Published Apr 10, 2024

Eastern Bloc x InterAccess Pilot Residency and Partnership

A brown-skinned non-binary person sits on a set of steps and smiles broadly, mid-laugh, facing the camera. Their black afro hair is cropped short with a fade. They have on square-shaped tortoise shell glasses and gold earrings. They also wear a jean jacket with a brown corduroy lapel. Underneath the jacket is a white button-up shirt with a grey turtleneck under that. Around their neck are a few gold necklaces.

Photo by / photo par Hayfa Abichahine

InterAccess and Eastern Bloc are thrilled to announce a new pilot partnership and remote residency with Sapphire Woods as artist-in-residence. The paid residency includes a fully subsidized user membership at Eastern Bloc and remote mentorship from InterAccess staff, which will provide the artist-in-residence access to new media studio space and equipment, as well as subsidized access to new media education and presentation opportunities.
Sapphire Woods (they/them) is a Black of Caribbean descent shapeshifter, storyteller, Virgo sun and Aquarius moon living in Tio’tia:tke (Montreal). Inspired by their grandmothers to bridge the gaps in accessing land-based knowledge and medicine, Sapphire’s ongoing work engages barriered Black and Brown communities through accessible education. IRL, Sapphire is involved in land-based arts and herbal medicine collectives in Montreal, enjoys reading, and taking naps.
As part of the residency, Sapphire will work toward gathering, developing, and sharing digital knowledge and resources related to community agriculture and traditional herbalism rooted in BIPOC heritage. Their work during the residency is the first step of a larger prospective online project called GroundScapes: an interactive, virtual garden where knowledge from BIPOC elders, friends, and gatekept institutions can cross-pollinate, grow, and disperse among Black and Brown communities.
This collaboration between Eastern Bloc and InterAccess directly results from Rhizomatic Pedagogies, an InterAccess-led, cohort-based program that occurred from 2021–2023, dedicated to fostering new media leadership and collaboration within Black, Indigenous, and Disability Arts communities.

We acknowledge the support of the Canada Council for the Arts.

About Eastern Bloc

Since 2007, Eastern Bloc has been at the forefront of digital art dissemination, promotion and production in Quebec.

The vision at Eastern Bloc is to explore and push the creative boundaries situated at the intersection of art, technology, and science, as well as all other emerging digital practices. Hybrid processes and new modes of production are at the core of the centre’s mandate, as is to support the work of emerging artists by providing them with an exchange platform with more established artists, through initiatives of a local and international scale.

Eastern Bloc promotes audience participation, technological democratization, and the utilization of urban space via public intervention projects. Innovative in its nature, Eastern Bloc, through emerging artistic and technological practices, continues to advance a critical stance with regards to these many evolutions.

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