 5. A consumables stipend of up to $2,000 for materials used in the APC.
- 6. Access to LACI’s network of entrepreneurs, innovators and thought leaders.
Responsibilities of RA:
- 1. Presence on campus 12 hours per week or more. LACI and the APC are open Monday – Friday, 9 AM – 7 PM. Weekend access to the APC is currently unavailable.
- 2. RA must maintain their studio or home workspace throughout the residency.
- 3. RA may be requested to host a studio visit with AIR Committee members and key supporters.
- 4. RA will create a limited edition work using APC equipment at some stage of the making process. Half of the edition will be retained by the artist; half of the edition will be donated to LACI. Edition sizes will be discussed and agreed with each artist on an individual basis. Artists retain copyright of their work at all times.
- 5. RA will participate in a culminating Work-in-Progress exhibition and group panel discussion (both free and open to the public) to discuss their experience of inter-disciplinary collaboration and learning.
- 6. RA may be requested to attend intermittent status meetings in order to discuss progress, successes and challenges.
- 7. RA will take part in a week long training and orientation of the APC, where they will become familiar with equipment operations and capabilities. Training is required even if artists have previous experience with similar equipment.
- 8. AIR is planting seeds to enable the development and creation of far-reaching artwork about climate change, sustainability and related themes. We would like the ability to check in with RA periodically after the residency period has ended; in order to see where the seeds we have planted may grow.
About the Limited Edition
The creation and sharing of a limited edition work using APC equipment is an important part of AIR.
Artists’ generosity in participating in the shared limited edition will achieve the following:
- 1. Provide LACI with a clear way to tell the story of AIR.
- 2. Build a collection of artworks about climate change, sustainability and related themes that can be shared with the public.
- 3. Build a collection of works to be loaned to exhibitions, museums, institutions, etc. in order to raise awareness and instigate discussion around climate change, sustainability and related themes.
Artists retain full copyright of their work at all times.
- 1. Artists must have completed education a minimum of five (5) years prior to applying, or display equivalent professional experience through submitted portfolio and/or CV. Higher education and/or gallery representation are not required. Current students and recent graduates are not eligible for AIR.
- 2. Artists must be available during LACI business hours and regularly on-site for the entirety of the six (6) month residency. Artists are requested to be present on campus 12 hours or more per week. LACI/APC hours of operation are Monday – Friday, 9am – 7pm.
- 3. Artists’ work must have the capacity to raise awareness around climate change, sustainability and related themes.
- 4. AIR is for individual artists only. We regret that we cannot currently accommodate artist teams or artists’ assistants.
- 5. Artists must continue to maintain their studio or home workspace throughout the residency period. AIR does not provide dedicated artist studio space.
- 6. Preference will be given to artists who have been resident in the LA area for a minimum of three years.
LACI does not discriminate against qualified applicants based upon any protected group status, including but not limited to race, color, creed, religion, sex, national origin, ancestry, age, marital status, military or veteran status, sexual orientation, physical or mental disability or medical condition as defined by applicable equal opportunity laws. Artists of all backgrounds are encouraged to apply
We encourage all artists considering applying to the program to attend a public tour of the facility. Tours take place every Friday at 12 PM. Register online for a public tour here. Please note: this is not an AIR-specific tour, but will provide an overview of the work done at LACI and the capability of the APC.
An open Q&A session will take place at LACI on Thursday, February 1st. 5PM – 7PM. RSVP here.
Learn more about LACI and the APC on our website.
The ideal Resident Artist will have the capacity to work in a true multidisciplinary form: instinctively rotating between researcher (in collaboration with LACI’s network of innovators and thought leaders), student (when learning new mechanical techniques in the APC), studio artist (when ideas and process integrate into the artist’s studio practice) and communicator (when discussing their work and learnings with the public).
Each application will be judged on the following criteria:
- 1. Potential of the proposed project to benefit from the technical and intellectual capital that LACI has to offer. Strong proposals will make reference to the specific tools of the Advanced Prototyping Center and to LACI’s network of professionals and/or areas of specialization (energy, transportation, waste, water, air quality, agriculture and related themes).
- 2. Potential of the proposed project to stimulate dialogue around ideas of climate change, sustainability and related themes. Related, but not limited, to energy, transportation, waste, water, air quality, environment and related themes.
- 3. Potential of the proposed project to engage a collaborative environment and contribute to interdisciplinary conversations, with a particular focus on climate change, sustainability and related themes.
- 4. Applicant’s commitment to an ongoing creative practice as evidenced in an artist’s portfolio and experience.
- 5. Applicant’s potential for growth within a research-led environment.
- 6. Applicant’s ability to articulate ideas clearly and concisely.
AIR aims to reflect the racial, ethnic and gender diversity of Los Angeles. Artists of all cultural and economic backgrounds are encouraged to apply.
Applications are available here through the LACI website. No fee is required to apply.
Online applications must be completed in a single session. Only one (1) proposal per applicant is allowed.
We recommend preparing the application offline, then copy/pasting into the online form when complete.
Please note: Formatting will not be retained in the online application.
Application components are as follows:
- 1. Artist Statement (1,000 characters maximum)
Please provide a brief summary of your practice. You may discuss this in both conceptual and material terms. Feel free to reference previous projects that you feel may be relevant to your application.
- 2. Project Proposal (3,000 characters maximum)
Please provide a brief proposal indicating your interest in AIR. Please specify:
A. Area(s) of interest (energy, transportation, waste, water, air quality, agriculture and related themes)
B. How you would benefit from becoming a Resident Artist
C. The capacity of the work to raise awareness of climate change,sustainability and related themes.
D. Ways in which you may utilize LACI’s network of innovators and thought leaders (particular research ideas, collaborative opportunities, etc). You will find a list of LACI Portfolio Companies here.
- 3. Artist CV/Resume (max. 15,000 characters maximum)
Please note: formatting will not be retained in the application form.
- 4. Three (3) professional references with contact information.
Please note: references will only be contacted for short-listed applicants. Formal letters of recommendation are not required at this time.
- 5. Portfolio: Ten (10) images including descriptions of up to 550 characters per work. Please utilize this space to share the ideas behind the work, including any relevant research or production methods.
- – JPEG format
- – Mac and PC compatible
- – Maximum 1920 pixels on the longest side.
- – Title each image with [last name][first name][image number]. For example, SmithAlex01.jpg.,
- – Do not insert multiple photos into one image.
Online applications will be accepted from Tuesday January 16, 2018 through Friday February 16, 2018 11:59PM (PST).
No physical applications or late applications will be accepted.
Click here to complete the online application form
Frequently Asked Questions
The full presentation and conversation from the AIR Artists Q&A event held at LACI on Thursday February 1st can be accessed here.
- 1. Does it cost anything to submit an application?
No. Applying to AIR is free.
- 2. I have been a practicing artist for many years, but have no formal training. Am I eligible?
Yes, you are eligible and invited to apply. No formal training is required.
- 3. Does AIR provide studio space?
No. AIR provides access to a state-of-the-art prototyping facility during working hours only. Artists are required to maintain their existing creative workspace through the course of the residency.
- 4. My studio is in my home. Am I still eligible?
- 5. Why Los Angeles area artists only?
AIR plants seeds that take time to grow; and builds community while doing so. AIR supports the Los Angeles creative community by providing access to networks and resources that will flourish with local knowledge and time. This is why AIR is most suited to a creative practice rooted in the Los Angeles area.
- 6. What constitutes the Los Angeles area?
Los Angeles County and surrounding areas.
- 7. I’ve been a Los Angeles resident for less than three years. Am I still eligible?
Preference will be given to artists who have been resident in the Los Angeles area for a minimum of three years.
- 8. What do you mean by ‘research-led artist’?
‘Research-led artist’ refers to an artist whose work involves periods of information gathering and/or research, which is then reflected back in the resulting work.
- 9. Who owns the copyright to my work?
You do. LACI will request permission to use images of works in relation to the program, but artists retain copyright of their work at all times.
- 10. How will LACI utilize the limited edition?
LACI will utilize the limited edition in order to disseminate the message of AIR. This may include (but is not limited to): loaning works for external exhibition, displaying works at future AIR exhibitions, supporting future or additional AIR programming, gifting works to donors.
We will do our utmost to keep participating artists informed of all loan and collections activity.
- 11. I’ve never used prototyping equipment before. Am I eligible?
Yes. Full equipment training is provided. Artists from all backgrounds and all experience levels with prototyping technologies are encouraged to apply.
- 12. I am part of an artist collective. Can we apply together?
No. AIR can accommodate only individual artists at this time.
- 13. I work with assistants. If I am accepted, will they also have access to the APC?
No. AIR can accommodate only individual artists at this time.
If you have a question not answered in the FAQ’s above, please email: AIR@laincubator.org with “AIR Application Query” in the subject line. We will get back to you as soon as possible.
Our interdisciplinary selection committee will review applications and recommend up to eight shortlisted candidates for interview. Shortlisted candidates will be invited to LACI to discuss proposals with key stakeholders. In 2018, LACI will award two residencies from the open call process.
The selection committee evaluates applications based on the aforementioned selection criteria.
Current selection committee members include Pritzker Architecture Prize Laureate, Thom Mayne; Director of The Underground Museum and Independent Curator, Megan Steinman; Artist Sherin Guirguis; LACI President and CEO, Matt Petersen; and MOCA Director of Education and Public Programs, Amanda Hunt.
Additional selectors are being confirmed.
1/16/18 — Launch public call for artists
2/19/18 — Public call for artists close
2/19 – 3/12 — Application review, Artist interviews, Final Artist Selection
4/30/18 — Residency commence with week of artist training and orientation sessions
11/26/18 — Work-in-progress exhibition / panel discussion
2018 Jan-Dec — Public programming including Artists’ Talks and Professional Development Workshops
- Timeline is estimated and subject to change.
AIR is building a community of creative thinkers who are researching, increasing awareness, and working towards solutions for our most pressing environmental issues.
We sincerely hope you will participate in the program; whether through making an application, attending an artists’ talk, participating in a professional development workshop, or all of the above. Thank you for considering applying for AIR.
Download AIR one sheet PDF.
Download AIR press release.