North Mountain hosted Impractical Labor in Service of the Speculative Arts (ILSSA) as a shared group residency, which was a first both for the artist organization and NMT. Over the course of four days, five ILSSA artists shared skills, presented individual projects, and help envision and evolve ILSSA’s mission. ILSSA identifies itself as “a membership organization for those who make experimental or conceptual work with obsolete technology…. A socially engaged art project consisting of a Union and a Research Institute, ILSSA is an evolving publishing and public practice platform committed to investigating the value of labor and mining the potential of the obsolete.” Some of the cool things that happened were: individual project critiques, tablet weaving, personal geography practices, film screenings, snuggle cooking, spinning, breadmaking, and a lot of impractical conversation. Although the weather was hot, the residents explored the areas of NMT on their own and as a group. Dan Varenka (Rochester, New York), Maria Epes (Asheville, North Carolina), Meg Wiessner (Baltimore, Maryland), Emily Larned (Bridgeport, Connecticut), and John Labovitz (North Mountain) all participated and contributed to the programming of the shared residency experience.

The group perusing Maria’s book

Meg demonstrating spinning

Dan skill-sharing delicious scones