Visual Arts Thematic: The Weapon of Theory as a Conference of Birds

Co-led by Ayesha Hameed and Xenia Benivolski with guest faculty Kite and Jota Mombaça, this visual arts residency welcomes artists who are interested in exploring music, language and rhythm as they affect the geological, bio-political, and the mnemonic through media, performance, language, and writing.

In Wild Seed, Octavia E. Butler figured the crossing of the Atlantic in shapeshifting Anyanwu’s transformation into a dolphin, swimming with her kin along a slave ship. Fred Moten and Stefano Harney see ‘the weapon of theory’ as ‘a conference of birds’, while Deleuze and Guattari describe birds as artists, and birdsongs are expressions of territorial milieu. If territories listen to and speak back to their singing underwater and in the air, what misunderstandings, reverberations, feedback, and echoes are produced in the space between? How do we trace histories of slavery, colonialism, revolution, and resistance through sound, and their differential uses and abuses of the sonic? Revisiting music as a document of geological, political, biological, social and industrial change allows us to re-evaluate entangled technological relations between humans and nature, and to examine how music operates as a memory machine and centrifugal force that draws remembering bodies together.

This residency will examine artistic practices exploring melody, language, migration, acoustics, musicology, acoustemology, cross-species communication, soundscapes, the body, and sonar/radar activity as ways to evaluate histories of change, violence, membership and resistance in the world. 

What does the program offer?
This program offers a structured space where visual artists come together to create work and discuss the pertinent theme. Through peer interaction, discussion groups, studio work, formal lectures, and studio visits from world-renowned visiting faculty, participants gain new ideas and insights that can be applied to creative exploration and professional development of their work.

Through historical and contemporary musical records, sonic practices, texts, sounds, fieldwork, songs and readings, participants will be guided through a series of workshops, lectures and events that create new space for social and artistic practices while making tangible connections between sonic and visual materials that coalesce historically.

Who should apply?
This residency is for visual artists with an exhibition/publication record who have completed formal training in visual arts at the post-secondary level, or who have equivalent experience and recognition from their peers. Collaborative groups of no more than two are welcome to apply.

*Financial Aid of 100% for tuition, and 50% for food and accommodation is available for all accepted participants.

Program Dates: November 7 - December 9, 2022
Application Deadline: August 10, 2022
Learn more and apply online:


Residency Length
1 month - 1 month
Average Number of Artists in Residence at a Time
Collaborative Residency
Must apply and be accepted individually
May apply as a team
Interdisciplinary Arts
Mixed Media
Visual Arts
Digital Fabrication
Installation Arts
Digital Media
Sound Art
Environmental Arts
Art Conservation
Art Education
Country of Residence
Open to artists based anywhere in the world
Family Friendly
Stage of Career
Any stage of career
Additional Expectations/Opportunities
Participate in public programming
Participate in open studio with fellow residents
Give artist talk or presentation
Accessible Housing
ADA Compliant
Partially Accessible (50% or more)
Meals Provided
Some meals (at least 2 meals provided)
Studios/Special Equipment
Private Studios
Dedicated Studio/Shop Technicians - Full Time
Exhibition / Installation Space
Ceramics Workspace
Electric Wheels
Kick Wheels
Slab Roller
Clay Mixers
Plaster Room
Raku Kiln
Electric Kiln
Gas Kiln
Dedicated Metal Shop
Plasma Cutter
Anvils, Stakes + Hammers
Hydraulic Press
Soldering Workspace
Gas/Oxy Torches
Finishing Room
Buffing Machine
Casting Room
Electroforming + Etching Room
Darkroom (Black And White)
Darkroom (Color)
Lighting Studio/Green Screen
Large Format Printer / Plotter
Large Format Scanner
Film Scanner
Printers + Scanner
Photo + Video Editing Suite
Painting Workspace (Oil)
Drawing Benches
Printmaking Workspaces
Book Arts Facilities
Etching Press
Glass Inking Table
Drying Racks
Aquatint Box
Hot Plates
Paper Soaking Sinks
Paper Tearing Table
Acid Room
Silkscreen Studio
Lithography Studio
Light Tables
Large Sinks
Large Exposure Unit
Washout Room
Papermaking Studio
Textiles Workspace
Fiber Arts Workspace
Dye Area
Padded Screen Print Tables
Hooded Dye Mixing Station
Drying Room
Well-ventilated Spray Room
Washer And Dryer
Dedicated Wood Shop
Woodworking Tools
Router Table
Wood Bending Equipment
Wood Vises And Wood Working Table
Studios/Facilities Accessibility
Partially Accessible (50% or more)
Type of Housing
Private bedroom in a shared housing facility on campus
Additional Eligibility Information

Each residency has specific eligibility requirements; please visit our website for our current and available programs open for application.

Artist Stipend
Travel Stipend/Material Stipends
Residency Fees
Fee Details

Application fee: $65 ($35 for applicants who identify as Indigenous). Application fees are not refundable.


Grant/Scholarship/other Funding Support
Grant/Scholarship/Other Funding Support Details

*Financial Aid of 100% is available to cover tuition, and 50% is available to offset food and accommodation costs.

All accepted participants will receive the above financial aid package.

Application Fee
Canadian Dollar (CAD)
Application Type
Open application