xdisciplinary symposium for emerging art & related matters

until 30th of June (1st round)

What happened after the meteorite of the anthropocene has hit contemporary art, and bioactivists together with AI and XR* have exploded the discourse formerly known as media art?

*ūmėdė [uːmeədeə]

is a lithuanian word for mushroom species (Russula). It phonetically and onomatopoeically resonates with the word “media”. This mushroom is ectomycorrhizal which means a form of symbiotic relationship that occurs between a fungal symbiont, or mycobiont, and the roots of various plant species. Therefore metaphorically speaking we suppose that participants of the symposium will form a symbiotic relationship with media, art, research, the actual venue and themselves. 


The new Ūmėdė biennial festival is investigating the discourse of “emerging art forms” and invites artists, thinkers and practitioners to overcome their disciplinary borders and perform, share, exhibit, expose, present, talk, dine and walk together for 3 nights and days in the heart of Vilnius city. We believe that it does not matter which medium you use, or which discipline you refer to, as long  as you are concerned with urgent issues of emerging art (formerly known as (new) media art, art & science, digital art, interactive art, etc.)

Ūmėdė starts as a platform for emerging art forms, to accommodate and question them. Moreover it intends to explore the limits of art and its relations to other forms of human and non-human (post-human) activities.

The biennial has ambitions to grasp what is upcoming or upcycle what was lost in the history of art & science & research.

Symposium will manifest itself through 5 stages, each of them oriented towards specific mood and types of action: listening, screening, discussing & participating, watching, eating & drinking.

Symposium is offering activities in five stages for festival audience pleasure:

  • Sound and body
  • Body and machine
  • Theory/Research/critical reflection stage
  • Ingestion & digestion (through various common meals and coffee breaks activities digesting  new experiences and recycling them)
  • Ex-media and post-everything 

VENUE & Dates

12-15th November, 2020, Sodas2123, Vitebsko st. 21 & 23, Vilnius, Lithuania

Sodas2123 – a new culture hub which accommodates more than 40 artists, culture practitioners and organizations. Inside the complex you can visit several galleries (including first one Atletika), perform in a cosy music & food club, attend screenings and concerts in the Main hall (Aktų salė / Hall of Acts).

Sodas2123 is run by artist association LTMKS – www.letmekoo.lt  

Costs & Grants

The event is of sharing nature, therefore we cover all the hospitality expenses but no fees are provided due to limited budget. We intend to cover travel costs for all selected participants (up to 160 EUR), provide accommodation, catering and some technical and conceptual help during the festival. Small expenses for materials might be also covered.

8 weeks long grant (2000 EUR) for staying in the venue and preparing a new piece for the festival from October 1st 2020.
Funded place for 1 artist or duo from Nordic-Baltic countries (citizen or permanent resident). Please send the proposal to Gaile@letmekoo.lt and indicate in the subject ”Umede” residency.


Artistic director and co-curator: Vytautas Michelkevičius
Programme Curators: Gailė Griciūtė, Ignas Pavliukevičius, TBA
Scientific Committee of Theory Stage: TBA later

Short biograms

Gailė is interested in sound, its behaviour in space and time, interrelations, manipulations, multiplicity of layers and existences. In a sonic dialogue between the ‘natural’ and ‘human made’, creating sensory space for thought processes and new perceptions, questioning how can artistic actions take a conscious part in the environmental processes.

Vytautas is restless (keen) in finding what happened after media art has evaporated into the atmosphere and what is going to replace it by 2030. He is curating, writing and researching post-media art and its leftovers. To sum up art has never been an autonomous field and recently it got another chance to hook up with technologies, research and society. Moreover, he hopes that (artistic) practice generates new theories and will help us better understand the future.

Ignas fancies for digital forms of representation that can create new versions of reality. A reality for dissolving boundaries between self and the other, occupying other bodies and species. Asking how digital entities are forming relationships with our physical bodies, and in turn what our bodies offer them? The momentous question is how digitalisation shapes the meaning of what it takes for someone to be a human?

PARTNERS: Pixelache Festival (Piknik Frequency ry, Helsinki), MPLab at Liepaja University, Photography and Media Art Department of Vilnius Academy of Arts

OPEN CALL until 30th of June

Festival is looking for proposals until 30th of June (1st round).

Please apply with a short proposal in text plus other needed media (photo, video, audio, etc.).

LINK www.mene.lt

2nd round will be open in late summer for Theory Stage and a few additional contributions for the other stages.

Some questions might be answered by email – please indicate the subject line as precise as possible Vytautas.Michelkevicius@vda.lt or gaile@letmekoo.lt 

Organised by ngo MENE & LTMKS
Partly supported by Nordic-Baltic Mobility Programme for Culture and Lithuanian Culture Council

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