Koumaria 2013 Open Call (Oct 24th – 4th of Nov-2013)
By artist collective Medea Electronique
Deadline July 15th 2013
Since 2009 the Athen’s based artist collective Medea Electronique has organized annually a 10-day experimental artist residency, held at an organic olive-oil farm outside a small village 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 in a multicultural and cross-media ‘dialogue’ culminating in the creation of artworks that bear the hallmarks of both improvisatory practices and collective intent.
Each year the residency has a theme, and for 2013 Koumaria will focus on site-specific works taking advantage of one or more of the many fascinating and unique places near the residency base. The works that emerge out of this intensive ten-day residency will be presented locally, in site, and documented for presentation in Athens at a later date. Some works, if appropriate, may be shown or performed in Athens.
The works created may vary considerably, from site-specific fixed installations, dance pieces, sound art and music, video and other image intensive art, or any and every hybrid. The unifying theme behind the works is simply that they all are created with a spirit of improvisatory exploration, and that each artist is open to, indeed hoping for, collaborative input from other residents. We view the final projects as the product of the residency itself, as opposed to individual artists. If you are excited by the prospect of creating cutting-edge new media art, incorporating the open-endedness of improvisatory practices, collaborating with other like-minded artists with a variety of artistic talents and visions, in a setting of great natural and historic beauty, while eating fresh local food, and drinking fine local wine, this is the residency for you!
The residency is held at an organic olive oil farm at the foot of Mount Taigetos in Sparta. 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 interchange their experiences on everyday life and culture. While the residency affords one opportunities for solitary work, this is NOT a residency where one works on solo projects in isolation from others. We work, eat and live together for ten days, and the works that emerge reflect this communal model. The common language of the residency is English, although you need not be a native English speaker, and we expect to have residents from a number of countries and cultures.
We encourage you to propose a project taking advantage of one or more of the site described below. While we do not expect fully-formed projects, we do expect you to have a well thought out proposal, taking advantage of the sites, and requiring the participation of others to be brought to fruition. The residency is hosted by the new media art collective MedeaElectronique, and their expertise can be used by residents. This includes:
- A full electro-acoustic improvising ensemble, including Laptop and electronics, guitar, brass, acoustic bass and saxophone.
- Expert circuit designers
- Video editors and artists
- Sound art experts
- Set designers
- Project coordinators
MedeaElectronique specializes in collective art creation and production, and looks forward to assisting with your projects. We ask that you be as specific as possible with respect to your needs, both material (equipment, etc.) and personnel (expertise and the like). The residency site will be equipped with the following:
1) Mac Pro with Logic and Adobe’s Creative Suite, assorted VST plug-ins.
2) 32-channel digital mixing desk, high-end monitoring (8 Channel Diffusion Setup)
3) Studio microphones and sound processors.
4) Digital recorders (Olympus LS11, Tascam HD2)
Other equipment could be made available if we know what it is far enough in advance. You may well need to bring with you very specialized equipment and materials. All aspects of the residency will be documented, both video and audio.
A Day at Koumaria
While Koumaria is always a fun experience, it is also an intensive concentrated time for work! We collectively keep the residency home itself clean and neat, and help with the cooking and other tasks. Sleeping is in four dormitory-style rooms. We eat collectively each evening, a substantial cooked meal, while breakfast is more informal (people eat when they awake), and lunch is often taken “on the fly”. Each evening we meet after dinner to discuss the progress of the projects, plan the next days outings and activities, and, when necessary, schedule the use of the primary rehearsal and performance spaces in the house. Most the day you are free to work. Evenings often involve improvised performances in the main space, and rehearsals/work on assorted projects. About every other day we collectively do a big clean of the house, which, with full cooperation, does not take too long. The residency is not for those who require lots of “alone time”! It is important to realize that we are in a very remote part of Greece, with limited resources for the purchase of equipment and the like. We need to plan trips and outings carefully. This is the beauty of the place, we really are “out there”! Please go to the website of the residency to see examples of past projects, and many images and videos of the residency site itself, and the surrounding areas.
Site Specific Art
Koumaria is located on a remote organic olive oil farm outside the small village of Sellasia, about 15 km north of Sparta in the Peloponnese. It is an area exceptionally rich in history and natural beauty, poised opposite one of the most significant, and scenic, mountain ranges in Greece, a couple of hours from the sea, and surrounded by historical sites spanning the whole history of Greece. (The village is now called Oinountas on Google maps). It is about a 20 minutes walk to the village, through the olive groves. Sites to consider for site-specific works include:
The residency site itself, an olive grove, with panoramic views of the surrounding mountains and hills.
The local village, with a year-round population of a couple of hundred, two small cafes, and colorful local characters!
Mt. Taygetos—The main peak in the range of mountains which the residency site faces (and which you can view from the living room and deck!). These mountains, the mythological home of the muses, are rugged, with rocky exposed peaks, densely wooded slopes, with streams and abundant wildlife. It is about a half-hour drive to the base of the trail system that leads up the mountain, and about an hour hike, of moderate difficulty, to the first peak. Works could be constructed, and even installed here. http://www.mani.org.gr/en/taigetos/taig1/taig1.htm
Mystras—A world heritage site, and one of the most important, and best preserved, Greek Byzantine towns. About a 30 min drive. If there was interest in using this fantastic site, we will make enquires into the possibility of working in this archeologically important,and sensitive area. http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/511
The many villages, sea coast, ruins, and sites of the Mani Peninsula. The area, rich in history, with a rugged coastline and many medieval ruined villages, is about a 2 hour drive away: http://www.mani.org.gr/en/
Gythio (and other ports) About an hour drive, a fishing village and the ancient port of Sparta. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gytheio
There are assorted ancient ruins in the area, and many churches, small villages, woods, fields, hills, and more industrial sites such as quarries, assorted industrial sites, and the modern small city of Sparti.
The residency provides:
A.In terms of hospitality
1) transportation from Athens to the residency and back.
2) housing and food supplies in Sparta
3) Internet connection while in Sparta residency
4) housing in Athens during the presentations
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.
Rooms, Bathrooms in Sparta are shared
Cooking and cleaning the house during our stay is undertaken collectively
B. In terms of equipment
1) A Mac Pro with Logic and Final Cut, assorted plugins
2) A 32-channel digital mixing desk, high-end monitoring (8 Channel Diffusion Set UP)
3) A range of studio microphones and sound processors
4) 2 digital recorders (Olympus LS11, Tascam HD2)
You ought to bring your own equipment/instrument and computers
We do not provide…
Unfortunately no artist fee is to be given for the presentations/performances. Residents are also responsible for their own transportation to and from Athens.
Your application should include:
A description of your project, and the site or sites you hope to use
Samples of your work (audio/video/photos—links to websites, or DVD/CD (which will not be returned))
A statement of your experience with and/or interest in both collaborative art creation, site specific art work, new media art and improvisational art.
Please submit all inquiries preferable online at
or at (Please only regular Post)
Feidiou 11 Gerakas