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Koumaria Residency DAY 1 and DAY 2

By October 10, 2012March 18th, 2016Uncategorized

The residents have all arrived this afternoon and evening to Koumaria.  Stalwart Medea Electonique members have already been here for days—bringing truck-loads a equipment and food here (with some memorable results, including getting stuck in the olive groves!), and cooking for two days.  Many of the residents are in Greece for the first time, and everyone is, as always, taken by the beauty of the place.  We were met by a table full of small sounding-robots, and the cases, cables and speakers that, by late tonight, or tomorrow morning, will be transformed into our multi-media laboratory.  Over our typically generous dinner, with much local wine, we started to discuss what we are all here for.  A spirited discussion about what machine-human interactivity meant to each of us artistically took place.  The discussion roamed widely—from what counts as a machine, through the notion of nostolgia for earlier generations of machines, the speed with which computer-based machines are “catching up” to humans, and the idea of machine personality.  We decided to have assorted residents lead informal workshops, to help us all learn more about each others artistic practices and sensibilites, and to serve as a breeding-ground for possible collaborative projects. Under a richly glowing milky-way, residents converged on the deck to  chat, smoke, eat sweets, empty bottles of wine, and come to learn about each other as artists and persons.  We think this is going to be a successful residency!  Tomorrow, our annual group walk to the village, where we will meet the cafe regulars who have become, often literally, a part of our annual artistic creations.

The residency woke up this morning to clear skies against a backdrop of brightly etched mountains.  After breakfast we took a walk to the village to meet the locals who have over the years always shown great interest and kindness to us.  Coffee, beer, cognac, cheese, bread and, of course, olives!  We returned to complete setting up the main studio, cables constructed, patches being designed.  There was an air of studiousness in the main house, with residents intently writing notes, or programming their computers.  After  dinner, many courses, and, as usual washed down with bottles of local wine, we started to discuss what folks had done that day.  A couple of themes emerged, one focusing on the linked metaphors of bones and packaging to link both bodies and machines.  Whether it is the insides of instruments, the skeletal mapping of the human body via a Kinect, the visual schemas of Max programs, or lines of communication linking both humans and machines to each other over wireless or wired systems, it was thought we might try to reveal “the bones” of such interactions, and the packaging that they support.  This talk of packaging also was revealed in a project to consider both the visual and sonic qualities of the processes of food production, bringing in the local manufacturing of olives, and the production of jams by the residents themselves.  A wide-ranging discussion followed, culminating in a more technical talk about the performance space, and what we need to do when.  A number of resident led workshops are planned for tomorrow.  Folks seem ready to collaborate and create, its going to be fun!

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