1 Im/Plant: manufacturing
An industrial site consisting of one or more buildings with facilities for manufacturing. A place of making, shaping and assembly, dedicated to social modes of production, as distinguished from the sometimes immaterial and solitary labour of art. A site of production, labour, involving relations of production – between workers, managers, technicians, consumers, the public – between individuals and a wider social field.
2 Im/plant: medical
A surgical intervention leading to a graft onto/into a host system, to improve, modify or regulate functioning. A permanent or removable biologically compatible device, manufactured to replace an absent part, to support or to enhance an existing structure. Ideally the device should bring about a desired response in the host, however the interaction between the implant and the neighbouring tissues can cause complications (allergic foreign body response, for instance).
3 Im/plant: botanical
An opportunist organic entity, able to colonise an area by spreading vegetatively – e.g. pioneer plants that colonise an area that has not been previously occupied by an ecological community.
NSF Im/Plants proposes a programme of seasonal implantations (insertions) into the National Sculpture Factory. This project is open to Irish and international artists, curators, independent art groups, individual cultural and spatial practitioners, and collectives across all art disciplines.
Artists/participants are implanted as productive agents, that is, invited to respond to the specificity of the National Sculpture Factory – as a site for manufacture; as a host organism; as a seedbed for propagation – in order to test, affect or re-imagine the boundaries of what the art organisation can be through alternative forms of production.
Each implant is of a 3-month duration and is programmed to happen seasonally. It is self-directing and self-sufficient, with an overall stipend of €3,000 and with access to the full resources and supports of the NSF, adapted to the needs of each specific applicant.
There are no prescribed outcomes, but each implant is expected to leave a trace, residue, or shadow, of their period of interactivity with the host organisation. Such outcomes are not restricted to the ephemeral and can be of a more permanent nature.
For its part the NSF will be openly receptive to the unknowns made possible by interaction with these implanted agents.
The Im/Plants strand in the NSF’s annual programme is designed to act as a source of imaginative hybridization, to create as yet unknown forms of production or provocation, and enable the NSF to work with the broadest range of artistic practitioners, leading to the synthesis of new ideas and work practices within the artist-centric institution.
NSF Im/Plants project allows the implanted artists to practically challenge the ideologies of the monolithic or static institution, and to act instead as a generative substrate engaging directly with the receptive NSF to external forces. In its making available of its resources, experience and network of relations, the NSF wishes, through these insertions open itself to the stimulus of new ideas, alien influences and new creative productive outcomes.
The National Sculpture Factory will assess and select applicants based on the following criteria.
Criteria for assessment:
- the nature and quality of the proposition or provocation.
- experience relevant to this particular site-specific research implantation.
- the feasibility of each proposition as well as the nature and extent of the research and methodology being proposed
Applicants are invited to propose, themselves; their practice and their particular Im/plant proposal in whatever form they deem relevant bearing in mind the considerations above and the context being offered.
They should also nominate a preferred season in which they wish to take up their Im/Plantantion.
The three-month seasons are as follows:
August to November 2014
November to March 2014/15
February to May 2015
June to September 2015
Applicants can develop proposals for Im/Plants with the understanding that they need not be present, or resident in Cork for the entire 3-monthly season. This is not a studio-based residency, while a space in the NSF can be made available if necessary. Applicants should suggest how they propose to proceed over the 3-month period and how this can lead to a constructive and productive engagement.
All applications must reach the National Sculpture Factory by 12 Noon, Monday 9th June 2014.
You may submit either by email to
by post refer Implant application to
c/o Dobz O Brien,
National Sculpture Factory,
Please note all applications will be acknowledged but no materials used in application will be returned from your submission.
All applicants will be contacted once the assessment phase has been completed.
Applications will be assessed by July 04 2014.
Each seasonal Im/Plant will receive a stipend of €3,000.
The NSF will endeavour to support each Im/Plant to find accommodation best suited to their needs.
A select 4-person panel will be assembled to assess all applications.
The National Sculpture Factory is funded by the Arts Council of Ireland and Cork City Council. Im/Plants is additionally supported by the Cork City Council Project Award.