Page 1

SERDE ARTISTS IN RESIDENCIES 2013 The Residency and workshop centre SERDE was founded in the historical centre of Aizpute during 2002 as a platform for international and cross-disciplinary collaboration. This artistrun organization seeks to develop regional and international collaboration between different culture fields, organizations and professionals. SERDEs main activities involve the exchange between culture, science and education, including the organisation of residencies, workshops, seminars, lectures, presentations and other activities.

– 1 –

SERDE | 2013


Alexandra Reill (AT) http://www.kanonmedia.com

JEWISH LIFE IN THE LIEPAJA REGION is a documentary film looking at Jewish history and culture since the migration of Jews to Courland, with a focus on Liepaja and Aizpute. Looking at the history of Jews in this region one can still feel the impact of Jewish life on the development on the region but, on the other hand, one needs to face the terrible fact of nearly full eradication of the Jewish population of Latvia and the murdering of dozens of thousands of Jews deported from Austria, Germany, Czechoslovakia and other countries by the Fascist regime to Latvia. The participation of Latvians in such massacres as i.e. the shooting of nearly 400 Jewish people in the woods south of Aizpute and nearly 2,800 people in the dunes of Skede still seems to be a burden on the memories of local population about which many people do not like to talk and which many are afraid to remember. Being born in Austria as member of first follow-up generation of Austrian so-called major population and having worked since 2004 on several projects reflecting the Holocaust with its impact not only on those who lived and died in the 40ies but also on follow-up generations, I have become very conscious of the importance of continuous efforts to reveal mystifications of the Nazi past and traditions of denial in Austria which, in very many cases, are prolonged in the self-identification of members of followSERDE | 2013

up generations until today, and of the responsibility of contributing to further such efforts. The mission of the film JEWISH LIFE IN THE LIEPAJA REGION is to contribute to such approaches and to contribute to the acknowledgement of Jewish culture in Latvia by giving Jewish history and culture in the Liepaja region a voice and at the same time constellating it with memories of local population of today so that, on the one hand, eventual myths of denial can show themselves for what they are, and, on the other hand, better understanding of the complexity of Latvian history can be undertaken. This context is reflected by a constellation of interviews with local Jewish and non-Jewish representatives of Aizpute and Liepaja.

– 2 –

– 3 –

SERDE | 2013


Clausthome (Lauris Vorslavs, Girts Radzinš) and , Martinš , Ratniks (LV)

Expedition “Night Vibration” When the daylight wind and the dominating monotone city noises fade, night comes into the radio wave diapason – a nuansed electromagnetic poesy. It is a power-filled poesy which is in us and around us, and which, like all elements subsisting only of themselves, are endless and eternal. Using the invention of the radio, we have had the opportunity to tune in to this unbounded “radio station” for a long time, but in reality, humans have driven themselves into the microscopic consumer diapason boundaries, where for the most part, the idealistic beginning and meaning of this discovery has been lost. This expedition is a small meditative fragment of the broader journey, which has continued for a number of years, building radio and audiovisual devices which help to tune in and communicate with natural and man-made radio signals and forms.

SERDE | 2013

– 4 –

– 5 –

SERDE | 2013


Daniel Edward Allen (EE/UK)

During September 2013 I was at SERDE using the photo studio and darkroom, developing my skills and knowledge of black and white developing and printing. Using 35mm and medium format film I focused on producing good quality negatives, developing these negatives in different mixtures of chemicals in order to achieve different results, for example to produce less or more contrast or to reduce visible grain. Using these negatives to make contact sheets showed the initial results in positive form from which I chose pictures to be enlarged into prints. The enlargement process again gave the opportunity to improve my knowledge and skills. I made enlargements in two stages, first testing different development times to produce a preliminary print, then refining this print using different techniques like burning and dodging (giving small areas of a print more or less light to make them lighter or darker) to make a final print.

SERDE | 2013

Another strand of the work was less tangible but to me equally important. I was able to attend a workshop given by Marcis Bendiks and to talk with Marcis, who has a huge amount of photographic knowledge and more than 30 years experience. I was able to expand my knowledge of analogue photography in general and to be part of the spread of the knowledge that Marcis has, and which will be lost if it is not passed on.

– 6 –

– 7 –

SERDE | 2013


Eeva-Lissa Puhakka (FI) http://www.eeva-liisa.net

During my residency time in SERDE I was catering material for my experimental film which is part of my art project “Yesterday was everything, that today is not”. It has been a continuing art research which deals with stories and memories of abandoned homes. The film will mix documentary and fiction. It will be so called docufiction in which I attempt to capture reality as it was in Aizpute some decades ago in two different locations; a castle and a residency house in Jana iela 10, and both of which are nowadays more or less ruins, burned and abandoned. But I will be offering unreal elements and fictional situations into narrative in order to strengthen the representation of reality and my artistic interpretation of that. Memories can be experienced in body as emotional force that magnifies present actions. Memories compound and fold back on themselves. When we look at the old photos we remember a happening of the image differently than what is was when it was taken. When I look at old photos about Aizpute again and again later, it is every time different. Memory is not static archive, it is a living, changing, ongoing series of real-time events. Is it nostalgia? Nostalgia appears to be a longing for a place, but it is actually a yearning for a different time.

SERDE | 2013

Does a place has have a memory? In an abandoned house I feel there is certain kind of timelessness, there is no past, no future nor present either. There my mind travels and takes me far away. The abandoned houses create many moments for lost memories or deliberately forgotten memories. I am interested in if is it possible to feel or know what has happened to a house or in the house and are those events absorbed or filtered into the ground? And can we, later visitors, sense all that? During my SERDE residency time I also started to think about smell and how it has a lots of connectsions to my artist interests: time and memory. Smells have heavy link to emotions. It is information and a tool of communication. The smell is the most primitive sense of humans. People identify first through their nose before they identify through vision. Smell brings back memories, and the stories can be experienced in body as a kind of emotional force. Memory is not a static archive, it is a living, changing, ongoing series of real-time events. Besides just its smell, scents have the capability to lead. Strongly connected to the primeval human instinct, scents are able to trigger and influence our emotions and decisions.

– 8 –

– 9 –

SERDE | 2013


Gints Gabra¯ns (LV) http://www.gabrans.com

Plastic sculpture forms are determined by the freeform principle. When they are formed with a very simple physical process, such as pouring melted plastic into cold water, complex forms and structures form spontaneously. This is a process like the pouring of melted tin into cold water on the eve of the solstice in order to see the future. It is a natural process of creating forms, that is why it is so easy to perceive very organic forms, lines and patterns which can be encountered in nature. In nature, these spontaneous forming processes are further impacted by evolution, selecting out the models which work. A similar strategy is simulated in the formation of plastic sculpture, where the best object samples were selected out and paired over four generations (20102013).

SERDE | 2013

– 10 –

– 11 –

SERDE | 2013


Karl Heinz Jeron (DE) http://jeron.org

Aleatoric Experiments

I rather create experiences than objects

http://jeron.org/dingliebe/

While in my residency at Serde, I created a tour through the Grobina Wind Park to discover the versatile and interesting sounds. At The Grobina Wind Park http://jeron.org/grobina-veju-park

There are 33 turbines with a hub height of 77m each. The first impression is only a buzz or a hum tone. Listening closer one can identify a surprising array of sounds and acoustic colours. In pop music it is called Drone and in classical music Bordun. Both are heavy, sustained, dark tones throughout a piece of music, accompanying the melody. In everyday life, when encountering these kinds of sound created by technical apparati, we do not perceive them as music but rather feel uncomfortable about them, and disrupted. People perceive the intensity of noise as more or less disruptive depending on their individual attitude. This project is an experiment and takes a stab at changing the perception of the participants. Is it possible to change an initial negative perception through careful and active examination into a positive or at least neutral one? The composer John Cage suggested: “If noise is bothering you, listen to it.” This project is taking John Cage literally. SERDE | 2013

At Serde I met the Lithuanian composer Ruta Vitkauskaite. She encouraged me to build small sounding circuits which were incorporated in her installation at the Apple Festival at Serde. It was quite a success so we decided to work on two other pieces, one was the concert at the St Johns Church and the other was a sound installation and performance over several hours at the local winery. This collaboration lead to spatial enactments of music, sounds of everyday things and noise. Since Russolo wrote to Pratella, music and noise or noise and music have become further entwined as a distinct art form. If music is sound and noise is a form of sound, then the expressions, attributes and descriptions applying to the art, form and description of music can be applied equally to the art, form and description of noise. I had a great time experimenting with aleatoric setups and compositions.

– 12 –

– 13 –

SERDE | 2013


Kati Hyyppä and Ramyah Gowrishankar a.k.a. eCrafts Collective (FI) http://ecraftscollective.wordpress.com/ The eCrafts Collective explores hands on fascinating and unexpected combinations of traditional crafts and electronics. Last year at SERDE, we made electronic versions of the Latvian crowns (vainags), studying carefully the required crafting techniques with the help of local experts. This time our curiosity was captured by Latvian belts, and the symbology and stories associated with their beautiful patterns. Traditional Latvian belts are precious artefacts, which the wearers carry with pride on their national costumes. The amazing variety of colours and patterns in the woven belts reflect different Latvian regions. Probably the most well-known belt – which served also as our inspiration – is the Lielvārde’s belt (Lielvārdes josta). This mesmerizing, long belt is woven in red and white, and contains unique arrangements of intriguing, geometrical patterns. It carries in its history many interesting and mystical stories. We learned that the patterns can even be associated with the origin of cosmos. Fascinated by these stories, we wanted to reinterpret this belt in today’s landscape, and to explore with what kind of cosmic energies the belt could be connected in the contemporary technological environment. However, the road to making an actual, three meters long Lielvārde’s belt is, nearly, a journey of a lifetime. BeginSERDE | 2013

ners as we were, we aimed for something slightly more modest during our residency: to learn the traditional belt making techniques in order inspire their further exploration in different maker communities. And indeed, we learned two portable weaving techniques, one that uses a heddle and another one called card weaving. We were lucky to start our journey into the secrets of Latvian belts in Riga at the time of the Song and Dance Festival. Being part of this city-wide celebration of Latvian culture filled with traditional costumes, folk songs and different kinds handicrafts, was a wonderful and insightful experience. We also had an opportunity to hold an Open Studio event at the RIXC Media Space, where people could come and try on the eCrowns made during the previous year’s residency, and also to try out making electronic embroidery. Delving deeper into Latvian belts, we accumulated invaluable knowledge from two very nice people and experienced weavers, Lilija and Laima, who welcomed us to their studios to learn weaving. Lilija told us about the range of belt weaving techniques and taught us a method called card weaving. Laima then guided us deeper into the mythology surrounding Lielvārde’s belt, teaching us to weave with a backstrap loom. Both of the techniques that we learned are very versatile, as they can be adapted for different patterns and

– 14 –

yarns. The looms are also portable and can be easily constructed using everyday materials, such as cardboard. Our interactions with Lilija and Laima and other local traditional textile experts were a crucial and invaluable part our residency. We have continued to explore these weaving techniques to integrate electronic materials such as Electroluminescent foil, optical fibres and conductive yarns into the traditional patterns. One of the ideas that we are working on, is making a woven belt which serves as an antenna, and responds to the invisible landscape of electromagnetic frequencies that surround us. We have also had the pleasure to pass on the belt-making skills to our friends and e-textile colleagues.

We would like to warmly thank our weaving masters Lilija and Laima for taking the time and interest to teach us their craft, and to share their experiences with us. We are also grateful to SERDE, RIXC and Linda Rubena for their support.

– 15 –

SERDE | 2013


SERDE | 2013

– 16 –

– 17 –

SERDE | 2013


Marsel Nichan (SE)

Carlos Carmonamedina (MX)

http://www.nichanrecords.com

http://carmonamedina.com/

A sound says more than thousand words Marsel Nichan is a versatile music composer living in Stockholm capitol of Sweden. He has been writing music since from his music education years until now for one of the best and leading musicians/ chamber groups in Sweden and has also been played on the Swedish national radio. Through his work as a composer and active producer in many music societies, Marsel has established himself as a composer/producer on the contemporary music scene.

I have worked with exploring the rural city environment before in large cities but this time, it was interesting because it was in the countryside in the small quiet town of Aizpute. That made my whole working process different and I was searching for the “small” sounds and for new techniques to handle this project. What came out of this was interesting and gave my creative process another layer. I was surprised I could work that intensely and efficiently, which helped me compose three music pieces – maybe it was the clean countryside air of Aizpute. I had a great experience during my residency at SERDE with my soundscape project. I could work peacefully with my music in an inspiring environment. It felt very welcoming to work here and I got all the help I needed to be able to complete my works. I had the opportunity to meet a lot of interesting artists from different fields and also to get to know the Latvian people and their culture.

SERDE | 2013

– 18 –

My work at SERDE took several directions and sometimes they even crossed in between. My stay in Aizpute provided me with the facilities and conditions to develop my project #OtherSides, the one I submitted originally. It was a great, quiet time for generation of ideas, structure planning and sketching that I wouldn’t have had in any other place. #OtherSides is a online sketchbook, an experimental transmedia platform that focuses on particular physical contexts that are usually located in the cultural periphery. The full project can be checked at: http://othersides.org

During my stay I also develop a website for the tourism council of Aizpute. I have worked before developing programs for small villages in order to attract visitors. This experience gave me the chance to travel the region, interact with their people and history, but also help to build their identity according to the touristic necessities of the area. I’m always happy to produce an art that is useful for the community that hosts me, a true interchange of experiences. During all the month of my residency, I had the chance to build the site http://visitaizpute.lv. At the end of my stay I made an open cooking event for local audience.

At the same time, SERDE me gave me the opportunity to attend the Inter-format Symposium ‘On Critical Tourism, Site Specificity and Post-Romantic Condition’ at Nida Art colony (Lithuania), allowing me to boost my network of contacts with artists of the Baltic region. At the end, I made a series of animations of the event that can be checked here: htt p://car moname dina .com/interformat-symposium/

– 19 –

SERDE | 2013


Pauliina Pöllänen (FI/NO) http://www.pauliinapollanen.net

Between waves The background for the project was to think how to explore and articulate some of the visual local features and create a dialogue with the surroundings in the context of creating a site specific art work. From the beginning the idea was to find a suitable spot from the enviroment of Aizpute and use that as a point of departure for the work. I came across four cracked pieces of concrete wall with worn paintings on them in the middle of the village and decided to use them as a base to work with. I wanted to thoughtfully give a new kind of input to the landscape of the town and also create a piece that would suggest an abstract landscape. Working with architecture and space is one of the themes I am interested in as an artist.

The point of departure for formal strategies came from Latvian folklore symbols, visual language I used and translated into abstracted geometric relief imagery. A set was chosen to be repeated and to build up a large whole. I am really grateful for all the help I got from the resourceful people of SERDE and especially my great assistants Ance and Tija Ausmane, who had the most amazing attitude.

During the two month residency working period, I made a site-specific ceramic wall mural which now stands permanently. It consists of over eight hundred mold pressed tiles from local earthenware clay and is sixteen meters long. Between waves is placed in the main street, Atmodas iela, were people walk by the wall during the day. The place made me think how most things move in waves, like materia in space or people in the street, where the static wall stays still.

SERDE | 2013

– 20 –

– 21 –

SERDE | 2013


Ruta Vitkauskaite (LT/UK) Being a professional composer, I was always interested in experimental research. For quite some time I wanted to explore a musical form which could function as live installation – using hand-made contact microphones, materials found on-site as instruments, and integrating people living there as performers. This form is a site specific music piece, exploring a particular space and changing when being moved to a different location. At SERDE, my musical ideas were completed, augmented, fulfilled and brought completely new, unexpected results. Carrots and Pumpkin Music Band For the Harvest festival at SERDE, I borrowed an idea from the popular Vegetable Orchestra. It took me quite a few carrots and 2 days of drilling/blowing/drilling/ blowing before my Carrot Flutes started to make whistle-like sounds (apparently, flute making is not something easy and obvious). Making a drum from a pumpkin was a much easier job – later on, amplified with my contact microphones and other equipment from the residency, the vegetable orchestra was ready for concert. The volunteer performers were artists from the residency and members of the audience, willing to explore the Carrot music. Fuzzy Echoes in the Aizpute Winery Aizpute Winery was the place we always were happy to come back to – located in the beautiful basement of the old manor house, where we were always invited to new locally made wine tasting by its ownSERDE | 2013

er Varis in the long and dark Aizpute evenings. The idea to present the live installation/concert there came soon. Together with SERDE artists, we spread speakers through the echoing halls of the basement, attached microphones on objects found there- glasses, bottles, doors, floors. Karl Heinz Jeron created a special electronic music instrument, which we called the Octopus Machine, which was placed in one of the rooms and continuously played a slow melody. All of the space became one huge echoing instrument, which we (me, Karl and Eeva, and occasionally some of the participants) explored and performed as a continuous 2 hour long composition/ live installation. Octopus Machine performs in the Sunday Service A beautiful huge church on the hill is one of the obvious objects you will notice when visiting Aizpute. As it happened, the pastor of this Lutheran church is very friendly, enthusiastic and welcoming – soon I was allowed to explore their very old beautiful organ and invited to play a few music pieces during the service. My idea to bring Karl’s Octopus Machine and create electroacoustic performance didn’t frighten the pastor. Our performance in the middle of the service was something very unusual – it was the first time I brought such an experimental idea to such a traditional space. But our positive enthusiasm, and amazing space where all the sounds spread, created a ‘strange but beautiful’ experience for us and for people in the Church.

– 22 –

– 23 –

SERDE | 2013


Sigbjørn Bratlie (NO) http://www.sigbjornbratlie.com

“HAMLETS”, 9 minutes, 2013 I work with installation, painting, textile, performance and video. My art practice has a conceptual and analytical undertone, and humour is an important part of it. A key ingredient in my way of working is what I like to call “the artist as antihero” – i.e. – the artist who desperately tries to create profound, deep-felt and groundbreaking work, but who fails miserably. This strategy accounts for a lot of the humour in my work, a strategy that allows me to see serious matters from an unexpected angle.

SERDE | 2013

Over the last two years I have been working on a series of eight to ten minute video pieces which explore the idea of communication in a foreign language; situations where access to meaning and mutual understanding is blocked by lack of vocabulary, bad grammar, misunderstandings and mispronunciation. The idea I had before coming to Aizpute, was that I would learn and memorize the ‘to be or not to be’ monologue from William Shakespeare’s “Hamlet” in the Latvian language, and make a video based on my performance and recitation of this text. The video would be a reflection on theatrical language, on theatrical gestures and diction. I chose this particular monologue because it is extremely well known, so that even to a non-Latvianspeaking audience, the mere presence of the skull is enough to communicate exactly what the video is about. For my project at SERDE I was lucky enough to be able to collaborate with the Aizpute theatre company, Aizputes Tautas Teātris and its instructor Karmena Austruma. I was also able to use the stage in the local theatre in order to make the video. Before coming to Aizpute, my knowledge of the Latvian language was very rudimentary; I knew a little bit about grammar and a few phrases. But I had found out that Latvian pronunciation comes fairly easy to a Norwegian speaker, and

– 24 –

that Latvian spelling is very regular. I spent the first three weeks of my stay going through a beginner’s course in Latvian, whilst reading the ‘to be or not to be’ monologue over and over again. Slowly and gradually I learned the whole text, if not completely by heart, then well enough to be able to read it without any hesitation. About a week before the end of my residency, I spent an afternoon in the theatre working with Karmena Austruma. The finished video piece is the result of this session: The instructor going through the monologue with me, correcting my diction, intonation and hand gestures. SERDE provided me with technical equipment and a cameraman. The video premiered at an exhibition called “How to Grow a Beard in 21 Days” at XL Art Space

in Helsinki in August 2013, alongside three other videos of mine based in the same idea: Communication in a foreign language.

– 25 –

SERDE | 2013


Tal Rosen (IL) http://www.talrosen.com

I am an artist working in Jerusalem, Israel. I do interactive installations and photographic images, which are experimental and playful. I use photography in order to study how different materials work together. In a way, my works are a documentation of the unexpected discoveries I make. This is called serendipity: I enjoy how things can “go wrong” yet be meaningful – therefore my study is not only prior to the artistic work, but also during and after its making.

I used local products and a specific place that I find relevant. I’m interested in the different uses of gelatin and physical references of body and sports. Metaphorically the gelatin powder, which is produced from bones, becomes somehow solid again. I’m also interested in using everyday materials and objects in my works, and making the spectators into an active part of the installations.

At SERDE I had a chance to create an interactive installation that allowed me to experience gelatin and local products, and involve the community in the continuance of the work – even after it was “done”. The work was fun to produce and it was fun to watch how different people, of different age, reacted and initiated it. ‘Gelatin Field’ was an installation of a normal-size table covered with edible gelatin layers – 8 liters of Chokeberries flavored water, 25 liters of fresh apple juice, and 8 liters of sweet milk and sour cream, all mixed with pure gelatin powder. The milk gelatin layer created a clean surface, like a screen, on which a 17 minutes film was projected. The film shot at the Aizpute running field showed the dimensions of the field from different angles.

SERDE | 2013

– 26 –

– 27 –

SERDE | 2013


Yasushi Koyama (FI/JPN) http://lokalhelsinki.com/wordpress/artist/yasushi-koyama

The sculpture “Mother panda & baby panda” is for all the mothers and children, especially single mothers in Latvia. “Pandas” is part of series of “cute animal sculpture of family”. I believe that panda sculpture gives some kind of happiness to people. I have already donated one big panda sculpture to children’s hospital Lastenlinna that is the Child neurology outpatient clinics. There children, parents and nurses like panda very much according to the head nurse. And many children touch the panda sculpture. A 2006 study via DNA analysis estimated that there could be as many as 2000 to 3000 pandas in the wild. So I think panda is the big symbol for preservation of biological diversity. Diversity is very very important for the world to continue our life and culture. Cultural diversity make people’s life mentally richer and happier. I admire cultural and biological diversity.

SERDE | 2013

– 28 –

– 29 –

SERDE | 2013


Bartaku (BE) http://www.bartaku.net/1-hamp

A cycle that has been observed and reacted upon by Bartaku since the Aronia M. became part of his ongoing artistic research and exploration of mankind’s relentless quest for access to energy. The Aronia M. is f.i. a highly performative resource -in its juicy form- for the temporary PhotoElectric Digestopians (tPEDs): a solar cell tech mimicking edible solar cell architecture that is being used in public co-creation labs. The Aronia M.s grow on a former kolchozewith-plantation at the edge of Aizpute. Since 2010, 1 Ha of the 54 -hence 1HAMP: 1Ha Aronia M. Power Plantation) Bartaku can use for work, on the condition that the Aronia bushes are not suffering from it. In so far this resulted in ephemeral rituals based on observations on the land, f.i. using characters from the region and beyond as interventionist tools. An important transformation of Aronia M. is performed by the winemaker, and it is an honor to assist in picking the berries like school children with woven baskets in Soviet times. In 2013 Aizpute’s female September residents assisted, under the skilful guidance of the deeply connected local medium. Hands of ceramics, piano and poetry soon were dyed Aronia-purplish.

their remarkable work like a fresh meme. Aronia M. joined the prozaic apple as an extra purple layer in the ‘Gelatin Field’: a video projection on Aronia/Apple Gelatine Screen. And Aronia M. dripping on custom electronics produced the “Dripping Aronia Berries” sound piece. In the meanwhile, stripped Banana-peels were soaked in Aronia M., dried and soaked in linseed oil, after which they were pressed in a wooden book press, one of many wonderful objects hoping to be of some use again at the Serde premises. These tests are part of ‘LLLLLE, Sansessolalia’. A research thread based on the observation of most of tPED’s creators being alienated from their tongue, that licking talking landscape. The tongue serves as a testing platform and esp. determines the max. size of the digestopians / solar cells.  How the powerful Aronia M. berry plays a key role in Bartaku’s ongoing research was narrated during a talk-with-performance during the Apple(i)ng / ‘Āboļošanas festival’ (Sept. 14, 2013). Composer Ruta Vitkauskaite (Lon/Lit) intervened with a remarkable ‘composition for tweaked voice and piano’ based on a Bartaku-text.

The male Serde-September residents were verbally introduced to 1HAMP, after which the Aronia M. sneaked into SERDE | 2013

– 30 –

– 31 –

SERDE | 2013


Vocal instrumental ensemble “The 7 sons”

“Adam had 7 sons, 7 sons; yes, they ate, yes they drank, yes, they know what must be done! And one more time like this...!!!” (Latvian folk song) The group “7 sons” was formed two years ago at the Puppet Theatre of Latvia. They play for their own and the audience’s pleasure, and therefore characterize their music as jolly pop rock.

SERDE | 2013

– 32 –

Gitte Villesen (DK)

We stayed in Serde twice while doing research for a video installation – in June 2011 and again in August 2013. We were four women driving across Latvia to meet elder females with knowledge about healing. Signe Pucena from Serde has organised the contact with Skaidrite Knapse, who lives in Alsunga (near Aizpute) and will have a central role in the project. Skaidrite used to work in a hospital, but she has nevertheless always relied just as much on the healing power of plants and nature.

Matilda Mester was the cinematographer, musician and visual artist; Felia GramHansen recorded the sound; Agnese Luse organised and translated; and I, Gitte Villesen, will finalise the material into a video installation, which will be part of the festival ‘Survival Kit’, organised by The Latvian Center for Contemporary Art in Riga, 2014.

– 33 –

SERDE | 2013


Kuda begut sobaki (RU)

The creative society “Kuda begut sobaki” has been in existence since the year 2000, and in its work themes relating to modern people’s superstitions, habits and technologies are analyzed. The society includes artists, programmers and engineers (Vlad Bulatov, Natalija Gehov, Olga Inozemcev and Aleksej Korzuhin), who together create kinetic sculptures, objects, installations, video and devices, as well as organizing activities. They are equally able to create works for both artistic and science and technology exhibitions. “Kuda Begut Sobaki” has visited several times in Latvia at the SERDE worshop and residence centre in Aizpute. The animation “Symbolism in Electric Diagrams” was made in 2013. In the beginning was the word. This means that every device – refrigerator, television, fan – also carries its name/ text. A text, which at the moment is not known to the user. So that we, every day, are concerned with the hidden messages which contain within themselves everything that can be imagined. And also the opposite situation – when an electromechanical device is created, the creator believes, for example, that he has only created a computer mouse. In fact, you don’t know what you have created because you don’t understand what type of text you have created. To clarify our assumption, we used the graphic symbol system that has already been worked out and accepted for use in labelling electronic component diagrams. These symbols, in their simple SERDE | 2013

graphic solution, illustrate the functions and basic processes of the device. These metaphoric symbols are usually childishly romantic. For example, the symbol for an antenna is a tree with branches reaching upward, but for a ground, a vertical post driven into three parallel horizonals. We could go on about each of these symbols for a long time and in great breadth. In summary, though, there is a great volume of text at various levels included in this tiny symbol which radio amateurs look at each day when they are working on the radio equipment. We tried to decode these symbols and translate them into the more understandable language which is used in the humanities, and then used well-known literature texts to create devices which are encoded into those texts. We translated the poems of a number of poets (Lorka, Harmss, Pushkin) into electronic symbol language and used the schemes gained from those to create electronic devices. We were amazed when the devices created in this way were functional. Then we began to put them together, not knowing what they would be. As a result, Pushkin’s poem “The Prophet” turned into a radio with earphones. Harmss’ poem about Hlebnikovs resulted in a multivibrator, and Lorkas’ “The Moon’s Three Steps” became a crystal receiver which works from radiowave energy. In this way, we understood that the functions of the devices created are connected to the poem content coded into the electric diagrams.

– 34 –

– 35 –

SERDE | 2013


SERDE EVENTS Photography Workshops in SERDE SERDE’s Spring Pinhole Camera workshop was held on the 12th, 13th and 14th april 2013 with more then 20 participants from half a dozen European countries. The workshop was led by Marcis Bendiks, one of Latvia’s leading photographers, and used SERDE’s photo-studio and darkroom for both the theoretical and practical part. The participants received a refresher lecture on the basics of photography, which led into further, deeper, discussion about the nature of light itself as it relates to pinhole photography. This information was then used by participants to help them design and build their pinhole cameras, which ranged in size from a matchbox to a onemetre-square box. Participants were able to make more than one camera and to take numerous pinhole pictures over the 3 days, learning about their cameras and refining their techniques as they worked. There was an unusually high success rate for a workshop dealing with this ‘experimental’ technique – 80% of the pictures came out well, and everyone came away with several good pictures. SERDE | 2013

As a way to mark the end of summer and to bring the year to a close, SERDE held another photography workshop on September 14th. This time it was a ‘normal’ workshop (not pinhole) and again it was led by Marcis Bendiks. Old Soviet 35mm cameras and film were used, and participants went through the entire process of producing a print, from taking the picture, and developing the film to making the print. Participants: Mārcis Bendiks, Raimo Lielbriedis, Imants Ķīkulis, Daniel Allen, Paulis Jakušonoks, Vineta Strauta, Margarita Ogolceva, Inese Austruma, Ieva Bleikša, Hanna Sjoberg, Miķelis Bendiks, Lāsma Pujāte, Sara Szabo, Inga Gailīte, Reinis Fjodorovs, Zanda Treija, Elīna Kisiele, Eva Saukāne, Armands Ausmanis, Viljams Timrots, Tija Ausmane.

– 37 –

SERDE | 2013


10. International Cast Iron Art Symposium

Bubble-Blowing

This is an annual art event with a visually impressive fire and metal show, during which iron is melted in an an open-air kiln and the hot mass poured into forms containing previously-prepared sculpture models. Participants: Tamsie Ringler, Anna Shapiro, Deborah LaGrasse, Elizabeth Helfer, Mary Neubauer, Stephen Coles (USA), James Hayes (IE), Kārlis Alainis, Edgars Ošs, Laura Feldberga, Renāte Alaine (LV), Iga Kalkowska, Mijolaj Jerczynski (PL).

The giant bubble-blowing workshop for children. SERDE | 2013

– 38 –

– 39 –

SERDE | 2013


“APPLE-ING”: The Annual Arts and Crafts Fair

“APPLE-ING” is SERDE’s end-of-season event, where the different artists residing at the residence centre and masters of various crafts are gathered together. There are presentations by the artists, as well as traditional crafts workshops, during which the apple and chokeberry harvest is made into juices, wines, preserves and other snacks. There are also games for children – juggling with apples and shooting chokeberries.

SERDE | 2013

Participants: Tal Rosen, Ruta Vitkauskaite, Karl Heinz Jeron, Eeva-Liisa Puhakka, Bartaku, Pauliina Pollanen, Una Smilgaine, Jānis Kreklis, Mārcis Bendiks, Daniel Allen and others.

– 40 –

– 41 –

SERDE | 2013


SERDE COLLABORATIVE EVENTS

Summer School of Department of Architecture at Bern University of Applied Sciences Coaching Team: Krebs Thomas, Loeliger Beat, Steuri Bettina Students: Amacker Larissa, Arm Patrik, Born Simon Pascal, Flueckiger David, Fontanesi Stefano, Furter Sarah, Kaeser Michael, Katana Arion, Koeberl Susanna, Marti Christa, Mosimann Michelle, Reuteler Michael, Staudenmann Alexandra, Wuillemin Janic, Zobrist Daniel Latvia is off the beaten track for Swiss people when it comes to tourism. Especially in rural regions, tourism is still in the early stages of development. Together with 15 architecture students we traveled to Latvia for two weeks in late August. In these two weeks we visited rural as well as urban areas and gained an insight into aspects of Latvian tourism.

The first part of the task was the involvement with the town itself. The students had to analyze topics such as signage within the town and the close neighborhood, the clarity of junctions, the quality of public squares, public and individual transport, illumination, the concept of urban planning, the structure and condition of residential buildings and the characteristic attributes of this small town. They documented the results of their analyzes with the aid of sketches, photographs and short movies. The final step of the task involved the finding of problem-solving approaches. All seven groups focused on different topics and in the end a wide spectrum of possible solutions was achieved.

Main doors and doorsteps in Aizpute by Susanna Koeberl & Larissa Amacker Since day one the two students noticed that every house in Aizpute has a beautiful, unique main door. Behind each door there is an inner door. Furthermore they realized that in front of the doors there are some doorsteps – sometimes only one step, mostly two or three steps. They figSERDE | 2013

ured out that these doorsteps act in a way as a filter: only people who want to enter the house use the steps, the passing pedestrians circumvented them. Recently the pavements as well as some of the attached doorsteps have been renovated with some kind of cement blocks.

– 42 –

These rigid cement blocks contradict the old, handcrafted entrances. In addition to that the new pavements disturb the historic townscape. For upcoming renovations the inhabitants should make sure, that the doorsteps are substituted with a similar material, so

that this unique entity of main door and doorsteps would continue to exist. In case of a renovation of the main door, only the inner door should be replaced, so that the beautiful townscape can survive.

– 43 –

SERDE | 2013


CITA ABRA

Collaborative events with Pēteris Brīniņš for non-formal education, cultural and artistic center Cita Abra in Cīrava watermill.

Residencies program 2013 was supported by:

Organizer: Interdisciplinary Art Group SERDE Signe Pucena, Uģis Pucens Design and Layout: Mārtiņš Ratniks With thanks for collaboration: Anete Zīlīte, Krišjānis Šneiders, Armands Ausmanis, Ance Ausmane, Tija Ausmane, Laima Alundere, Karmena Austruma, Mārcis Bendiks, Pēteris Brīniņš, Ināra Dinne, Māris Grosbahs, Didzis Grodzs, Astrīda Eņģele, Ineta Freimane, Kristīne Kļepacka, Vija Peterte, Dzidra Pucena, Trīne Pucena, Linards Tiļugs, Ieva Vītola, Dzintra Vēvere, Jānis Zvirgzds Zvirgzdiņš RIXC Centre for New Media Culture, Eko Wine, Idea House, Art Research Lab in Liepaja, St. John’s Church, SIA Aveido, Museum “Jews in Latvia”

SERDE | 2013

– 44 –

SERDE | 2013


SERDE Atmodas iela 9, Aizpute, Latvija, LV-3456 smg.serde@gmail.com www.serde.lv www.facebook.com/SERDE

Serde 2013  

Artists in SERDE residencies on 2013