Welcoming doc

From timelab

Our purpose and essence is spatial resilience. Not only architectural or physical space, but also cultural, social and mental space. Our spatial awareness stimulates our critical voice and self-reflection. Our place breathes the soul of our work and shows the scars of a world in all its complexity.

We see the role of the organization as a dramaturg: making connections in the multi-perspective of cross-sectoral practice, creating a story that inspires. Our space is our anchor, our research ground, our discussion partner.

Our learnings we bundle in the ambition to share experience in a practical and self reflective way.

In our relationships we do not shy away from confrontation and continue to look for connections between the present, past, people and domains. We work on a thorough record of our research and remain inquisitive, amazed and eager to learn about many different perspectives.

On a practice of experienced and sustainable experiments, together with a powerful and broad network of partners, we imagine what we want the world to become.

Our building holds space for these becomings.

Welcome to Timelab

This document is an introduction to the residency program at Timelab.[edit source]

*If you feel there is anything missing or unclear, please let us know, we see this document as a collaborative writing.

Our research[edit source]

Current projects in Timelab, organized in 6 streams of endless research that connect within time. Past and Future.

Redefining Cultural Space

The main and current projects here are Waterlab, the Eatery and the creation of a self run shared space with a multitude of partners.

Reshaping Industry

What does a business model for material production based on locally harvested bio-based waste materials look like? - knotfactory.org

Remodeling Common Ground

How can we strengthen our common ground by peer learning and better understanding each other? - academy.timelab.org

Reinforcing Practical Learning Can we reconnect to practice and making as a way to reconnect to the world? Our self-run makerspace is the heart of this work.

Repairable Machines

How do we create open, modular, low cost and repairable machines? On the shelf is our Texlab to be.

Recommoning practice

Sharing knowledge and documenting practice leads to a collected/collective memory. A group of artists makes, reflects and learns about the topic.

Our space is a flexible space where functions follows form[edit source]

Started off with the ambition to investigate how an elastic shared space would look like, we started renovating the old factory in the city center of Ghent.

Today the place houses 3 levels of different but interconnected functions.

Groundfloor - meet and discover

here there is : an arena for debate and presentations an open event space a eatable garden the knotfactory the waterlab the Timelab Eatery

First floor - working area

here there is : a co-working office a shared kitchen a makerlab our workshop room for the Timelab Academy

Second floor - reflection and care

here there is : a caring space for workshops (soma, self development, internal work) an artists studio a meeting room

The artistic residency (AiR) art Timelab is not a service[edit source]

We want to introduce you shortly into the format of the AiR as a central part of the artistic program. Over the years, this format took many forms. With a short historic overview, we want to position ourselves in the world of artists’ residencies. In the annex you find a list of artists that have been in residency in Timelab in the last years.

Although best known from the romantic 19 and 20 centuries where patronage offered a place to stay and work to various artists from abroad, the dominant model of arts residencies emerged in the 1960s offering artists to withdraw from daily life into an escape or, the opposite, a period of work in a local community, often with a need for social or political change. Artists-run-residencies developed an alternative exhibition circuit and made the residency work more visible. In the late 80 and 90s, the globalization and high mobility of people influenced the arts residencies. An international and intercultural encounter brought the hosting organization to the foreground as an independent connector and catalyst of the global art world and the local contemporary art scene. The residential arts center started forming an international fabric of knowledge and experience in the arts. After 2000, this network further intensified and consolidated. With this evolution, also the need to explore the meaning and value of AiR grew.

Digitalisation and social media, cheaper and easier traveling, profoundly diversified and enlarged the field of residency places all over the world. They organized as a field, advocate for their being and with this the competition took off. For many artists, residencies became an important part of their career. Quality standards and selection procedures became an important part of the work of the hosting organization. In this evolution, we cannot deny a rising market logic getting a grip on artistic practice and autonomy of the arts. The AIR risks to bite itself in the tail. Born to disconnect from daily pressure and to have a full autonomy of the creation in order to crack open unseen layers of the mundane, the free form of the AIR becomes a service. As a reaction, hard to grasp models of residencies came into existence. The fluidity led to the rise of more thematic residencies. The focus on the model of working shifts to the ‘what’ we are focussing on. The topics, more and more often becoming topics of sustainability and complex societal issues, also are a hook to work interdisciplinary with experts on the field from different perspectives. Both organizations and artists are rethinking their role in society and the cultural field. The artistic practice develops towards artistic research. Residencies offer other spaces and models for the development of knowledge, not only in the arts, but in society as well. The role of the host to capture and develop a knowledge network, known from the sixties residencies, breaks through the boundaries of the arts scene and delivers more often a necessary contribution to all kinds of research and development. We see businesses inviting artists to develop or redesign products and services or throw another perspective on the non-arts environment. An approach embraced by some, banned by others.

The AiR is part of a format of 2 years cycli in the artistic program that is driven by the collaboration between the sprinters and the hosting organization Timelab. They meet every year in spring to define the research question of the fall residency. The agent, who is part of the timelab staff team, takes up the accountability to bring the research question into the residency program without pushing the artists to give answers, produce or present. The AiR takes place in the fall, 2 artists reside in the Timelab space for 3 months. They are selected based on a thematic link with the streams and projects. Defining the host as a dramaturg and the space as a container leads us to a very specific approach of the residency as a format focused on personal growth, self care, autonomy and reflection as an enabler for a stronger position of the artist in society. This very specific format of residency is not a dogma. For the yearly open call for residents, we leave the option to the applicant to go for a classical residency or a presence residency.

The artistic program cycle - year 2023[edit source]


Z. Blace, Rasa Alksnyte, Andrew gryf Paterson, Stefan Klein, Jesse Howard, Vanessa Brazeau

The profile of the sprinters is a small group of intuitively affiliated artists who have an interest in the artists’ intersectionality, relationship between individual and institution and commons strategies with the underlying goal to break out of the dominant economic - competitive, monetary, linear discourse and move toward gaining resilience and autonomy.

They act on a meta-level, connecting the cycles of practical research/experiments and are continuously building - together with the organizing Host - the knowledge body, or memory of the organization.

- the sprinters are 'mid career', mature artists with experience on the level of organizational models

- the sprinters look at their artistic practice from the perspective of being fully human, on the intersection of many roles in life.
- the sprinters operate on a meta level, their role is not to combine with a residency or mentorship in Timelab
- the sprinters gather every year, 4 days end of february together with the team of timelab
- at the yearly sprint the group evaluates the past work and sets the new research questions for the current year
- the agents, this is a role staff members takes who joins the project leads of residents, projects, camps, work with the research questions and report to the sprinters
- the sprinters end the yearly sprint with a publication and are supported in this task by graphic designers and writers to fulfill this task
- the sprinters are paid to take up this role and responsibility
- during the sprint we test several workshops and tools from our coaches network


Freja Nielsen - spring open call - fall

The artists are selected based on these characteristics :

thematic anchor with Timelab and work of the artist mid career, no junior artists mature and critical voice keen on collaborating and open dialogue self reliable


Evi Swinnen

The agent has its own research question. They connect the sprinting with the residency by observation and reflection.


Veronique De Mey

For any logistic or practical questions (planning, space, supplies, finances) you can connect to the SPOC.


Yearly publication by the sprinters + wiki platform form of dairy/reflection by the artist

Who you might bump up to : Marieke, Evi, Veronique, Ralph, Bart, Kioko, Helena, Jeff, Lieven

Process and habits[edit source]

how we care :
1. Maintain our rhythms : Daily check in, weekly stand-up, weekly tactical, monthly governance and quarterly evaluations.

2. Dedicate Mondays to team and space

3. Dedicate thursday to deep dives

4. Promptly inform of any absences, including illness or sabbaticals.

5. Communicate clearly, create and observe explicit norms and boundaries. This includes responding to any team communications and, also, expressing opinion, addressing power and vulnerability.

6. Teach themself and mentor others on working in the collective while being ready to give and receive critical feedback.

7. Represent and advocate for their team, online and offline

8. Systemically distribute Care work

a. Their level of care work will correspond to the benefit they get from being part of the collective. b. They will care for the wellbeing of the collective as a living entity, and make sure it’s healthy and thriving. c. They will care for the wellbeing of all members of the collective, specially the person they are supporting.

9. Not wait for others to do what I could do myself, and ask for help when they get stuck.

10. Offer their creativity and dedication and create new patterns together.

Onboarding tasks

  • stand up
  • dompeldagen
  • rituals
  • presentations
  • key, flat and other practical issues
  • shadowing during external visits

Expectations of the host to discuss at start:

  • journaling
  • wiki
  • weekly meetings with the agent, spoc, team
  • presentation of your work
  • sports and embodiment
  • food and kitchen activities
  • reading and library fun
  • any form of observation
  • mentoring
  • planning meetings and coaching

Practicalities[edit source]

Directions to Timelab
Kogelstraat 34, 9000 Gent

By Train / public transport

You should arrive at Gent-Dampoort

From Brussels: different trains (e.g. direction of Brugge, Poperinge, …) are possible, but they should have a stop at Gent-Sint-Pieters station → switch trains (quickly!) to arrive at station Gent-Dampoort (different directions are possible: e.g. Eeklo, Antwerp)

From Antwerp: different trains (e.g. direction of Oostende, Poperinge, Gent-Sint-Pieters), but this train will have a stop at Gent-Dampoort

Go to the back of the station (through under the train bridge), and go to Antwerpsesteenweg. Kogelstraat is a side street



If you want to visit our space in VR or online audio walk, a creation by Duncan Speakman, Tineke De Meyer and XR5


We want to invite you to take care of the garden and outside space and help to keep the shared space maintained. Cleaning supplies can be found on all flours on dedicated places. Stock of cleaning products and toilet paper can be found on the ground floor. If some products are out of stock, please let Veronique know.

Key Policy
You will get 1 key. It will give entrance to the whole building.

Heating Policy We use many different heating systems, please inform us about the use beforehand and don’t forget to turn it off when you leave.

Absence The residency is a presence residency, so by long absence the contract will stop.

Team holidays The full team takes a month off in July and 2 weeks in December. We do not take into account our official holidays. For leaves during the year we collectively agree or team members can propose their activity on which they will not be available according to their personal needs.

What happens if you are not available for a half day, few days etc? As long as it is not harmful for the organization, this is possible.

Key is to communicate about it as soon as possible:

If the unavailability is light:

You can use these platforms to communicate your plans as soon as possible.

  • weekly meeting
  • slack channel (stand-up)
  • If you are not available on the planned meeting, let us know the week before.

If you are completely unreachable for a day or longer: for longer unavailabilities, check if it is unharmful by discussing it at the weekly meeting.

What happens in case of emergencies?

Let Veronique know as soon as possible, preferably before the start of the day and by phone call.

An evacuation plan is available on all floors. The fire alarm control centre is located on the ground floor. In case of a fire alarm, close windows, bring yourself in safety and go to the gathering point outside of the building and call the emergency number. Emergency number for Medical, fire and general: 112

General medical practice: Centrum voor Gezondheid en Welzijn Campo Santo Antwerpsesteenweg 418, 9040 Gent - 09 228 01 00