Jet-lagged and bright eyed, we arrived in Rome for the 2016 Summer Residency as the largest cohort in IDSVA history. Our professors certainly had their hands full. During the residency period we spent three days in Rome where Professor Simonetta Moro enlightened us with visits to the Pantheon, Vatican Museum, Palatine Hill, Roman Forum, Colosseum, Museum of Contemporary Art, and almost every incredible church in between. Traversing Rome we began to have epic conversations and immediately build bonds that will support our journey at IDSVA.
After Rome, we loaded the buses and headed into the Tuscan countryside towards Spannocchia Castle. Here we were challenged to consider new ideas and possibilities of thought through days filled with intense study of philosophical and artistic texts, alongside fascinating lectures by new IDSVA Professor Franco ‘Bifo’ Berardi and visiting lecturer Alison Hildreth. The added benefits of Spannocchia came outside of the classroom. Living in such close quarters and dealing with the intensity of materials, allowed us to bond together as a cohort. Every evening as the Tuscan sun settled on the hillside, we gathered together to share a meal, the tradition of toasting and to become a family.
Overall, the importance of the residency has prepared us to do the work, think the thoughts, and write the words, all in order to formulate the question. The memory of the first year residency is an experience that will be fretted over and laughed about, considered and cherished.