So, we promised you more exciting speaker announcements and we are absolutely delighted to let you know that Drew Bennett, global Director of the Artist in Residence Program (AIR) with Facebook Analog Research Laboratory (ARL) will be gracing our main stage at OFFSET this March. For those who are not familiar with Facebook’s AIR program, it started at Facebook’s headquarters in Menlo Park in 2012 offering local, early career artists the opportunity to make new, site-specific work in a trusted and unrestricted, corporate environment. The open-ended residency model has become a globally scaled art commissioning program that seeks out artists, with an authentic presence in the community, to make new work in Facebook offices around the world. Their ethos and belief in supporting creatives is something OFFSET greatly admires.
Drew Bennett is an artist, designer, and curator who straddled the art and tech scenes in the San Francisco Bay Area for years, until his worlds collided in 2012. During the process of being commissioned by Facebook for another art installation, Drew offered to found and lead the Artist in Residence (AIR) program for the company. The result has been a bold new chapter in the history of corporate patronage of art.
This artist-founded, artist-forward program was conceived in the belief that the process of making art is as valuable as the finished product. It is committed to deeply trusting artists as the best way to collaboratively realizing new work. Crucially, the program is based on the belief that art has a very real, and profound impact in inspiring, uniting, and challenging communities.
Last year, Facebook supported over 125 new artworks globally. The Artist in Residence program also published a book celebrating 225 artists’ works at Facebook over the first five years of the program. We are delighted to announce that the book will be launched at OFFSET Dublin in March.