Open Call for Contributions to the 8th Inter-Format Symposium on Rites and Terrabytes

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Performance A Play for the Parallels by Lina Lapelytė during 7th Inter-format Symposium, 2017. Photo by Andrej Vasilenko
We are looking for contributors and production residency participants to the 8th Inter-Format Symposium on 20-24th June, 2018 at VAA Nida Art Colony. Join us around Midsummer, during the longest days of the year!

Deadline: 15th of March, 2018
Dates: 20-24th June, 2018
Location: Nida Art Colony, Lithuania
 
Keywords:
Roots, neopagan, traditional knowledges, ethno-futurism, digital shamanism, eco-sex, ethno-appropriation, authenticity, contemporary pantheism, (re)constructed pasts, indigenous futures, northern ecologies, pagan anthropocene, feminist pedagogies, engineered indigeneity, seasonal sensibility,  xenophobic rootedness, cyber-paganism.

‘Rites and Terrabytes’ refers to the peculiar situation where we increasingly feel or desire a connection with rituals and practices of old despite living in a profoundly mediated ‘post-contemporary’ world. In other words, to reconcile the imagined universes of archaic rites and the ubiquitous terabytes of digital information, we need some firm rooting and grounding (terra), whether in our surviving local indigenous culture or in some newly engineered indigeneity.

We welcome contributions to the Symposium programme by visual and sound artists, cultural practitioners, researchers and theorists who critically revive, reinvent, question, and facilitate traditional knowledges, practices and beliefs, (post-)folk culture, as well as notions of indigeneity and localism within the field of contemporary art and culture. The Symposium is scheduled to take place in Nida, Lithuania, around the traditional Lithuanian Midsummer celebration (Rasos) on June 21–24, 2018.

It is argued there is notable widespread disaffection with the ‘neoliberal’ globalisation processes and the perceived obliteration of national cultural distinctions. These sentiments have recently led to a reactionary and conservative retreat into essentialist notions of ‘indigeneity’ and ethnocentric cultural superiority in many countries across Europe, including Lithuania and the rest of the Nordic-Baltic countries. This is a topical subject as the Baltic States and Finland celebrate centenary anniversaries of independence throughout 2017-2018. The dangers of xenophobic idolisation of traditional national culture are not new, but their new forms and contexts suggest it might be the time to consider them again in the field of cultural politics.

However, ages-old ‘indigenous’ ways of thinking and making can also inform and inspire much more inclusive, critical, and progressive contemporary practices. There is indeed a trend of reinterpretation of all sorts of cultural archetypes inside and outside the white cube. In particular, these new artist-led approaches seek to place traditional knowledge within the context of the emerging concerns and challenges the humankind faces, such as the issue of the Anthropocene, climate change/breakdown, gender and species equality, eco-centric thinking and displacement. Other strategies may instead focus on what could be the appropriate language and meaning of ‘folk culture’ today.

What can we learn from contemporary art, music and new media, as well as inter- & transdisciplinary hybrid practices that reinterpret older ways of creating, making and doing into new forms, incorporating them into new rites and rituals that constitute our contemporary ‘native’ culture? Does the omnipresence of smart digital devices and social media signal a new form of pantheism?  Can one’s roots become universal, timeless and de-territorialized, but at the same time resist vague mysticism and lifestyle trends? How is our relationship with nature, our ecosystem, and gastronomy going to change in the future? What is perceived as ‘authentic’?

Inter-format Symposium is a yearly event of Nida Art Colony of Vilnius Academy of Arts which fluctuates between a form of conference and art festival since 2011. Every year it has a different theme (e.g. critical tourism, techno-ecologies, hybrid natures, etc.) and production: a website, a book, a documentary film, etc. A group of about 40 artists, philosophers, scientists, ritualists, musicians and other kinds of practitioners are invited to reflect on the symposium’s issues and to exchange knowledge and experiences during performances, lectures, screenings, discussions, rituals, etc.

Join us to explore and perform these questions around Midsummer, during the longest days of the year!

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Saulius Leonavičius & Vida Strasevičiūtė, Fuck Language, 2017. Photo by Mindaugas Česlikauskas

Curators and participants

Symposium is curated by Andrew Gryf Paterson (SCO/FI/LV), Vytautas Michelkevičius (LT), Jurij Dobriakov (LT) and Jogintė Bučinskaitė (LT)

8th Inter-format Symposium is organised by Nida Art Colony of Vilnius Academy of Arts in collaboration with Inter-PAGAN network (including partners from Finland, Latvia, Estonia, Norway, Scotland and Poland).

CONFIRMED PARTICIPANTS: artist and biology researcher Dr. Špela Petrič, musicians SKELDOS (LT), SALA (LT), writer and curator Kristen Sollee, writer and activist Dougald Hine (Dark Mountain Project), philosopher Jurga Jonutytė, philosopher and Professor of Asian Studies Audrius Beinorius, artists Zane Cerpina and Stahl Stenslie (Anthropocene Cookbook), artist Žilvinas Landzbergas (LT), tba...

HOW TO APPLY
 
Types of applications:
*Contributor to the symposium (10-15 places):
*Production residency 1-2 months (May and/or June) with contribution to the symposium (3 places)
 
All selected contributors are provided with limited support for travel (up to 250 EUR), accommodation in Nida Art Colony and catering during the event. Production residents receive 700 Eur/month fee plus allowances for materials.
 
Please indicate in your proposal (up to 388 words plain text and 3 images) preferred format, location and length of your contribution. Please link URL to your CV and portfolio if relevant (if needed attach 1 PDF file).

Please send the application to  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. , indicating in the subject the type of your contribution ‘participant symposium 2018’ or ‘production resident symposium 2018’ by 15th of March.

For the reference deciding upon the format and location, please check programmes and documentation of previous symposiums.

Symposium is organized by NGO MENE in collaboration with Nida Art Colony of VAA. Supported by Lithuanian Council of Culture and the Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Lithuania.

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