SPRING 2020 

DECELERATOR

SPRING 2020

DECELERATOR

SPRING 2020

DECELERATOR

SPRING 2020 DECELERATOR PROGRAM

Greenstraightline

THEME: EARTH 1.0

THEME: EARTH 1.0

THEME: EARTH 1.0

Greenstraightline

The Strange’s Decelerator is a retreat/residency hybrid offering pioneering creative practitioners the chance to slow down and refocus on their work's vision and impact from a beautiful location in New York's Catskill mountains.

This April and May, one-week residencies will be offered to a select group of artists, activists, journalists, scientists, designers, organizers, educators, entrepreneurs, and others whose work fits the "Earth 1.0" theme by centering environmental sustainability, climate justice, and healing for the natural world. 

The Strange’s Decelerator is a short-term retreat/residency program offering pioneering creative practitioners the chance to slow down and refocus on their work's vision and impact from a beautiful location in New York's Catskill mountains.

This April and May, one-week residencies will be offered to a select group of artists, activists, journalists, scientists, designers, organizers, educators, entrepreneurs, and others whose work fits the "Earth 1.0" theme by centering environmental sustainability, climate justice, and healing for the natural world. 

The Strange’s Decelerator is a short-term retreat/residency program offering pioneering creative practitioners the chance to slow down and refocus on their work's vision and impact from a beautiful location in New York's Catskill mountains.

This April and May, one-week residencies will be offered to a select group of artists, activists, journalists, scientists, designers, organizers, educators, entrepreneurs, and others whose work fits the "Earth 1.0" theme by centering environmental sustainability, climate justice, and healing for the natural world. 

The Strange’s Decelerator is a short-term retreat/residency program offering pioneering creative practitioners the chance to slow down and refocus on their work's vision and impact from a beautiful location in New York's Catskill mountains.

This April and May, one-week residencies will be offered to a select group of artists, activists, journalists, scientists, designers, organizers, educators, entrepreneurs, and others whose work fits the "Earth 1.0" theme by centering environmental sustainability, climate justice, and healing for the natural world. 

The Strange’s Decelerator is a short-term retreat/residency program offering pioneering creative practitioners the chance to slow down and refocus on their work's vision and impact from a beautiful location in New York's Catskill mountains.

This April and May, one-week residencies will be offered to a select group of artists, activists, journalists, scientists, designers, organizers, educators, entrepreneurs, and others whose work fits the "Earth 1.0" theme by centering environmental sustainability, climate justice, and healing for the natural world. 

DSCF2780
DSCF4277

Fall '19 residents from Creative Resilience Collective: Andrea Ngan, El Sigelman, Sterling Johnson, and Dianne Loftis

Greenstraightline

SPRING 2020 THEME: EARTH 1.0

Kepler-452b  is the most Earth-like planet humankind has ever discovered. Liquid water, light, and temperatures suitable for life inspired NASA to name the planet "Earth 2.0," suggesting the possibility that once our planet has been rendered unlivable, we might simply set off to a brand new world. As temperatures lurch and forests burn, it's a tempting idea to think of this planet as disposable. But the truth is, our Earth is exactly and supremely irreplaceable.

For the Spring 2020 Decelerator, we seek applicants who are championing and protecting Earth 1.0 through direct action, awareness campaigns, journalism, entrepreneurial ventures, and other creative tactics. Priority will be given to those who can demonstrate the impact of their work, and whose projects would greatly benefit from what the Decelerator program offers: a week of uninterrupted alone time, clarifying mentorship, and an immersive natural setting.

SPRING 2020 THEME: EARTH 1.0

Kepler-452b  is the most Earth-like planet humankind has ever discovered. Liquid water, light, and temperatures suitable for life inspired NASA to name the planet "Earth 2.0," suggesting the possibility that once this planet has been rendered unlivable, we might simply set off to a brand new world. As temperatures lurch and forests burn, it's a tempting idea to think of this planet as disposable. But the truth is, our Earth is exactly and supremely irreplaceable.

For the Spring 2020 Decelerator, we seek applicants who are championing and protecting Earth 1.0 through direct action, awareness campaigns, journalism, entrepreneurial ventures, and other creative tactics. Priority will be given to those who can demonstrate the impact of their work, and whose projects would greatly benefit from what the Decelerator program offers: a week of uninterrupted alone time, clarifying mentorship, and an immersive natural setting.

SPRING 2020 THEME: EARTH 1.0

Kepler-452b  is the most Earth-like planet humankind has ever discovered. Liquid water, light, and temperatures suitable for life inspired NASA to name the planet "Earth 2.0," suggesting the possibility that once this planet has been rendered unlivable, we might simply set off to a brand new world. As temperatures lurch and forests burn, it's a tempting idea to think of this planet as disposable. But the truth is, our Earth is exactly and supremely irreplaceable.

For the Spring 2020 Decelerator, we seek applicants who are championing and protecting Earth 1.0 through direct action, awareness campaigns, journalism, entrepreneurial ventures, and other creative tactics. Priority will be given to those who can demonstrate the impact of their work, and whose projects would greatly benefit from what the Decelerator program offers: a week of uninterrupted alone time, clarifying mentorship, and an immersive natural setting.

Greenstraightline

Applications for the Spring '20 Decelerator were due on February 6, 2020. To find out about future programs and their deadlines, subscribe to our newsletter.

Applications for the Spring '20 Decelerator were due on February 6, 2020. To find out about future programs and their deadlines, subscribe to our newsletter.

Applications for the Spring '20 Decelerator were due on February 6, 2020. To find out about future programs and their deadlines, subscribe to our newsletter.

IMG_0026

PROGRAM INFORMATION

PROGRAM INFORMATION

PROGRAM INFORMATION

Greenstraightline

What the Decelerator program is

BlueCurvy

• A restful, free-of-cost residency/retreat hybrid in West Shokan, NY offered by application to individuals or collaborative groups of up to 3 people. Selected residents will be provided with a comfortable and inspiring space to live and work in for a private stay at Strange HQ. Residency dates and durations are flexible based on the needs of admitted residents, but will generally last one week, and will take place in April and May of 2020.

• A chance to devote a nice chunk of focused time to reflecting on, reimagining, or perhaps even detoxing from a long-term creative undertaking. This opportunity is best suited for those in the midst of an ambitious project, who could use the time and space to reconsider its value and potential, and develop its future from a more holistic perspective.

• A reprieve and an oasis of positive energy. Strange HQ is a peaceful, natural, and tranquil space where respect and inclusivity are of paramount importance. All residents should expect to contribute to the shared Strange HQ experience by being open, generous, respectful, and caring—of the space, of each other, and of themselves.

Greenstraightline

What the Decelerator program isn't

PurpleUnderline

• We are not an "institutionalized" program. Spring 2020 is just our third season offering the residency. We are looking to host self-sufficient, responsible residents who will contribute to the space's development, and who like the idea of being a part of something dynamic and experimental that's also its own creative undertaking.

• We are not a staffed space. The Strange is an unprofitable [sic], unofficial organization run by two people with other full-time jobs. As such, each resident will be asked to clean their own accommodation prior to departure, and give back by making an "offering" of some type (this could be a donated artwork, a few hours of yard work, cooking a group meal, or any other contribution you'd like to make—you will propose an offering idea in your application).

While there will usually be 3-5 residents at Strange HQ at a time, the Decelerator is not an extremely social experience. All residents will be welcomed with a dinner, and some other group meals and/or excursions may be offered. However, residents should plan to structure their days on their own, and to enjoy a large amount of solitude while here.

Greenstraightline

What's included

BlueCurvy

Free lodging in one of our comfortable, inspiring, fully-equipped and wifi-enriched spaces: either the Studio House, Lily of the Valley cabin, or the Barn Loft (see the "Residency Accommodations" section below for more info). All accommodations are stocked with clean linens and towels, bathroom necessities like soap and shampoo, and some basic kitchen staples like olive oil, tea, and salt and pepper.

• On-site creative encouragement. The Decelerator program offers an intention-setting framework through which participants can structure their time here. Additionally, on-site 1:1 mentorship sessions will be scheduled with Willa, the program's director, who is an experienced creative strategist, mentor, editor, problem solver, and superconnector. Daniel, The Strange's co-founder, will also be available for technical consultations on topics ranging from web technologies and personal computing to blockchains.

• Community connection. Having already hosted 38 residents, The Strange's growing alumni network includes an expansive group of creative practitioners who are each manifesting new, poetic futures and paving paths not yet defined. We are actively working to build out a resource-and-opportunity-sharing network amongst this group, so that we can support each other well beyond each person's residency experience.

• Access to abundant nature. The Strange HQ property features a spring-fed pond, large lawn, sprawling gardens, and plenty of fish, salamanders, snakes, birds, butterflies, and the occasional bear. Strange HQ also abuts the forever-wild Catskill State Park Forest, so taking a scenic walk, run, or hike is as easy as stepping out your door and into the forest.

Greenstraightline

What's not included

lightGreenUnderline

• Access to transportation is not included. Strange HQ is not accessible by public transportation, as we are located on the outskirts of West Shokan, NY, about 2.5 hours north of NYC. If you are unable to drive yourself to the residency, we are happy to pick you up from the Trailways Bus stop, and stop for groceries on the way back to HQ—just note that your mobility will be limited once you're here.

• Meals/groceries are not included. Each Strange HQ accommodation has its own kitchen, and you should plan to bring and prepare your own food while here (past residents have found this to be a meaningful part of the experience). There is a grocery store a 10-minute drive away, as well as plenty of great restaurants in the area. Residents are also welcome to plan and cook group meals together.

• Dedicated studio space and/or art materials are not included. We aim to specifically support creative practitioners with computer-centric practices, and while there is plenty of table, desk, and couch space, private art studios are not offered. Residents should also plan to bring all of the supplies and equipment they'd like to use while here (we can loan out monitors, projectors, and some other technical equipment—please ask in advance to see what we have available).


Greenstraightline

RESIDENCY ACCOMMODATIONS

RESIDENCY ACCOMMODATIONS

RESIDENCY ACCOMODATIONS

Greenstraightline

BARN WORKSPACE + LOFT

BARN WORKSPACE + LOFT

The Strange Barn has a large working/living/dining space with a three-story facade of antique windows. It also has its own kitchen and a bathroom on the first floor. Upstairs, there is a sleeping loft with three comfortable beds in semi-private spaces. This space will be prioritized for use by collaborative groups, and is also where we host group dinners.

The Strange Barn has a huge working/living space with two couches, desk space, and a large farm table, a kitchen, and a bathroom on the first floor. Upstairs, there is an open sleeping loft that accommodates up to three residents, which will be prioritized for collaborative groups.

DSC06802
DSCF2572
DSCF2586
SleepingLoft_Pano
BarnSmall
Processed with VSCO with c1 preset

STUDIO HOUSE

STUDIO HOUSE

The Studio House is a quiet, bright, and private space for one resident to live and work in. It has a living and dining area, kitchen, desk space, wood stove, and bathroom with spa shower on the first floor, and a lofted bedroom upstairs, which is accessed by a spiral staircase. There is a stream that trickles by outside. This space also houses our internet-reading library.

DSCF3294
DSC06887
StudioOutside
Bedroom-2

LILY CABIN

Lily of the Valley is a 100-year-old chestnut post-and-beam hunting lodge. Downstairs it has a cozy living and dining room, a kitchen, an airy bathroom with clawfoot tub and laundry, and french doors out to a wrap-around porch that overlooks the pond and mountains. Upstairs is an open and light-filled bedroom, library, and desk space. Outside there is a stone fire pit and meditation garden.

LilyOutside3
Processed with VSCO with c1 preset
Processed with VSCO with c1 preset
DSC06839

For more info on the Strange HQ spaces, property, and surroundings, see here.

For more info on the Strange HQ spaces and surroundings, see here.

For more info on the Strange HQ spaces and surroundings, see here.

TIMELINE

PurpleUnderline

February 6: Applications due

Mid-to-late February: Selected applicants notified; all residencies individually scheduled

April & May, 2020: 1-week residencies take place

DSC07061

Past resident Boyuan Gao of Project Inkblot in the barn workspace,

Greenstraightline

DECELERATOR FAQs

DECELERATOR FAQs

DECELERATOR FAQs

Greenstraightline

How do I know if I'm a good fit for the Spring 2020 Decelerator?

For the Spring 2020 Decelerator, we're looking to host artists, activists, journalists, scientists, designers, organizers, educators, entrepreneurs, and others working on ambitious projects that center the environment, climate justice, and healing for the natural world. As an entity, The Strange supports forward-looking practitioners whose work is multifaceted, technically imaginative, regenerative, computer-and-internet-centric, perhaps speculative, and highly inventive. To get a sense of the types of practitioners we support, you can see who was selected to take part in our Spring 2019 Decelerator, and who was selected for our Fall 2019 Decelerator.

What are the qualifications for being accepted to the Decelerator?

While there are no formal "qualifications," admission to the Decelerator program is competitive. Applicants should be at a stage where their creative approaches and overall vision are clearly articulated through a sustained body of work, experiences, and accomplishments.

Is there an expectation for what I will accomplish during the residency?

No. While here, we hope Decelerator residents will spend time on strategic planning, research, and other work that will help you make holistic progress towards your creative vision. However, this experience is also about slowing down and doing less—participants are encouraged to step away from their work in favor of spending time outdoors, reading, or otherwise refueling. At the culmination of your residency, you will not be expected to have anything in particular to show for your time here. The only thing we ask for is that you make some kind of "offering" back to the space.

Wait, what kind of "offering" are you talking about?

The Strange is a community-driven project, and as a way to nurture its evolution, we ask Decelerator participants to contribute some kind of work or gesture that they think would be useful to the space's development. This could mean writing an essay for The Strange's newsletter, cooking a group meal, or donating an artwork—really anything that feels meaningful for you to contribute. It's a way to reciprocate the care we put into hosting you, and can be as poetic or practical as you'd like.

Will I get my own private space at the residency?

If you are applying as an individual, then yes. A large part of the Decelerator experience revolves around solitude, so each individual resident will have a private living space. Collaborative groups will share the barn loft, however, which has an open-floor-plan sleeping arrangement.

What's it like out there in the woods?

Strange HQ is sited around a beautiful pond, located near the end of a lightly populated mountain road and surrounded by Catskill State Park Forest. It's very quiet and peaceful during the day, and at night the sky turns a deep, dark black. In the spring, flowers will be bursting forth and wildlife will be abundant. While our accommodations are all well-appointed, residents should be comfortable with the idea of staying on their own in a cozy-yet-woodsy guest house, and must recognize that things like occassional power/internet outages and forest-critter intrusions are a possibility. When it storms, the wind howls. We think this is all part of the Decelerator experience :-)

How will applications be reviewed?

All applications will be considered by the program's director in terms of how the applicant's work and vision relate to the Spring 2020 "Earth 1.0" Decelerator theme, and The Strange's overall mission of helping to forge a stranger, more imaginatively regenerative future. We will prioritize diversity and inclusiveness when reviewing applications.

Does this residency cost money to participate in?

No, it is a free residency—meaning accommodations and participation in the program are offered at no cost to the resident. However, residents will need to cover the costs of their own food, travel, and supplies while here.

Do I need a car to participate in the Decelerator?

While having a car is helpful, it is not necessary. Those without their own car will need to take the Trailways Bus service, and must coordinate their arrival and departure with the program director based on her availability for pickups and dropoffs.

If my application is accepted, how will the dates for my residency be determined?

If you are offered a residency, we will work with you to individually coordinate the timing of your stay. Most residencies will last one week, and will take place within the timeframe of April 1—May 31, 2020. When possible, we also attempt to schedule those with complimentary practices and approaches to be here at the same time, so that you can connect and learn from each other.

When will I know if I've been accepted?

We plan to reach out to finalists mid-to-late February. All residencies will be scheduled before the end of February.

For any questions not addressed above, you may reach out to [email protected]

Greenstraightline

WHY DECELERATE?

WHY DECELERATE?

WHY DECELERATE?

Greenstraightline

Participants from the Spring 2019 Decelerator program share thoughts on their experience:

Participants from the Spring 2019 Decelerator program share thoughts on their experience:

Yumna

My time at the Decelerator consisted of a lot of reflection and nurturing parts of myself that are often neglected. I spent most days quietly tuning into nature, and found myself in a really calm mindset where I could focus on what my brain and body were telling me. If I wasn't reading, writing, or meditating, I found myself walking and observing the beauty around me, which was abundant. Upon leaving, I realized I could manifest this clear headspace if I truly found it to be important, which I do, and now it is a priority to maintain.

— Yumna Al-Arashi

Dan

To me, the Decelerator was a way to reflect on my own habits, processes, and ways of thinking. I quickly started work on some projects and ideas, and the sense of calm, quiet, and solitude was really helpful in letting me think about those things long-term. It was a bit like setting a cup of murky water on a table, watching it settle, and noticing clear water slowly emerge at the top. The hardest part was creating balance between my desires to "use" the residency productively vs. settling down and noticing what ideas and projects emerged out of slow thinking.

— Dan Taeyoung

Carlie2

The Decelerator program is pure magic. Truly—it was everything I didn't know that I needed. The environment is filled with light and beauty, which made it easy to revel the in solitude. By extracting myself from my busy everyday life and endless to-do lists, I was able to read, research, and have deep conversations with my collaborator, which resulted in exciting new ideas for our practice. This residency also made me realize how slowing down is deeply important to my overall wellbeing as a person.

— Carlie Febo

Screen Shot 2019-06-24 at 5.47.35 PM

Imagine a space where you have license to do the exact thing that places like New York City do not allow for: to slow down, disconnect, and listen to yourself. Life in a city can at times leave one feeling distanced from their work's greater purpose. After a week decelerating, I feel far more empowered, motivated, and clear about the direction of my creative projects... which is far more than I could’ve asked for stepping into the program. We need more spaces like this, as for me, this experience was priceless.

— Malik Abdul-Rahmaan

Past Decelerator resident Melanie Hoff created this timelapse while working in the barn as fog, rain, bouts of sunshine, and eventual darkness appeared outside the windows.