VRN 2018
Ways of seeing, Representing & Reshaping Reality

1st International Residency Conference
Manchester, 21-27 September 2018

The aim of this event was to channel and showcase new perspectives and approaches that visual practitioners, researchers and visual ethnographers employ in their work. In order to enrich visual practices toward new disciplinary horizons, we have therefore advocated for a visual, sonic, experimental and more widely multisensory cross-disciplinary knowledge.

The first VRN Residency Conference aimed to bring together visual researchers and practitioners, especially PhD students, who are actively working with visual methods in their own fieldwork or their practice-as-research. It welcomed participants from a variety of disciplines, including, visual anthropology, filmmaking, music, fine arts, performance arts, animation, and photography.

The event was composed of a five-day residency open to 12 participants, a one-day conference including participants of the residency and external presenters, and a transitional day where researchers were able to share their practice and network with each other before the conference.

During the five-day residency, participants inhabited a shared creative and living space, and worked on their own visual materials in order to enhance the narrative of their research, but more importantly, work collaboratively in the pursuit of pushing creative boundaries through experimental methods. The five-day residency became a space for collective learning and artistic creation in which we shared experiences from our own respective projects, while giving rise to new and unforeseen practical outcomes. Furthermore, each day of the residency featured a different special guest who facilitated specific workshops and masterclasses. The guests were Ken Faro, Dr Jenny Holt and Prof. Erik Knudsen.

The one-day conference was open to the wider public, preceded by a transition day, to which both practitioners (who took part in the residency) and non-practitioners (contributing only to the conference) were invited, so that their respective fields could be cross-fertilised through practical workshops and practice-oriented seminars. This mixed Residency-Conference format, seeks not only to explore and debate the long-standing legacies of audio-visual research, but to create productive and inspiring discussion through active engagement, so that every participant can effectively express and communicate their own practice through multisensorial, emplaced, participatory, embodied, experimental, and collaborative approaches. The conference keynote speakers were Dr Laurent Van Lancker and Prof. Andrew Irving.