When it comes to support of the artistic process, there are few institutions as useful as the residency. A great deal of energy is spent maintaining the functions of day-to-day life, and having a managed living space available for artists allows a tremendous amount of freedom for the artist-in-resident to rechannel that energy into other aspects of their life and work. Being a place where spacious living and studio situations are to be gotten at an astoundingly reasonable price, Detroit is a natural spawning ground for artist-in-residency programs. One such program, The Institute for Neo Connotative Action (INCA) sprang up approximately a year ago in the historic New Center district. The space is owned and curated by Alejandra Salinas and Aeron Bergman, and has a loose affiliation with Bergman’s position at UKS, bringing a number of Norwegian artists to the residency, including Per-Oskar Leu and the current artist-in-resident, Inger Wold Lund.
I had an opportunity to converse with Lund during a visit I made to INCA’s newest development: the Library of INCA, an installation that opened on August 25 and is available for viewing by appointment until September 22. The opening featured a number of performance events, including the unveiling of “The Bachelor Machine,” a device which facilitated a posthumous Franz Kafka book signing utilizing Automated Signature Technology, and a poetry reading by Aurora Harris.
Other featured artists included Lina Persson, who displayed “HÄPNA! – De Svenska Rekordåren,” a collection of Swedish sci-fi magazines from the mid-1950s-mid-1960s and “Rainbow(s),” a book by Detroit artist Hamilton Poe that examines a collection of simultaneously occurring rainbows.
Lund’s piece occupied the third-floor studio. Lund’s work deals with language contained within found sources, as well as writing of her own. Bilingual, with an additional three languages to varying degrees of fluency, Lund considers words as basic building blocks of communication to be critical to what an individual is capable of expressing, particularly within a cultural context. Her installation, “The State of Being Close Together or Side by Side,” is a localized iteration of work she has done in the past, an assemblage of books on Michigan flora, with specific emphasis placed on repeating word patterns.
INCA is a valuable asset the Detroit community, both by bringing artists and perspectives into the city, and now by working with existing materials to assemble a new resource for the consideration of living contemporary art. This is one library where discussion is encouraged. The collection may be viewed by appointment, by contacting: firstname.lastname@example.org.