Koumaria: Improvising Across Boundaries in New Media Art and Community, traces the history and development of the Koumaria Arts Residency via interviews, performance footage, animation and in situ footage. Run by the Athens-based new media art collective Medea Electronique, the annual Koumaria residency draws an international group of new media artists to an isolated olive oil farm in Southern Greece for the creation of collective cross-arts projects grounded in an improvisatory philosophy. This film documents the artistic, social and personal aspects of the residency, exploring how community forms around the creation of new media art.
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In an old olive grove artists are detached from their everyday activities to: Our remote and beautiful location allows you to detach from your everyday routines and focus on artistic creation.
The food at the residency is produced from organically grown vegetables grown on our land, and nearby farms.
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.
A Lifetime Experience
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. For us the residency serves as a model for future creative endeavors.
We are MedeaElectronique
Comprised of a collective formed in 2006 in Athens, Greece, inspired by a play on words between Medea and Media. Comprising of a wide range of individual artists working collectively under the Medea Electronique name, we share a predisposition for innovation in the performing arts.
Meeting experimental artists that question and re-evaluate their work and their position towards technology, the Koumaria experience made me grasp into the sensitivity and curiosities of a group of diverse and vibrant artists and expand my interests and artistic horizons and my attitude towards a mature yet brutal way of dealing with experimentation.Ioanna PaunKoumaria 2010 resident
The olive factory for me was an immediate inspiration even from the outdoor first meeting at the very first day of the residency. Walking by the big door outside made me want to “play” and reshape my body and movement according to the door and environment, and according to the light that was shadowing the door in an interesting way the moment I passed there. All this made me very curious realizing how they responded and what they thought and felt about all the happenings that were making this old factory so much alive.
Thanks for the experience and memories!Nirit RegaviKoumaria 2014 resident
During Koumaria residency a collaborative community has been created among resident artists, the members of Medea Electronique collective and the people of Selassia village. The overall experience has been rewarding offering a chance to meet great people and places, share experiences and knowledge, to collaborate with professionals from various disciplines and to develop interesting projects.Katerina AndonopoulouKoumaria 2014 resident
Koumaria 2014 in the village of Sellasia (Greece) was a wonderful experience for 10 days with artists from different artistic fields and countries, from the sound or video to sculpture or performance. There is very easy to develop a project in a matter of days, either by the ease in which other artists are involved in the project, or simply because the place inspires and offers a new sphere for each of us. Koumaria 2014 was a residence of friends, of people interested and responsible with the field of art; willing to work and create a warm atmosphere for inspiration.Alfredo PechuanKoumaria 2014 resident
The Koumaria residency was a unique opportunity to connect with a very different way of working. The communal nature of the residency opened me to examine how and why I create music. Not only did I play music, explore the Mad Scientist Machine conducting software I have created with the musicians and program custom software for them, I also picked olives and nettles, ate the most fantastic meals from food gathered from the area, and drank Ouzo.Stefan SmulovichKoumaria 2010 resident
I’ve been along for the ride with the residency since the beginning – not on the planning and organization side, that is, just on the turning up and joining in. All of the different visits have blurred into one now, and to a surprising extent the creative work each time has become intermingled in my memory, so I’m not sure exactly what happened one year and what happened in a different year.Tim WardMedeaelectronique Member and frequent resident
My experiences from this residency are unique, as I have never before lived in such a situation, surrounded by so many creative artists. In every residency new relationships are being formed and new art is created. Art that is on one hand ephemeral, as the pieces created might not see another performance, but on the other hand permanent, as it influences one's artistic overall output.Alex DrymonitisMedeaelectronique Member and Organiser
To wake up, see the mountains, stroll through the olive groves, only to perhaps find yourself playing trumpet while being videoed for part of an improvised play, itself animated and then forming part of a video projection, or perhaps a graphic score, is a way of opening yourself up to the new, the contingent, the unknown.Eric LewisMedeaelectronique Member and organiser
Observing from a distance can sometimes be a very clarifying and rewarding experience. In the couple of days I was there, I watched the dynamics of the Koumaria Residency change multiple times, which I won't go into because it would take too long, and perhaps you just had to be there.Delaney StockleyKoumaria Visitor 2011
The residency reinforced my beliefs that sound, light & art are mediums for entrainment of the mind, body & collective energy.Gaynor OflynnKoumaria 2010 resident