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 us the residency serves as a model for future creative endeavors.
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.