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CFP – Koumaria 2019 Open Call

April 1, 2019

koumaria-20109 call image

The Koumaria New Media Art Residency, has moved from the Fall to the Late Spring!

Improvising the Archive/Archiving the Improvisatory

By artist collective Medea Electronique
In Partnership with the Onassis Cultural Centre(OCC) in the framework of the INTERFACES project supported by the Creative Europe Programme of the European Union. (
FROM MAY 29th to JUNE 10th

Deadline: April 1st. 2019
Please note the dates—we have moved the residency to the early summer to take advantage of different weather patterns and natural landscapes.


Applications from artists, musicians, composers, philosophers, archivists/researchers, video artists, designers, dancers and anyone who designs, builds and/or employs new interfaces or pre-existing interfaces in innovative ways, and performers who are excited by the prospect of working with new interfaces, or becoming one.


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 both locally and in Athens at the end of 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 Years’ Theme : Improvising the Archive/Archiving the Improvisatory

In partnership with the pan-European EU funded Interfaces Project (,
this year’s residency is on the theme of Improvising the Archive/Archiving the Improvisatory. Medea Electronique has collected documentation (audio, video, photos, text, image) of its past ten residencies, in and about Sellasia, approx. 10 km north of Sparta. Focusing on site-specific mixed media performance, this material not only traces the history and development of Koumaria, but also that of the village of Sellasia—stories told, histories revealed, places explored, narratives uncovered. What are the potentials of an archive that is simultaneously a collection of cutting-edge site specific new media art, and a repository of village life and change? How can the improvisatory impulse behind the art created at Koumaria interact creatively, faithfully and responsibly with the highly improvisatory ways in which communities evolve and grow? What might an archive be like which can reveal both, and allow the archive visitor to themselves be an active improvising creative agent—an archivist of the archive?

Koumaria 2019 will explore these themes, as part of our ongoing project to create an innovative archive for Koumara, and therefore also for Sellasia. In particular we will focus on the exhibition of this archival material in the village of Sellasia, as a way to give back to the village for our ten year (and ongoing) collaboration with them. Focusing on text-based and photographic materials we will install an exhibit at five sites in the village—3 coffee shops, a tavern, and an abandoned oil processing facility. Each site will be indexed to one of five themes: architecture, space and in situ performance; interviews/portraits; the olive facility and the residency house; textures, nature and pathways; traditional items, memory traces and myths. The residency with produce five performative/installation outputs, one for each site, related to the exhibit theme of that site. As part of Medea Electronique’s desire to reanimate archival materials and have them serve as materials for improvisatory creation, each of the five residency performances/ installations should take as their inspiration a pre-existing documented Koumaria project. We therefore invite applicants to explore pasts Koumaria performances/projects as found at: The relationship between the archival work and the new work can be very close—a reenactment, a montage of the previous materials, a continuation of an earlier piece—or quite tenuous, a new piece conceptually linked to an archived project, building upon it, contradicting it. All we ask is that the artists be prepared to speak to how the new piece is in dialogue with an archived project, and is appropriate given one of the five themes. We ask applicants to go over the past projects found on our website, and formulate possible ideas which speak to their artistic interests and expertise, as to how they might use these archived projects in new projects that can be presented/performed in the manner outlined above. Your application should include a way you want to use/revisit one or more of these projects. Examples might include (but of course feel free to propose your own idea!):

What would it mean to restage a past performance with different (or perhaps the same?) performers), in the same site, or a different site?
How might a past piece of documentation be used itself as a score for producing a new work?
How might a new work bring into dialogue a number of past documented performances?
What might it mean to archive these past performances in an innovative way?
How might a little change in a past work (the Epicurian swerve (paregklisis) effect a large change in meaning/affect/aesthetics?
More generally your proposed project should think creatively about our existing archive—about ways to improvise with it.

Given the theme, we are looking for artists excited by the idea of collaborative artistic creation, grounded in an improvisatory spirit and practice, who are excited by the thought of reanimating our archived works. We hope this call will be of interest not only to new and mixed media artists, but also to archivists excited by the idea of thinking about the archive itself, and methodologies for its creation and access, in new ways. It is worth emphasizing that Koumaria’s focus is COLLECTIVE art creation. Individuals should expect, and desire, substantive input from other residents, and be open to having their projects morph considerably during the course of the residency. While the final outputs we produce may each have a primary organizer behind them, Koumaria is not the place for the development and presentation of solo works/content.

About Residents

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 (although 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 assist in guiding the overall direction of the residency, and to fully participate in the residency as artists. While these members will be able to lend their expertise in assorted new media practices, and have great knowledge of the area, they are equal partners with the residents in the artistic production. In other words, the Koumaria Residency is not a school, or workshop in new media art  production run or taught by Medea Electronique, the residents are expected to be experienced in their chosen  media, understand the use of the technologies they interact with, and come with these technologies or make it clear in advance what they will need to be supplied.

(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 semiconductor or an obscure battery!) Artist working in any media or practice are welcome, as long as you have experience in collective
improvised work, and interest in the archive project outlined above. We hope to attract archivists, particularly those working on innovative digital platforms for interacting with archives in creative ways.


The 2019 Koumaria residency is organized in partnership with the Onassis Cultural Centre Athens (OCC) in the framework of the INTERFACES project, an international, interdisciplinary project focusing on bringing new music to an extensive range of new audiences. With the support of the Creative Europe Programme of the European Union, Interfaces unites nine diverse partners from the UK, Germany, France, Cyprus, Belgium, Romania, Austria and Greece with main objective to explore innovative ways of introducing audiences to the work of cutting-edge musicians and sound artists and engage new audiences of all ages to the music of our time.’
Make sure you read how to apply before filling up your application
Please submit the following materials to the online application link


April 1, 2019
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