Open call: Koumaria Residency (Greece)


Koumaria Residency invites 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.

Where: Sellasia, Greece, Sparta
When: May 29th – June 10th
Deadline for applications: April 1st

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. (

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 ImprovisatoryIn 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?

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