Congratulations 2018 Residents

We are excited to announce the awarded residencies for the 2018 Rabbit Island Residency program. Duy Hoàng, Alice Pedroletti, and Calvin Rocchio will live and work on Rabbit Island during their residencies between June and September of this year.

We received 279 applications representing individuals and groups from 26 countries by the January 28th deadline of our open call. The selection committee spent the month of February reviewing applications, finally awarding residencies to the artists featured below.

The committee’s process included individual members reviewing each proposal in detail, offering notes, creating labels to help organize and categorize, and register initial votes. The committee then convened in a videoconference over two days, going through the entire list of applicants. At the end of the second day a shortlist of approximately 20 applicants was narrowed to 10 finalists. These applicants were interviewed for 30 minutes during a videoconference at the beginning of March, providing time to learn more about the artists and their proposal while also allowing applicants to ask questions. Afterwards, the committee took an additional three days to review their notes and consider the finalists. Finally, the committee members voted anonymously for their top three applicants, resulting in the awarded residency positions. It was an difficult decision for the committee, who showed great consideration and thoughtfulness during the entire process. The Rabbit Island Foundation is extremely fortunate to have such a committed group of alumni who help enrich and advance the residency program.

All 10 finalists and many of the shortlisted artists were deserving of a residency, and we thank them for their inspired and inspiring proposals. Unfortunately, due to scheduling and funding limitations, only three residency positions were awarded for the 2018 programming season.

Here we are sharing the awarded proposals in full. We do so in the interest of transparency for the residency program and selection process while also providing an insight to the quality, critical nature, and ambition of the proposals we receive. We do so fully understanding that the questions, research, and work put forward will likely change in the time for each artist before, during, and after the residency, and look forward to working with them during the evolution of their ideas.

The Rabbit Island Residency program is officially five years old, and the nearly 1000 applications we have received from our open calls during that time have expanded and simultaneously refined the foundation’s position on the intersection of art, ecology, and conservation. The committee sincerely thanks all who have offered exceptional work and a carefully considered proposals. It is an honor to be working with the following artists over the next year.

The 2018 Rabbit Island Residency Selection Committee
Beau Carey, 2015 resident
Luce Choules, 2016 resident
Lucy Engelman, 2013 collaborator
Rob Gorski, cofounder
Nicholas McElroy, 2014 resident
Josefina Muñoz, 2015 resident
Andrew Ranville, cofounder
Jessica Segall, interdisciplinary artist



Duy Hoàng is an interdisciplinary artist born in Vietnam who is currently living in New York City. He recently received an MFA from Columbia University in the summer of 2017. Hoàng has exhibited in galleries and institutions throughout New York and Massachusetts, and in Singapore, Israel, the UK, and Germany. He is currently working on upcoming projects at the Museum of Contemporary Art Vojvodina in Serbia, and Grafiformas in Colombia.

Statement and proposal:

As a Vietnamese immigrant arrived in the U.S. during adolescence years, the transitional moment triggers the necessity for intensive observation and awareness. My work focuses on the links between the mundanes and the phenomena, between the potential of growth to the inevitability of decay, and the connections/disconnections between one and their surrounding environment.

I work with natural materials such as plants and minerals as site specific specimens to question the sense of location, search for settlement, and “home”. The live materials in my research are often invasive, or non-native species, due to my fascination in their borderless journeys, adaptation to foreign conditions, and their impacts on the new environments. I make connections between these natural materials and human interventions through scientific and natural history studies. With emphasis on the necessity of attentiveness through observational methods and implications, the works are often time-based, where their appearances constantly change due to the natural process of decay.

I am concerned with our relationship to nature, its well-being to ours, and vise versa. I often return to the idea of the edible plants from my family’s garden, which constantly migrates over the years with us. The garden’s health is in direct correlation to its caretakers’, where they grow and decay with each other.

During the Rabbit Island Residency, I want to explore the land to observe and gain knowledge on the invasive plants on the island and their influences on the ecosystem there. I want to educate myself on the “local” species, draw connections to where they might have came from and how they might have ended up in the same location. The plants themselves have an embedded migrational and historical map in their own beings and the scale is excitingly unfathomable. The island is an organism existing on its own, separated from mainland, yet at the same time, sharing its DNA with the rest of the planet. I perceive the inherent connections between the minute details to the vast, incomprehensible scale as an incredibly profound philosophy.

Through the personal discoveries of the plants, I want to continue my research on the notion of migration and “nomadic home”. What is the meaning of “home” and how do we carry it with us? Survival techniques, scientific expeditions, and adaptations to the constant changing environment have influenced my work for quite some times. A large part of my practice has been working without a studio and using any available spaces as fieldwork for production, site specific responses, and new experimentations. I want to continue to push this way of making and exploration by fully engulfing myself in the wilderness of Rabbit Island while protecting the Leave No Trace policy.

With the opportunity of working and living undisturbed from the immediate modern society, I want to rediscover the personal relationship we have with nature and to question ways of improving our attentiveness to the surrounding environment. The interstitial space between the potential of growth and the inevitability of decay is a narrow path where I want the work to activate in. This give and take relationship will not only emphasize my interactions with the natural matters on the island, but also the land itself as an organism to our environment at large.

How do we pay attention?
To our surroundings?
To ourselves?
How do we utilize our senses?
How are we at this moment?
Moment before?
Moment after?
Moments altogether?
How are we to one another?
How are we together?
How are we alone?
How do we make decisions?
How do we change?
How do we experience?
How do we question?

I want to utilize the precious space and time as an opportunity to be intimately regaining touch with nature and how we can improve our relationship with it. Outreaching my senses to the immediate surrounding, to the island itself, and to the rest of the world, I hope my work can be a contribution to the larger conversion of our butterfly effect on the natural world.



Alice Pedroletti is an Italian artist that works mainly with images and archives. She has exhibited throughout Europe and has had solo shows in the Netherlands, United States, and Italy. As artist-curator, she runs ATRII, a “living archive” hosted at the City Archive in Milan (Cittadella degli Archivi). The archive involves artists’ projects for the future, constantly in evolution until their realization. The project—also a working methodology—investigates the concept of “atrium” from a processual and theoretical point of view. The aim is to create an unusual comparison between artist, space, commission, and public, creating new opportunities and tools to enjoy contemporary art and architecture.

Statement and proposal:

I regularly question the photographic medium, especially all that comes from the action of using it. At the center of my research, I often relate sculpture and photography, with varying outcomes that are contain a matrix of both disciplines, and always concerning the complex natures of temporality and fragility in the mediums and materials.

I use literature, science or history as inspiration for my work, recreating ambiguous images, or memorials, where various objects or the idea of them, are obsessively collected in a subtraction process where I consider an unknown reality. I am interested in peculiar geographical sites, in which I can underline the psychological relationship between individuals and nature through photographic and analytic sculptures.

What would the world be like without time?

My interest in floating islands, seen as monuments, pre-existing architectures, and hourglasses, began several years ago with a study on the lightweight structural concrete. The lightweight structural concrete, in use since the seventies, is an insulating construction material with a low specific weight. Blocks can be easily sculpted and depending on the composition density, they can float in liquids. Once submerged in water, a second possible reality is created beneath the surface, which becomes a natural partition between this world - in constant evolution and destruction - and another that preserves what is slowly lost in this one. Water, therefore, becomes a metaphor: something that covers, protects, preserves and feeds what is destroyed. Something that gives physicality to an invisible, hypothetical and ephemeral reality.

What’s the meaning of above and beneath, then?
Is there a relationship between the two parties?
Do they have a common time?

The relationship between space and time is similar to a large hourglass: a cone that in physics is also the symbol of time. It is theorized that time flows differently depending on the geographical position of the subject. In the mountains, it passes faster, slowly in the plain. In space, the time as we know it does not exist and everything float because time is uniform. Above and below the floating islands, above and below the surface of the water, will the time be different? What would the Earth be like if suddenly everything will be upside down?

Starting from these considerations I would like to measure the time on Rabbit Island, from the two more distant and vertical points of it. Below, towards the bottom of the lake and above, on the top of the highest tree. The measurement can also be hypothetical, investigated through photographs, drawings, and materials. What will be the flow of time or its sudden and hypothetical absence? The two different points are the possibility of a choice: they represent the future and the past, while the island becomes the space of the present, where to hypothesize solutions. Once you get off the ground this possibility becomes real: how much time do we really have? Could it end?



Calvin Rocchio is an interdisciplinary artist based in Emeryville, California who regularly uses design, publishing, and workshops with local communities to explore how we interact and understand the landscape. He graduated from the School of Visual Arts in New York in 2012. As an invited artist, Calvin has recently initiated events for several organizations and projects in the mountains, cities, and coastal communities on the west coast, along with cultural hubs and quarry towns on the east coast.

Statement and proposal:

My practice, through what’s accumulated practicing openly and perpetually, amounts to an ecological ontology––a way of being in the world that’s pliable / wavy / soft / permiable. With optimism and enthusiasm––through publishing, distribution, graphic design, image making, research, organization, rearticulation, and movement––spaces are cultivated for new relations to the environments that we inhabit and exist as parts of. These spaces, often fertilized and enriched through collaboration and exchanges that ignore the specificities of discipline, celebrate entanglement and vulnerability to momentums outside of any single perspective, human or non-human. Just the way the mind casts a wide net, or how books can point in a multitude of directions at once, the effort dissipates in being unavoidably entangled in the world.

Metaphors quickly proliferate between the practices of geology, writing, mining, and publishing. The parallels in digging up / distributing, inherent between the latter two mediums, is a good place to start in thinking more specifically how the historical courses of mining could influence a more place-oriented practice of publishing. How could John Henry Jacobs’ long collaboration with the ground of the Upper Peninsula serve as a model for research, publishing, and distribution? In the late 19th century, mining towns quickly sprang up in proximity to major projects, supporting social structures where they couldn’t have existed prior, and created a public around private endeavors. Miners were said to have “read” the land and stone, through speculation and subjective research–poking and prodding until they found something beneath the surface that they could excavate. The prized red Jacobsville Sandstone they cut from the eastern shores of the UP was distributed near and wide, mostly featured as a building material, making prominent appearances in early modernist architecture in Chicago and all over Michigan.

I would like to use this history of engagement with the ground of the UP through geology, extraction, and distribution, in initiating a temporary publishing platform that utilizes these histories and terminologies as a metaphorical model for producing (a) publication(s). Through the development of content, design, production, and distribution, using the geologic occurrences largely responsible for the active formation of the UP (such as lineation, syncline, foliation, and rift) as a point of departure for thinking about the guiding design of language and imagery on the printed page–book design as sight specific process of observation and excavation.

Ultimately this endeavor would fit into a larger constellation of research, projects and gatherings I’m conducting titled The Library of Ecstatic Ecology. The aim is to develop spaces to think both about existing and newly produced publications as ecological entities in their own right, and how to test new ecological orientations within these spaces.

How can a book add to the density of place, and when does the landscape begin to read us?

Our 2018 program is made possible with support from our donors and the National Endowment for the Arts Artist Communities Grant.