Marfa Digital Residency

  • Location:
    El Cosmico , 802 S Highland Ave , Marfa,, Texas, 79843 , US


The Biennial Project’s Marfa Artist Residency provides an international artist with the opportunity to participate in a career-making event. It took over a year of intense fundraising from local and international private patrons for BRMAC to realize the Marfa Digital Residency (

Now, you may ask, why Marfa, Texas? And for those of you who might not know – prepare to get all fired up, because the tiny town of Marfa, perched on the high plains of the Chihuahua desert, is nothing less than an art’s world station of the cross, like Art Basel or Documenta in Germany. It is a blue-chip arts destination for the sort of glamorous scenesters who visit Amsterdam for the Rijksmuseum and the drugs.

BRMAC scoured the world to identify the most talented artist whose body of work demonstrated the vision, maturity and collaborative ability to contribute to the Overall Biennial Project Oeuvre. And they have finally announced the selected artist for the Marfa Digital Residency- London based artist Tom Estes (

As Artist-in-Residence, the artist selected for this prestigious residency organised by the Biennial Roadshow Marfa Advisory Council (BRMAC) will have full access to the support of the sophisticated creative apparatus of The Biennial Project to develop his/her own work and to contribute to the greater good of The Biennial Project. An opportunity for profound dialogues, an echo chamber for the inspirational and the social with political dimensions. Better than a poke in the eye with a sharp stick. Much better.

Marfa was founded in the early 1880s as a railroad stop; the population increased during World War II, but the growth stalled and reversed somewhat during the late 20th century. It all started to kick off when the acclaimed minimalist artist Donald Judd left New York City in the 1970s for this dusty dot of a town. He wanted to escape the art scene he claimed to disdain. With the help of the DIA Foundation, Judd acquired an entire Army base, and before he died in 1994, he filled it with art, including light installations by Dan Flavin and Judd’s own signature boxes. Attractions include Building 98, the Chinati Foundation, artisan shops, historical architecture, a classic Texas town square, modern art installments, art galleries, and the Marfa lights. Today, it’s a whole creative community. An extremely fashionable and well-connected creative community.

This years Artist in Residence Tom Estes will create a new state-of-the-art work to be shown within the main site for Biennial Roadshow Marfa, El Cosmico Centre for Artistic Development ( Through performance and sound, Estes plans to hopes to reawaken a sense of wonder for what is nearest.

For this new commission Estes plans to unveil a new work that will incorporate Live Art encompassing telecommunications, technologies, wireless communications, computer science, telematics and live video streaming. Informed by social and cultural research Estes hopes to dissolve the space between the creative artistic hubs of London in the U.K. and Marfa Texas. The actual movement of the material becomes the agent of its final composition – reinforcing the idea of the digital image as a temporal entity that can denote both a process and an outcome.

As we move through a place we leave behind what is called in forensic science ‘Impression Evidence’. This includes any markings produced when one object comes into contact with another leaving behind some kind of indentation or print. Common evidence ecounters include footwear impressions, tire marks and markings created by tools and similar instruments. But we also collect impressions through our visual experience- the patina of a building, the shape of the sky – which are then recognized, stored and aid in forming our understanding of a place. For this new commission in Marfa, Estes want to draw on these forms over as a way of understanding them within our new cyber-reality.

The work will b e on display on Friday April 4th, 2014 – where all selected art work will be seen by the contemporary artists and artisans who inhabit or visit this Western hamlet and by The Biennial Project’s massive entourage who will be in Marfa that entire week. The Marfa Digital Residency will take place between March 30th thru April 6th, 2014.

Marfa Digital Residency

El Cosmico
802 S Highland Ave Marfa, TX 79843 United States

March 30th thru April 6th, 2014

Directions: Program Schedule: