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Artists in residence

Artists in residence such as Mierle Laderman Ukeles, a conceptual and performance artist working in what she called ‘maintenance art’. She was employed for many years by the New York Sanitation Department as an artist in residence. Her first project was called Touch Sanitation, and was provoked by what she had found to be the degradation and invisibility of garbage workers. She set out to do the opposite of what social science does, namely sample, abstract and select. She decided to shake the hands of every one of the 8,500 employees of the department, across 59 districts, carefully mapped by place and time. To each of them she said ‘Thank you for keeping New York City alive’. MindLab in Denmark have also invited artists to inspire civil servants and provide a new perspective on policy issue. MindLab recently invited artist Olafur Eliasson to take part in an inter-ministerial working group on climate change to develop new policy initiatives for Denmark’s forthcoming climate change strategy for businesses.