Tessa Zettel is an artist, writer and researcher working in various collaborative modes to imagine or enact other ways of living. Her projects respond to their contexts, employing a kind of fabulist archaeology to make visible contested histories and possible futures. Often this involves bringing forms of mapping, dialogue, publishing or exchange to overlooked cultural practices and knowledge.
In recent years Tessa has conducted an endurance exercise in transient residence, slow travelling between work/home spaces at Saari Residence (Finland), Massia (Estonia), Institute for Provocation (Beijing), Nida Art Colony (Lithuania), HIAP Suomenlinna (Helsinki), Berlin’s Zentrum für Kunst und Urbanistik (ZK/U), Cité Internationale des Arts (Paris), Performing Arts Forum (rural France), Akademie Schloss Solitude (Stuttgart) and BEMA (Mexico).
In this time she has grown things with others in social infrastructures that include Marjetica Potrč‘s Design for the Living World program (Belgrade & Mexico City), Parckdesign: Jardin Essential (Brussels), and micro-publishing platform Cloudship Press (Sydney). Tessa is also active in ongoing group ventures Collective Disaster, Frontyard Projects, the T. Rudzinskaite Memorial Amateur Lichenologists Society and Weathering Collective, and was previously part of Yurt Empire, (no)action(no)space, The Librarium, Valentina Karga’s Summer School for Applied Autonomy, and Makeshift, whose speculative site-based projects appeared in such exhibitions as If you were to live here… 5th Auckland Triennial (Fresh Gallery, Auckland 2013) and In the Balance: Art for a Changing World (Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney 2010).
Since 2004 Tessa has taught sessionally in Interdisciplinary Design programs at the University of Technology Sydney, the University of NSW Art + Design and the University of Sydney.