Black Oikos | Aida Miron & Hans-Petter Bjørnådal

February 16th - 25th, 2018

The Black Oikos workshop is an experimental platform that will explore concepts of architecture, geometry, light and climate in a winter environment, as well as the ecology surrounding Arts Letters and Numbers. Encompassing a wooded landscape situated upon a hill, the 10 day workshop will culminate in the collective-construction of a cubic module for dwelling and individual explorations of silence. The “Black Oikos” is a light-cubic-structure, influenced by nomadic architectures, temporary-shelter-dwelling, and optical device for capturing light and time. 

The construction will sit on the hill as a glowing lantern, emitting and absorbing light, opened for the experience of silence. The Black Oikos is an observatory, a monad, an instrument to examine the elements and elemental. Its focus is the exploration between nature and the architectonics of the cube. How do we use architecture to explore the heavens, the winter light and various times of day?  How do we develop a “light” architecture with a light human imprint on nature? The overall structure, cuts and construction details will be developed using ALN wood and metal workshops, and traditional building techniques. Each participant will contribute with a cut- in relation to their points of view. The workshop is a framework for building together, an armature for a joint experience in construction. The Black Oikos refers to oiKOS- whose etymological root refers to the home, the unit, the family, to eco: ecology and economy. The workshop explores contemporary phenomena of climate change, in a search for alternatives to social-media overdose and urban noise and sound pollution.  

Aida Miron will draw from her experience in teaching the first year architectonics studio with Lebbeus Woods and David Gersten at the Cooper Union, as well as her research of indigenous architectures in Latin America and the sub-arctic. Hans-Petter Bjørnådal will draw from his experience and research of nomadic cultures and light works developed in former workshops.

Duration of Session

The Session will take place between February 16th - 25th, 2018


Application Deadline

February 1st, 2018


Participant Fee and Accommodation

Full Participation Fee (incl shared accommodation) is $575 for the full Session

Commuter (no accommodation included) is $475 for the full Session

You will be hosted in the House on the Hill, in shared arrangements in one of our nine bedrooms. The shared bedrooms sleeps 2 to 4 people. We will do our best and try to give everyone the privacy they need. Private accommodation might be available upon request for an additional fee.

The session fee also covers: prepared dinner each day, and self-service breakfast and lunch; local transportation for group excursions, as well as pick-up and drop-off at Albany, NY and Albany/Rensselaer, NY stations. Material, tools, and equipment connected to the group works for the session are covered. Participants are responsible for personal materials used in their creative work.  


Studio / Workspace

Because each artist's studio needs and space differs, we work with each artist to find the best possible working situation for them.  At the Mill we have a full metal and wood-working Shop, and spaces for building, cooking, filming, photographing, performance, composing, large-scale drawing, sculpture and painting. Our spaces are flexible and you are invited to create your own. Currently, the second floor of the Mill is under construction and is unfortunately not available at this time.  The Shop, however, is still available for everyone to use. In addition to the Mill, we also have our Barn, located next to the house, which offers a flexible indoor/outdoor space, along with additional spaces in the House. 


Structure and Expectations Towards the Artist

Artists are expected to pursue their individual creative endeavor within the framework of the Session. During the Session our Events and Artist in Residence Program will run in parallel and interweave with the program.



Arts Letters & Numbers is constructed by us: not just those who are directly involved in its day to day operation, but by everyone who sets foot in this remarkable place, from the fellows and participants, to visiting artists, local community members, and all who come through our doors. It is being constructed by and between us. This aspect of Arts Letters & Numbers is foundational. We are situated within an enthusiastic and supportive community that is highly active in the programming of Arts Letters & Numbers, and who also welcomes everyone to their weekly gatherings.  


Disciplines Support and Technical Information

The basis for Arts Letters and Numbers Residency Program is to encourage cross-disciplinary linkages. Work samples are required for evaluating applications. The application form asks for a website (preferred), however, you may also send samples, writing or images, directly to


Selection Process

Applications will be reviewed shortly after the deadline. If you have any questions regarding your application do not hesitate to ask at