Koumaria 2023 Open Call
By artist collective Medea Electronique
Residency Dates : April 29-May 14, 2023
Application Deadline: February 1St results by February 15th
“The Trials—New Forms of Collaboration for/with Medea Electronique”
Since 2009 the artist collective Medea Electronique has organized an annual 10-day experimental artist residency, Koumaria, near Sparta in Greece (the village of Sellasia), focusing on improvisation and new media practices. New-media 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 Sellasia, and high quality documentation of the works produced during the residency. Past residents have formed lasting friendships and new artistic partnerships. For us the residency serves as a model for future creative collaborations.
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.
This year’s residency will be conjoined with the Medea “Trials”. Medea is always looking to expand its own creative practice, and those it collaborates with, beyond the forms of creative expertise found within the collective. That is to say, Medea is looking to expand the particular way it focus on new media art, electronic and electo-acoustic music, and other digital forms of creative expression. And so the first 12 days of Koumaria will be spent at the residency site described above, where members of Medea will work with the residents to produce 4 distinct works (with distinct groundings in particular art-forms or combinations of art-forms). We will then move to Athens for 5 days, where these four works will be presented/performed as four “trials”. These are trials in the following senses:
1.They involve Medea members collaborating with new artists for the first time (the residents)
- These collaborative works will engage Medea members in creative environments new to them, and to the collective as a whole.
- These collaborative works may serve as the beginning of longer-term collaborations, including looking for ways to fund more expansive and new versions of the works in the trials.
These four “trials” will be presented/performed in Athens at Plyfa Factory, where there will also be a discussion with the audience afterwards (a distinct form of trial!). We hope these trials will be but the beginning of longer-term collaborations, and new more expansive projects.
We will also present the works in Sellasia, prior to returning to Athens, there taking advantage of the distinct sites the village and its surroundings offer for presentation and performance.
We place no limitations on the creative practice you might engage in, from playing a traditional acoustic instrument, to making puppets, or throwing pots, or practicing a traditional dance form…who knows, as long as you have a preliminary idea of how you would want to work with Medea members and the other residents. Note, we are not excluding new media artists who work in methods/media that Medea Electronique has not explored. We look to expand our own creative horizons, to nourish our creative practice by working in close collaboration with artists who challenge our methodologies and techniques/modes of production. Perhaps you are a new media artist, but work in a fashion unlike that which Medea Electronique has experience in. Perhaps you chosen art-form is one we have not explored. Maybe the sort of music you are expert in, whether acoustic or electronic, brings something new to our collective.
To get a sense of the historical range of Medea projects, we invite applicants to explore pasts Koumaria performances/projects as found at:
Your application should include a statement of your interest in this year’s theme, and a sketch of a way you might want to explore it collaboratively with other artists across disciplines and media. It should foreground the way in which you view your creative practice as different from/complementary to/ an expansion upon/ adding to, the creative practice of Medea (based on your knowledge of Medea as found in our archive, link above). We are looking for artists excited by the idea of collaborative artistic creation, grounded in an improvisatory spirit and practice. In particular, please describe your creative practice, and how it both relates to and differs from, that of Medea Electronique, and outline the sort of collaborative work you with to create.
It is worth emphasizing that Koumaria’s focus is COLLECTIVE art creation. Individual should expect, and desire, substantive input from other residents, and be open to having their projects morph considerably during the course of the residency.
Medea Electronique, being an eclectic art collective, 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 (athough fluency is not necessary, an ability to interact with other artists in English is necessary).
Members of Medea Electronique will be on hand to both guide the overall direction of the residency, and to fully participate in the residency as artists.
(Note: This is a remote region of Greece, with limited ability to obtain tech/electronic materials while we are there. Residents will need to check in advance concerning what materials will be available, and what they will need to bring. It is far easier to get in the area a bail of wire, or a piece of pipe then a semi-conductor or an obscure battery!)
The residency provides:
- In terms of hospitality
- transportation from Athens to the residency and back.
- housing and food supplies during the course of the residency (that is at the residency site in Sellasia, and then five nights is Athens, where you will be put-up by Medea members, or offered other comfortable accommodation)
- Internet connection at the residency
- Transportation to all the sites
While there are few expenses the residents need to consider while at the residency, it is worth having some funds for trips to local cafes and the like. Calculate approximately 5-10 euros a day for such incidentals.
- Rooms, Bathrooms at the residency are shared
- Cooking and cleaning the house during our stay is undertaken collectively. We will create a cleaning rota so everyone knows what day they are expected to do what (say help that day with evening dishes, or sweep)
Paperwork to submit
- A participation form
- A personal statement saying why you want to participate. This statement should speak to this year’s theme. (see above)
- A small sample of your individual work (web-site, videos, pictures etc.)
- Your C.V.
IMPORTANT NOTE CONCERNING COVID
Medea reserves the right to cancel this residency at any time, if we deem it unsafe to have it take place. No reimbursements will be made for travel to Greece that you may have already purchased. While we will do all we can to assist any residents who may become ill during the course of the residency, Medea will not be responsible for any medical costs, housing, or other additional costs that you might incur were you to become ill.
Please submit all inquiries online at