The Koumaria Residency is a program for site-specific sound projects organized by Medea Electronique. In 2017, 2018 and 2019 the residency programme was organized in cooperation with the Onassis Stegi – Athens in the framework of the Interfaces Network.
Koumaria Residency Open Call 2017 click here (deadine 15/06/217) - application procedure is closed
Koumaria Residency Open Call 2018 click here (deadline 01/6/2018) - application procedure is closed
Koumaria Residency Open Call 2019 click here (deadline 1/04/2019) - application procedure is closed
Since 2009 the artist collective Medea Electronique has organized annually a 10-day experimental artist residency, Koumaria, near Sparta in Greece, focusing on improvisation and new media practices. Avant-garde artists from all over the world, inspired by the Greek natural landscape, come together to create a multicultural and cross-media ‘dialogue’ culminating in a collective presentation in Athens at the end of the residency.
The goal of the residency is the creation of an educational experience for the participants that will inspire and exalt their future work. The cross-cultural dialogues that the residency engenders both create new artistic speculations and smelt older assumptions. Past residents have formed lasting friendships and new artistic partnerships. Medea Electronique, being an eclectic art collective, is interested in people from diverse cultural and artistic backgrounds. For Medea Electronique the residency serves as a model for future creative endeavors.
It is worth emphasizing that Koumaria’s focus is COLLECTIVE art creation. Individuals should expect, and desire, substantive input from other residents, and be open to having their projects morph considerably during the course of the residency. While the final outputs may each have a primary organizer behind them, Koumaria is not the place for the development and presentation of solo works/content.
The place of the residency:
The residency is held at an organic olive oil farm at the foot of Mount Taigetos in Sparta. The base for the residency, a modern and comfortable house, features dormitory-style bedrooms, large and comfortable common rooms (featuring fireplaces and magnificent views of the surrounding mountains and fields), two primary spaces for project development and practice, terraces, rooftop overlooks, and a large and modern kitchen. The surrounding hills, mountains, villages and the not too distant sea, coupled with a vast expanse of sky, stars, and ever-changing mountain vistas, afford the residents amble space and opportunity for creative work. Meals are taken communally, with an emphasis on fresh and local produce and traditional recipes. In this environment artists not only have the chance to live and work together interacting with the Greek landscape, but also to trade their experiences concerning everyday life and culture. Chores are undertaken collectively, but there is ample time for residents to work, create, explore the surroundings and enter into new artistic partnerships.
Koumaria Residency is interested in people from diverse cultural and artistic backgrounds. Past residents have come from a variety of artistic backgrounds, and from numerous countries. While assorted nationalities and ethnicities have been represented, the common language of the residency is English (although fluency is not necessary, an ability to interact with other artists in English is necessary).
Members of Medea Electronique will also be on hand to both guide the overall direction of the content being developed, and fully participate in the content development. While these members will be able to lend their expertise in assorted new media practices, and have great knowledge of the area, and the precise needs of the app, they are equal partners with the residents in the artistic production.
In other words, the Koumaria Residency is not a school or workshop in new media art production run or taught by Medea Electronique. In contrast, the residents are expected to be experienced in their chosen media, understand the use of the technologies they interact with, and come with these technologies or make it clear in advance what they will need to be supplied. The residency takes place in a remote region of Greece – see the residency details for what this means for availability of technology materials when there.
Koumaria Residency 2017
In 2017 the residency focused on generating content (and documentation of the creative process) for a new sound walk app for the visitors of Sparta and the surrounding countryside. This is the third such app to be brought on-line by Medea, and the first to focus on both urban and rural locations. A number of sites will be visited, including Sparta, the village of Sellasia (adjacent to the residency base), and a great number of archeological, historical, and religious sites, along with sites of great natural beauty and interest.
The residents will produce high-quality content in all media related to these sites, often produced at the sites, which will enrich the site-experience for the visitors. The content may well vary from site to site—from the filming of an in-situ dance performance, to photographic projects, musical performance, cross/multi art performances, or the use of new technologies, triggers, control surfaces to animate the spaces.
Alongside the sound walk App that was developed during the Koumaria Residency 2017 the artists also focused on music/sound, audiovisual, and performative artwork that makes heavy use of technology and new media.
Selected Artists in Residence for 2017:
Alma Toaspern (Germany) - dancer/ choreographer
Eleni Kavouki (Greece) - media artist
Evi Nakou (Greece) - flutist/ sound artist
Jamie Ranney (USA) - dancer/ choreographer
Kathrerine Wilkinson (USA) - theatre director/ performer
Mitchell Herrmann (USA) - sound artist
Peter Gonda (Slovakia) - theatre director/ coder
Sara Maino (Italy) - multimedia artist
Koumaria Residency 2018
Koumaria residency 2018 celebrated its tenth anniversary. On the occasion of the partnership with Interfaces Network, the theme for this year’s residency was INTERFACES:
What is an interface?
When is an instrument an interface/an interface an instrument?
How does the structure of an interface determine the structure of the art it is used to produce?
When is a performer an interface?
Can a whole performance be an interface?
Themes such as these were to be explored. Therefore Koumaria Residency called for artists who design, build and/or employ new interfaces or preexisting interfaces in innovative ways, and performers who are excited by the prospect of working with new interfaces, or becoming one! Medea Electronique is committed to the high quality documentation of the residency, and so those interested in creating innovative documentation were also invited to apply. Residents had the opportunity to employ the interfaces used as part of the content for MyCity MySounds soundwalk app, created in association with ZKM and the Onassis Stegi Athens, dedicated to the landscape surrounding the residency site.
Koumaria Residency 2019
Within the framework of the Interfaces Project, the theme of the Koumaria Residency 2019 was "Improvising the Archive/Archiving the Improvisatory". Medea Electronique has collected documentation (audio, video, photos, text, image) of its past ten residencies, in and about Sellasia, approx. 10 km north of Sparta. Focusing on site-specific mixed media performance, this material not only traces the history and development of Koumaria, but also that of the village of Sellasia—stories told, histories revealed, places explored, narratives uncovered. What are the potentials of an archive that is simultaneously a collection of cutting-edge site specific new media art, and a repository of village life and change? How can the improvisatory impulse behind the art created at Koumaria interact creatively, faithfully and responsibly with the highly improvisatory ways in which communities evolve and grow? What might an archive be like which can reveal both, and allow the archive visitor to themselves be an active improvising creative agent—an archivist of the archive?
Applicants were invited to explore pasts Koumaria performances/projects as found at: http://medeaelectronique.com/koumaria/ The relationship between the archival work and the new work can be very close—a reenactment, a montage of the previous materials, a continuation of an earlier piece– or quite tenuous, a new piece conceptually linked to an archived project, building upon it, contradicting it.
22-31 Οctober 2018
29 May-10 June 2019
In collaboration with: