Homepage of Akademie Schloss Solitude showing a grid of text for events and news articles, with images.

Akademie Schloss Solitude

Reviewed by:
Carlos Alberto Della Paschoa, Librarian, Vice President of REDARTE/RJ
Biblioteca Nélida Piñon, Instituto Cervantes Rio de Janeiro

Akademie Schloss Solitude is a public-law foundation that promotes artists and scientists through an international, transdisciplinary residency program. The Akademie Schloss Solitude website provides access to publications and residency projects.

Online publications that can be freely accessed via web browser include Solitude Journal, containing a selection of thematic essays and articles. Untranslatable Terms of Cultural Practices – A Shared Vocabulary, examines terms that do not translate into other languages; the approach conveys new values and perspectives.

The Web Residencies program promotes web-based experimentations. Several times artists are invited to respond to a topic put forth by a curator. Following the residency, the process and online work is shared via the Digital Solitude website and newsletter.

Solitude Blog, highlights artistic works and scientific research, as well as interviews and texts by former fellows, digital residents, and curators. Studio Visits invites readers into artist studios through written interviews. For those who wish to be informed about its activities, the Solitude newsletter covers current events, fellows, and ongoing residency calls.

Two image tiles. Above left reads: Solitude Journal 3 - Mutations ; Above right reads: Solitude Journal 2 - On the Occult and the Supernatural.

Schlosspost, the old website, is maintained as an open archive. Schlosspost features more than 1,800 contributions, including journal issues, videos or lectures and performances, and interviews posted from 2015 to 2020. In contrast to the current site, it is easy to navigate. The information is clear and well-organized.

While Akademie Schloss Solitude provides access to an impressive array of projects and publications, the navigation can be confusing. The page is very long, one has to scroll the vertical bar five times to see all the information. There are too many colors, fonts in different sizes and styles. The distribution of spaces is not homogeneous. There is a lack of cohesion between links and this prevents fluid navigation between topics and groupings. Some entries lack metadata and there are broken links. Although the site is bilingual German-English, there is plenty of content only available in one language. The introductory texts are somewhat superficial, which makes it difficult to understand the breadth and scope of the site. Only after navigating through the full website, and social media accounts (Facebook, Twitter and Instagram), can one realize the importance of the residency program and the quality of information available on the Akademie Schloss Solitude site. With some improvements in the visual and aesthetic organization of the page and the restructuring of its contents and metadata, it is possible to increase the quality, effectiveness, access and usability by users.

On the whole, the art and residents’ project on Akademie Schloss Solitude are a relevant and important resource not only for those who intend to submit an Artist-in-Residence project, but also for artists, researchers, historians, critics and information professionals.