Open Call for Balatorium Artist Residency programme

BALATORIUM is launching an art residency programme for 2022 for artists working in a variety of fields and artistic media. The aim of the residency programme is to bring in artists who would create new works of art in collaboration with researchers, experts and ecologists active in the Balaton region, based on site- and context-specific research, in line with their own practice and methodology, thus promoting a dialogue between art and science.

The BALATORIUM series of cultural events and science communication project, which is part of the Veszprém-Balaton 2023 European Capital of Culture (VEB2023 ECOC) programme, will present key ecological challenges and processes related to Lake Balaton and its region, along with the key concepts that help to understand them, through unique cultural programmes and relevant content that are specifically reflective of the region, widely accessible and experiential, in the form of performative landscape tours, interactive public interventions, exhibitions, talks, sound plays, artist-in-residence programmes. In addition, interviews, short background studies, text and video entries, infographics and toolkits will be used as a result of professional background work in order to raise awareness of the vulnerability of the Balaton region as an ecosystem and to promote a significant shift in public perception.

Within the framework of the BALATORIUM programme, PAD Foundation participates as a co-production partner, working together with several other relevant professional actors in this field.

The professional partners of the residency programme are the Balaton Limnological Research Institute and the Balaton- felvidék National Park Directorate. The artists will have regular consultations with the researchers of these two institutions before and during the residency programme, and the researchers will contribute to the process as mentors for the artists of the residency programme.

The Tihany-based Balaton Limnological Research Institute (BLKI) is the country’s largest biological research institute boasting a long history. Its main tasks include research on the ecology of freshwaters, exploration of the biota (flora and fauna) of Lake Balaton and its catchment area, its changes in space and time, life processes, metabolic characteristics and the environmental and anthropogenic factors which influence these. The institute also carries out basic and applied research on the protection of aquatic habitats, biodiversity and water quality in line with existing international conventions, with particular emphasis on the technical background for the implementation of the EU Water Framework Directive and the development of ecological status assessment systems. Through its research results, it promotes the protection of freshwater and wetland habitats and the conservation of their biodiversity in general, thereby supporting sustainable development in the Carpathian Basin.

The Balaton- felvidék National Park Directorate, protected in 1997, stretches along the northern shore of Lake Balaton in a 1-15 km wide strip (covering an area of 57,000 hectares) and includes 6 formerly protected areas: Kis-Balaton, the Keszthely Mountains, the Tapolca Basin, the Kál Basin, the Pécsely Basin and the Tihany Peninsula. By its establishment a long-standing dream of Hungarian nature conservation has come to life by linking areas that had long been separately protected, resulting in a protected ecological system covering the whole of the Balaton Uplands and Kis-Balaton. The Bakony-Balaton Geopark, part of which stretches into the national park, aims to highlight the geological, natural and cultural-historical values of the area and to raise awareness of their social significance. In 2012, the geopark became a full member of the European Geopark Network and of the UNESCO-sponsored Global Geopark Network at the same time. The main activities of the Balaton-felvidéki National Park Directorate include nature conservation, landscape protection, nature management, raising awareness and ecotourism.


Any artist/duo of creators active in any artistic field or medium, without age restrictions, may apply.


The first edition of the residency programme is scheduled for the first half of October 2022, with the Balaton Limnological Research Institute (BLKI) as both the professional partner and venue provider. The second edition of the residency programme will take place in the Balaton Uplands National Park in spring 2023.

The new artworks/productions based on the research carried out in the framework of the residency programme will be presented during the BALATORIUM Ecological Week in August 2023, by which time they should be fully completed.


  • accommodation (14 nights)
  • travel expenses (within Europe) – to and from the residency venue and one return trip to Ecological Week 2023 
  • material costs (covered by invoices, maximum  300.000 HUF per project – including the cost of the presentation at the Ecological Week)
  • artist fee (covered by invoices, 150.000 HUF for individual creators, 200.000Ft for duos of creators)
  • consultation and mentoring – in support of the research and creative process
  • curatorial and production assistance from the BALATORIUM professional team 
  • presentation of the completed artworks at the Ecology Week 2023
  • documentation of the finished work
  • production of a video interview on the work and its context
  • presentation of the works to the professional and general public on the BALATORIUM project website and promotion of the project to the press

Studio space is not available on site. 


  • preparation for the residency programme, preliminary orientation on the site based on the preliminary materials provided by the researchers who will be mentoring the programme
  • on-site presence during the two-week residency programme
  • collaboration with the residency mentors
  • presentation of the finished works during Ecology Week 2023 and installation of artwork upon previous agreement with the organisers 
  • reporting twice on their work in a few sentences on BALATORIUM’s social media platforms during the residency programme
  • responding to press inquiries about the project
  • presenting their completed works and the creative process in the spirit of the VEB 2023 ECOC, and especially the BALATORIUM programme
  • agreement to publish the documentation, details, reproductions (including image credits) and written artistic concept of their work on the online and offline platforms of the VEB2023 ECOC.

The applications will be assessed by a professional jury including the organizers of VEB2023 ECOC, the BALATORIUM team and partner institutes.


  • Can Togay, film director, screenwriter, actor, poet, producer, cultural manager and cultural diplomat, chief creative and artistic advisor ECOC Veszprém-Balaton 2023
  • Diana Berecz, cultural and visual anthropologist, director of PAD Foundation, co-founder of szabadonbalaton
  • Eva Bubla, artist and activist, researcher of the Hungarian University of Fine Arts, co-founder of szabadonbalaton
  • Judit Szalipszki, curator at Trafó Gallery, co-founder and curator of BÜRO imaginaire 
  • Dr Reuben Fowkes – London-based curator, critic and art historian specialised in East European art history and contemporary art and ecology. He is the co-director of the Post-socialist Art Centre (PACT) at the Institute of Advanced Studies, UCL and co-founder of the Translocal Institute for Contemporary Art 
  • researcher from the Lake Balaton Limnological Research Institute
  • staff of the Lake Balaton Uplands National Park

Through the assessment of applications, the jury will take into account the professional soundness of the application, the applicant’s previous practical and professional experience, the relevance of the issues raised by the application and the feasibility of the proposed work. Preference will be granted to applicants who have worked on ecological issues previously and whose project plan is based on collaboration with researchers.


  • a professional CV of up to two pages (name, permanent address, email and telephone contact details, professional studies, exhibitions, professional awards, etc.)
  • a digital portfolio of selected works of the applicant (preferably in pdf format, max. 10 MB)
  • a professional project concept note of up to two A4 pages outlining how the applicant would make use of the opportunity offered by the residency programme
  • a brief description of how the applicant plans to work together with researchers from the Institutes and what kind of collaboration they expect
  • a statement that the data submitted for the application may be handled by the VEB2023 ECOC and the BALATORIUM and may be made available to staff and experts involved in the organisation of the grant application and to members of the jury

The applicant agrees to prepare a short report (1 A4 page) within one month after the end of the programme and to send it to the VEB2023 ECOC and BALATORIUM.

Details of the grant and cooperation will be the subject of a separate agreement between the organisers and the selected applicant. Applicants accept that the conditions of participation may be changed by the organisers in justified cases.

Applications should be sent by e-mail to, application is free of charge. The deadline for submission is May 15th, 2022 (midnight), applicants will be notified of the results by May 30th.