Arc artist residency was housed in the former pilgrim hostel of Romainmôtier Abbey. The monastery, founded by Romanus of Condat, after whom it was named, is a Cluniac site.
The building is inscribed in the Swiss Inventory of Cultural Property of National and Regional importance.
Arc artist residency was owned by Migros Culture Percentage, which purchased the house in 1981 and renovated it between 1991 and 1994.
Veronika Sellier was the director from 1996 to 2014. During her tenure, L’arc – the French abbreviation of its full title “Littérature et atelier de réflexion contemporaine” – was open to writers and artists for laboratories, workshops, symposia and debates. L’arc hosted an array of interdisciplinary events that combined different arts forms, such as literature, theatre, dance, music, film and new media, and provided the setting for a series of public concerts, lectures and try-outs. It has also published several books.
From 2015 to December 2018, under the direction of Sally De Kunst, Arc opened up to artists and practitioners from different fields. It offered different types of residencies: 1-month custom-made residencies for research for individuals or groups, 4-day Walk & Talk residencies for discursive exchange between two practitioners and 1-week thematic residencies where an interdisciplinary group of practitioners dealt with a societal question. During this period Arc kept re-inventing itself, by continuously questioning the residency as an art institution from within and without, challenging values, testing new ways of collaboration and questioning the wider socio-cultural ecology. Arc was a breathing organism, an experience of living and working together, a community of practice of artists, experts and other guests, an ecosystem in which the sharing of the research was an intrinsic part of the research.