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STARTS4Water Residencies



TBA21–Academy is delighted to be part of the STARTS4Water Consortium and collaborate on two of the ten upcoming START Residencies, hosted in Venice under the umbrella title “The Future of High Waters”.


WINNERS: Sonia Levy, Heather Anne Swanson, Meredith Root-Bernstein, Alexandra Arènes

Exploring nature-based solutions for salt marsh restoration and ecosystem regeneration, this challenge investigates solutions for climate change, rising sea level mitigation and natural carbon capture and storage in the lagoon. Current water management practices have proven unsustainable in terms of the city’s carbon metabolism. In the spirit of the UN’s Sustainable Development Goal 14: Life Below Water, the challenge strives to promote the reintroduction of sustainable practices, community-led initiatives and artistic research, exploring the possibilities of bringing nature-based and technological approaches into a shared space of coexistence and collaboration.

“Our project explores Venetian reedbeds and the multispecies worlds that arise from their restoration, to imagine new ways of thinking and doing futures and relationships with the wetlands that surround Venice. Through speculative mapping, ethnography, ecological field methods, film, and reed crafts, we will probe forms of representations that question agency and processes of collaboration across art, science and technology, and across the human and the more-than-human.” - Sonia Levy, Heather Anne Swanson, Meredith Root-Bernstein and Alexandra Arènes


WINNERS: Leonor Serrano Rivas, Diego Delas.

What solutions can geo-engineering offer, not only to datasets but also to the understanding of the porous borders between solid and fluid, land and sea? How can practitioners bridge art and science through meaningful integration of technology in order to co-imagine solutions for a viable future? As exemplified by the controversial MOSE project, the conditions that surround water management in the lagoon have changed dramatically. Although human intervention into marine ecosystems is far from a new phenomenon, its intensity and scale require careful examination - as echoed by the UN's SDG 14: Life Below Water.

“An expedition is to set sail into the unknown at a point of imaginative exhaustion: Underwater Worldsconjures pre-enlightenment devices to scrutinize the juncture of geoengineering, art-making, and storytelling in Venice.”​ - Leonor Serrano Rivas & Diego Delas.

More information here.


S+T+ARTS is an initiative of the European Commission to foster alliances between science, technology and the arts, in order to cultivate technological innovation centered on human needs and values.

Bringing together art, technology and science, the pilot project STARTS4Water aims to tackle one of the most pressing challenges of our times: water management. The project supports artists, researchers, technology experts and other stakeholders in finding a common ground and language to respond to regional water-related challenges. STARTS4Water builds on the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) 2030 and especially on SDG 5 ‘Clean Water and Sanitation’ and SDG14 ‘Life Below Water’.


10 artisti o collettivi artistici sono stati scelti per le residenze STARTS che daranno il via a una serie di processi collaborativi e genereranno progetti che sensibilizzano e offrono soluzioni concrete per le sfide idriche regionali in Europa10 artists or artistic collectives have been chosen for the STARTS residencies that will kick-start a series of collaborative processes and generate projects that raise awareness and offer concrete solutions for regional water challenges in Europe.

Following an open call that was launched in July 2021, the STARTS4Water Consortium received 294 eligible applications from 56 different countries.

Each residency will address a different region-specific water management challenge and relates to the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (especially SDG6 and SDG14). The challenges have been defined by the Consortium partners with the support of a regional expert network, including digital experts, entrepreneurs, regional leading art and research institutions, specialists in digital transformation, administration, and public governance.

The STARTS4Water residencies will lead to tangible artworks that develop knowledge and raise awareness of water challenges, or to digital applications & processes that contribute to the local development of sustainable water use and management.

Residencies start from October 2021 to June 2022 for a duration of a maximum of 6 months.