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Open Call ESS Residency

Technical detail with text. Illustration.

A residency for artists to explore the ongoing work at European Spallation Source.

Deadline: June 13, 2021 (the application deadline has expired)

Read more about the selected artists here

Due to COVID restrictions an actual place-based residency won’t be possible. Rather it will be based on conversations and idea generation that takes place online.

While ESS is under construction, we would like to open up a space for creative conversation at the vanguard of research that will address some of the most critical societal problems of our time. Conversations that probe the many-faceted challenges we face in the contexts of climate, biodiversity, planetary health, bioplastics and renewable energy, while investigating the place of the human within these micro-macrocosms. Each artist will undertake their own journey through unfathomable speeds in a near-speed-of-light accelerator – visualizing real time chemical processes; the other worlds of nanotechnology and molecular biology; illuminating on the seismic amount of data to be captured and released, and the irrationalities of quantum computing. A small step into the unknown, imagining almost invisible futures of lives yet to be lived and feelings yet to be felt.

Each artist selected by the jury will be invited to have conversations with engineers and scientists working at ESS. Artists can bring their own questions, ideas and projects but the residency is also open to pure exploration. The residency will be held remotely online but if travel restrictions allow then the artist spaces at Inter Arts Center will be available for set times. Inter Arts Center can assist artists in developing their ideas or generating new questions, but we hope to strike a good balance of direction for both artist and scientist. There will be one internal group meeting at the midpoint for sharing thoughts and ideas. We would also like to invite the public to observe and take part in the process, this will be an open panel/presentation at the later stages of the residency – or documentation of the process in a way that the artists and scientists see fit. There is also opportunity to exhibit work or hold an event both at Malmö Museum’s new visualisation centre, and at Inter Arts Center – however there is no commitment for works under the residency time, we would like the artists to feel free to explore and delve as deep as possible. We hope that this residency opens up for new ways of thinking, new conversations and first and foremost, a meaningful meeting point for art and science.


Learn more about the application requirements here


European Spallation Source is a largescale international research facility being built on the outskirts of Lund. When complete it will include the world’s most powerful linear accelerator that fires high energy particles at a rotating target, which then releases neutrons. These neutrons will be used like the light in a giant microscope by researchers from many different areas, to look deep inside materials, down to the atomic level where they can see where the atoms are and what they are doing.  Implications will be far reaching with researchers from all over the world coming to Lund to push the boundaries of knowledge in areas which includes life science, material science, engineering, archaeology and even theoretical particle physics. Right now, over 500 people work at the ESS building site, while various components and parts of the new machines are being designed and built by skilled groups from over 100 different organisations across the world. In that way, ESS is an enormous cooperative and collaborative undertaking to build something that has never been made before, at scales and precision far beyond those that exist today, with the shared ambition to build the world’s most powerful neutron source to deliver shared value to society.

ESS are currently producing a public engagement strategy with a vision of becoming a trusted hub for communities to come together to explore questions about materials, energy, health and the environment. During this period before first science is achieved on the site ESS are keen to try out new methods to engage with people from other spheres and understand the stories and questions surrounding ESS that spark engaging conversations.

This residency is made possible by the European Regional Development Fund through the Wisdome Innovation Project.

Jury members:

Ele Carpenter, Professor of Interdisciplinary Art & Culture and Director of UmArts, Umeå University

Susan Kozel, Professor of Philosophy, Dance and New Media at the School of Arts and Communication (K3), Malmö University

Christian Skovbjerg Jensen, Director at Inter Arts Center, Lund University

Kirse Junge-Stevnsborg, Director at Malmö Art Museum

Josefine Floberg, Head of Exhibitions at Malmö Museer

John Mckenna, Artist and Project Coordinator at Wisdome Innovation Project

Indressa Gustafsson, Content and Social Media Officer, ESS

Jo Lewis, Public Engagement Officer at ESS