project image
Liliya Lifanova

first performed on September 6, 2010
performed ten times in 2011


Amagansett, NY


As I first ventured into the life of an artist, I was envisioning a creative life, different from the concerns and demands of some of the other, more traditional career choices. What I found instead was a life of couch-surfing while shopping for a future I set out to avoid: a nine-to-five in an unrelated field, and succumbing to the pressures of paying back my hefty art school loans. What is the alternative system to the existing system of the art-world? I asked. And how do I design a varied life, a life filled with creative accomplishments, unexpected experiences and profound moments that is worth struggling for? Despite these prevailing feelings of uncertainty, I found myself immersed in a vibrant dialogue of inspiring conversations regarding the importance of arts patronage, art community, and the potential of art in our daily lives. One morning, while raking a friend’s lawn at the house where he had offered me a couch, an answer came: I am to conduct an experiment where my couch-surfing lifestyle is to become the subject of my art.

Stretching back as far as the traveling artisan monks of the 12th and 13th centuries, the contemporary art world seems to demand of the artists that they return to this nomadic lifestyle of trading skills and experience for a chance to pursue their art. Projects initiated by Mary Jane Jacob concerning the interdependence of art and life of artists, artists who have expanded their practice into public policy (such as Francis Whitehead), and those involved in the rigorous reshaping of the notions of an artist’s education and approach (J. Morgan Puett) have acted as catalysts and inspiration for starting “Artist in YOUR Residence.”

The idea behind “Artist in YOUR Residence” is: I need a place to sleep and a meal, and you want something done or an artwork. I can stay for a day or I can stay for a year-we’ll coordinate around your and my needs. At the end of 12 months, I will produce a publication tracing a year’s worth of work and snippets of conversations that took place surrounding our collaboration and/or other relevant topics. In the meantime, my website will serve as an archive for images and notes relating to the project. A place to sleep and meals are non-negotiable. A donation for travel expenses or necessities is much appreciated.

The first performance of “Artist in YOUR Residence” was conducted in Dix Hills, NY from September 6, 2010 – November 24, 2011.