On the occasion of its 50th anniversary in 2022, the University of Siegen in cooperation with the Museum für Gegenwartskunst Siegen (MGKSiegen) has initiated the artists program ‘Artist in Residence Siegen’, in order to bring together science, art and the public. Isabel Pfeiffer-Poensgen, Minister for Culture and Science of the State of North Rhine-Westphalia (retired), is patron of the program.

With the move of the Faculty of Arts and Humanities and the School of Education, Architecture and the Arts to downtown Siegen, the university and the city will continue to coalesce in the coming years. The university is pursuing a two-location strategy. With the emerging ‘city campus’, accessibility will be improved and interdisciplinary cooperation optimized. A compact university (university of short distances) is being created, in a modern city where all citizens find their own place. The Museum für Gegenwartskunst Siegen is located in the center of the planned city campus. It regards itself as an open museum, which arouses enthusiasm for the art production of our time with its program, exhibitions and collections. At the same time, it aims to offer contemporary impulses to university and artistic research.

‘Artist in Residence Siegen’ is designed as a process, but requires the involvement of the university and urban public. It is aimed at established artists and artist collectives, especially in the fields of visual arts, film, performance, literature and architecture, who have a proven interest in public space, social discourse and a transdisciplinary exchange between art and science. Every year, the university and the museum invite an artist or artist collective to develop a project in public space in Siegen. These projects reflect visibly upon the urban development process from an artistic perspective and raise current issues that critically address the social situation of the changing city. The development and realization of the project is accompanied by a teaching appointment each semester. Besides, additional formats are planned to foster the dialogue between science and art into urban society during the residency.