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Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity

Visual Arts Thematic Residency | Plastic – Online 2021 (Expired)


Plastic is everywhere, and is increasingly an object of environmental concern. However, it also provides the basis of our contemporary infrastructures including buildings, clothing, and communications networks. Despite the necessary campaigns for the elimination of single-use plastics, it is a material that cannot be easily dismissed. Plastic is one of the most intimate manifestations of our connections with oil, as it is used in everything from baby bottles to sex toys. It is also one of the foremost materials used in the production of contemporary art, from molds to vinyl to paints.

This residency explores how we might reconfigure our relations to plastic, seeing it as a material of potential connection, of resilience, of queer productivity without denying its immediate and devastating environmental consequences. What might happen if we thought of plastic as incredibly valuable material, rather than as immanently expendable? We invite makers and thinkers to reimagine their relations with this now fundamental material, to explore processes of recycling and reconstituting, and to pay attention to the uneven materialities of plastic and its affordances as an artistic material.

What does the program offer?

This online program will provide a discursive forum for visual artists, curators, and other cultural producers to explore plastic in relation to their work, communities, geographic locations, and current societal conversations. Participants will form an online community of peers; share work with each other and continue work already in progress; partake in online studio visits; participate in conversations, presentations, and workshops; and engage with faculty and each other to develop ideas, insights, and connections that can be applied to the theoretical and practical development of their practice. Please see the Itinerary section for an approximation of the program schedule.

Duration of residency

This program requires a dedicated commitment over a period of 3 weeks with the understanding that absence from weekly synchronous activities will be minimal and cannot be made up. 


N/A – online residency

Disciplines, work equipment and assistance

This residency is open to visual artists, curators, and academics. Applicants should have completed formal training in visual arts or a field related to this program at the post-secondary level, and should demonstrate a history of exhibitions, publications, and projects. Collectives of no more than two people are welcome to apply.

Studio / Workspace

N/A – online residency

Fees and support

Application fee: 

$25.00 for each individual or collective. Collectives must pay an additional $25 registration fee for additional members on acceptance. 
*Financial Aid of 100% of the tuition fee is available for this program for all accepted applicants.

Expectations towards the artist

Artists are expected to attend for the entire duration of the program. 

Application information

Please apply online through the program page by June 16:


Thursday 10 June, 2021
Wednesday 16 June, 2021
Venue Address

National , Online

Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity (opens in new window)