Great Expectations: Virtuality and the Next Generation of Artists from the Baltics

© Krišjānis Elviks, Today’s Date, digital image, 2022

Panel Discussion with Artists from POST Riga: Agate Tūna, Alise Putniņa, Krišjānis Elviks and Madara Gruntmane 

On Monday, April 11th, from 6 pm, please join us for an online panel discussion with artists Agate Tūna, Alise Putniņa, Krišjānis Elviks and Madara Gruntmane from the POST MA program (Art Academy of Latvia) offering practice-based perspectives of younger generation in art on the virtual condition and its applications in present-day art in the context of the Baltics. The conversation will be moderated by Corina L. Apostol, curator at Tallinn Art Hall, and artist and writer Kristaps Ancāns.

In the Baltic countries there has been a recent influx of virtual and augmented reality endeavours, bringing together technology entrepreneurs, experts, policymakers, creatives and writers from all over the world, to solve problems caused by the clash of the analogue and virtual worlds. Topical discussions on the impact of new technologies on our lives and how to better use the benefits they may bring are especially prescient to a young generation of artists and thinkers who have matured viewing the world through their screens. 

What has been the impact of these tools on artistic practice and are virtual tools an opportunity or an empty promise for young artists who are working and living outside global centers? How can artists use these to make another world possible, bringing the benefits of the virtual revolution closer to members of society? What are the digital rights but also the responsibilities of artists working in both digital and analogue worlds? 

How to create awareness through artistic strategies as a precondition for political action when we allow ourselves to be monitored, manipulated and algorithmically profiled for profit, affecting our free will? What is important and what is fake in the age of total information noise, when both old-school media and social media are vying for our attention on our smartphones? How can artists hack the system and bring us closer to the things that matter, wading through the currents of social media junk? 

 

The event will be held in English on Zoom and streamed online here: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/86932593221

Bios

Krišjānis Elviks is a scenographer and interdisciplinary artist. He has graduated from the scenography department at the Art Academy of Latvia and now continues his studies at the POST MA programme. Elviks employs multiple techniques, such as installation, performance and painting. His work is processual and idea-based, he works with space itself and transfers well known infrastructure elements into his artistic language. 

Madara Gruntmane is a poet, pianist and performance artist based in Riga, Latvia. Recipient of 2015 Latvian Literature Readers’ Choice Award for her book Narkozes [Narcoses] and the 2019 Public Broadcasting Award for her second poetry volume Dzērājmeitiņa [Drunk Daddy’s Girl], she often presents at international literary festivals. She also works with creative collectives to produce cultural arts events throughout Latvia. She has been awarded as the Honorary Writing Fellow at Iowa University’s International Writing Program(US). She is currently working on her third book Afterlove.

Alise Putniņa is a choreographer, dance artist and teacher based in Latvia, Riga. For almost a year, she has been studying in the Art Academy of Latvia, interdisciplinary master’s programme POST MA. In her practice, she’s experimenting with mediums movement and photography, researching ideas on different aspects of trauma and grief, and their influence on the body. Her latest research was on changing aspects and stereotypes of womanhood (in her solo dance performance Nightshade in 2019). She has been creating performances for adults and youngsters, and community projects throughout Latvia and abroad. She has been teaching contact improvisation, developing her practice in yoga and contemporary dance technique for some years now. She is researching and sharing her own movement method that highlights influence on the body’s movement profundity and overall endurance.

Agate Tūna is a multidisciplinary artist based in Riga, Latvia whose artistic practice started from a suggestion of a fortune teller. Agate’s main choice of medium is analogue and experimental (filmsoups, chemigrams, photogram) photography, but she also works in painting and graphic arts. Most of her work reflects upon the artist’s personal experiences. By combining documentary and fiction Agate’s photography, installation, and oral history works focus on the post-Soviet popularity of esoteric practices. In 2020, she gained a BA degree in Arts from the Painting department in the Art Academy of Latvia. Currently, Agate continues her studies in the two-year programme Developing Photographic Language at ISSP school (2020-2022, Latvia) and POST, an interdisciplinary MA programme at the Art Academy of Latvia (2021-2023).

Kristaps Ancāns is an artist whose practice investigates the confusion between humans, nature, and machines through a conceptual game with its own artificial intelligence. He works across media in fields of sculpture, text, installation which often contain a kinetic component. Ancāns has exhibited, lectured and taught at venues internationally, including Publiek Park/S.M.A.K Museum, The Latvian National Opera and Ballet, Riga International Biennale of Contemporary Art, Art Station Dubulti, Code Art Fair, Tate Exchange/Tate Modern, Museum of London, Royal Academy of Arts London, Hyde Park-London, Central Saint Martins/UAL, PEER, Five Years, Vienna Contemporary, Estonian Academy of Arts, Tallinn Art Hall, Setouchi Triennale and Tokyo University of the Arts. He is the co-head of POST, interdisciplinary MA Program at the Art Academy of Latvia. He lives and works between London, Riga and Tallinn.

Corina L. Apostol is a curator at the Tallinn Art Hall and the curator of the Estonian Pavilion at the 59th Venice Biennale. She is a member of the steering committee and co-curator of the international collaborative, practice-based research project Beyond Matter. She was the Mellon Fellow at Creative Time, where she co-edited Making Another World Possible: 10 Creative Time Summits, 10 Global Issues, 100 Art Projects. Between 2010-2016 she was the Dodge Curatorial Fellow at the Zimmerli Art Museum. She has been longlisted for the Kandinsky Prize (2016) and the Sergey Kuryokhin Prize (2020). She is the winner of the apex art 2022–2023 exhibition proposals competition in New York.