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.
For the past 5 years Tessa has been carrying out an endurance exercise in transient residence, floating somewhere between the 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). Current home is in Finland as an autumn fellow at Saari Residence.
She has lately grown things with others in collective frameworks that include Marjetica Potrč‘s Design for the Living World program (Belgrade & Mexico City), Parckdesign 2016: Jardin Essential (Brussels). and new artist micro-publishing platform Cloudship Press (Sydney). Tessa is also active in ongoing group ventures Collective Disaster, (no)action(no)space, The Librarium and Weathering, and was previously part of Yurt Empire, the 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).
Tessa has since 2004 taught in Interdisciplinary Design at the University of Technology Sydney, and these days can often be found playing librarian at Frontyard Projects.