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Tag Archives: Vienna

I’m thrilled to be selected from a pool of 985 artists to do a three-month residency in Vienna commencing in April by the Bundeskanzleramt Österreich / Austrian Federal Chancellery and KulturKontakt Austria.

I’m very honored to have met Her Excellency Ambassador Bita Rasoulian who wished me well before I left Manila.

With Her Excellency Ambassador of Austria to the Philippines Bita Rasoulian

 

I’m looking forward to hitting the ground running in Vienna, my 8th residency city, and continuing my work on art and science, picking up from where I left off in the Amazon. Our artist profiles are on the KulturKontakt Austria website.

The residency runs from April 6 to June 30. Today was my first day after a long flight. Schloss Laudon, where the residency is, is quite lovely and gives me a great daily walking ritual on the castle grounds.

Schloss Laudon

Alexander von Humboldt and Caroline Herschel!

 

Lavender and Rosemary

We artists are in a nearby building; they use this castle for seminars and stuff. It’s nice to look at, though after decluttering a house I’ve no desire to live in excess. There are two swans I’ve named Alexander von Humboldt and Caroline Herschel and two frogs I’ve christened Lavender and Rosemary that I say hello to.

I almost never travel as a tourist—all that carbon to take the same photos as everyone—that I realize that packing 30 kilos is always a challenge because I bring my life to another country in order to produce things instead of to shop. In trying to keep with my healthy and zero waste (more like Zero Waste as Much as Possible) lifestyle, I bring my arsenal of spices and superfoods to keep me healthy despite being in another country. Since an airline lost my bags two years ago, luggage anxiety is a real thing for me. Thankfully, everything made it, even the hot sauce.

The hot sauce made it!

So much to learn, make, and do! Very grateful for all the fantastic support and excited for all that is to come!

This residency is made possible as part of the Artists in Residence programme of the Federal Chancellery and KulturKontakt Austria.

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I’ve been traveling since May, which is why it’s been so quiet here. But having been on the road for less than three weeks, I had lots to learn and experience. It was also my birthday yesterday, hence the need to write something.

The story of my life. @_@ #adaptordie

A photo posted by Catherine Young (@catherinesarahyoung) on May 14, 2016 at 10:35pm PDT

 

Starting in Graz, Austria, I felt that my life was like the charger for my Macbook Pro. I have to adapt each time, adding another block to my already modular one. I was happy to spend some time in this lovely and idyllic city, where I lived in a convent (the irony is not lost here) while watching Game of Thrones and Eurovision clips on my downtime, and spent time with friends and colleagues.

A photo posted by Catherine Young (@catherinesarahyoung) on May 21, 2016 at 7:45am PDT

 

In Amsterdam, the Netherlands, I learned about roadblocks, challenges, and unexpected friendships. I was there as a finalist for a sciart competition. My team lost (bummer) but it was a great experience and I loved meeting the researchers I was working with. We even went to the coast to do some field work. It was awesome! I can’t say much about the project now (since not winning means we actually have more time to work on our proposal), but I’m happy to still have determined collaborators. Did I mention I love postdocs?

 

I came home from the Hague (where the competition was) to Amsterdam in a sad daze, because I was exhausted physically (I fly on at least 10 flights on this trip—more on this later), emotionally (I was sad to lose a competition yet excited for my next gig and for all the new experiences I was having), and intellectually (it takes a lot of brain power to come up with mildly interesting ideas, you guys). Amsterdam could have been another impersonal city, yet  strangely I met a number of new friends in the ten days I was there, largely because of the broad spectrum of emotions I was on. Having setbacks means gaining more time, and I was determined to learn new things. I even learned how to bike! (This is one of my worst nightmares, and more on this in a future post as I’m still recovering).

 

I’m writing this in Bogota, Colombia, where I will soon be en route to another residency in a nearby city, Medellin, for an art residency about The Apocalypse Project, which I happily sense I’m doomed to do forever. Bogota has been a very interesting city to explore. It feels like Manila, where I am from, in a lot of ways, yet also very unique. This is my first time in South America, and I’m incredibly excited for this new adventure. The food is incredible, the graffiti is spectacular, and I’m always thrilled when I realize there is still so much of the world I know nothing about. Many people have cautioned against coming here, fearing for my safety. I think this is why I was even more determined to go. So far, the people have been nothing other than kind and respectful to me. Asians are a rarity here, but at least they look and don’t touch (unlike in some other places, ahem!). We can breed less hate in the world by getting to know our imagined enemies. Plus, Bogota and Manila are very similar in many ways, and so Colombia’s risks are those I’m familiar with.

 

For more than ten years, I’ve been floating around the world like this. My Spanish-speaking friends often use the word “inquieta”—restless. I’ve met so many people I care so much about yet I’m not even sure if I’ll ever see them again. Do nomads love more because precious moments are fleeting, and are they loved less because they represent man’s natural restless and curious spirit—a three-dimensional breathing Hallmark card their absent friends can lock away in their memories? Each hello and goodbye feels like an echo of the many journeys I have made before.  I love traveling the world, yet I know one day I would want to pick a place to stay put for a while.

 

My suitcase (which finally broke and is being held with tape) is packed and I return the keys of another hotel tomorrow. The journey continues! Turning another year isn’t so bad.