Earth Bonds symposium programme


-20 April-

Keynote Lectures,
Location: Composers’ House (A. Mickevičiaus st. 29, Vilnius)

🔗‍ Victoria Ivanova (Serpentine Galleries)
Infrastructural Praxis: 2023 Status Update

In this lecture, Victoria will reflect on the increasing integration of the ‘infrastructural perspective’ within the international art field over the last decade, arguing that unlike many other discursive imports fuelled by hype and the constant need of the contemporary art space to reinvent its reference points, the techno-social and geopolitical transformations of the same period have allowed for a praxis (rather than only discourse) to emerge. She will focus on the experience of developing Serpentine’s R&D (Research and Development) Platform, offering some insights through lessons learned and sketching out different pathways for ecosystemic development in relation to the Future Art Ecosystems project.

🔗‍ Sofia Lemos (TBA21–Academy)
Regenerative Practice: Convening, Wayfinding and Sense-Making

In this keynote lecture, Sofia discusses her curatorial approach to artistic research and public programming that convenes artists, thinkers, ecologists, Indigenous and spiritual leaders, musicians, philosophers, architects, dancers, smell and culinary practitioners, and neighbours to experiment with critical reflection, co-creative action and deep insight about our interdependence. 

Departing from TBA21–Academy’s artistic research program, Meandering, she will delve into the collective, symbolic agency through which humans enact ecological narratives and how their conceptual emergence and unresolved histories can articulate situated, policy-oriented artistic practices. Finally, she will question how convening spaces of sociality around ecological narratives can inform regenerative approaches to sustainability that focus on practical, experiential and redistributive work methodologies.


-21 April-

Workshop Programme,
Location: Rupert (Vaidilutės st. 79, Vilnius)

Through the following workshops, we will explore how advanced technologies can remodel our perception of the environment and reconfigure the operations of art institutions.

🔗‍ Trust (Berlin): Lina Martin-Chan & Calum Bowden
🔗‍ Gallery Climate Coalition (London): Aoife Fannin

IMPORTANT! Workshops can be attended by up to 20 participants per workshop so if you or your colleagues find it interesting, please fill out the registration form here.

Workshops will be conducted in English.


Designing Post-Capitalist Hydras: Voicing Collective Bodies
by Trust (Lina Martin-Chan & Calum Bowden)

‘The post-capitalist hydra has a huge body, with nine heads, all immortal. As fast as one head is smashed, another two grow in the same place. To distribute power in more equitable ways, it’s going to have to start with the head. At Trust, we’re interested in what comes after the head or what happens when you grow so many that one can’t dominate anymore. A body without a head or an organism with many. In other words, guillotines for organisations and OrgCharts with more heads than a hydra.’
—Trust, 2018, A Glimpse of the Hydra

Trust delves into the world of collective bodies and post-capitalist hydras, exploring play, shared infrastructures, digital protocols, community archives and experiments in institution building. We will introduce our work and explore the forms of collectivity that build towards equitable and participatory organisational forms. The session focuses on collective bodies and voices that allow us to experience the world from the perspective of difference and place trust in chance.

Through a series of activities, participants will have the opportunity to imagine and create a post-capitalist hydra—a collective body comprised of lore, membership rules, decision-making procedures, archival practices and membranes that determine what is made public and what remains sacred. The workshop will conclude with a discussion where everyone will share an insight gained from the session.


Towards Environmental Responsibility: Impact Measurement and Action in the Cultural Sector
by Gallery Climate Coalition (Aoife Fannin)

As cultural institutions and residency hosts, what is our collective role and responsibility in the fight against the climate crisis? What strategies and practices can we implement to limit our impacts? How can we remain international, inclusive and expansive, whilst moving towards an environmentally responsible cultural landscape? How can we stimulate regenerative ways of working and hold each other accountable? 

The session will be structured around an introductory presentation to the work of the Gallery Climate Coalition (GCC), followed by participatory discussions aimed at engaging participants in timely conversations about our collective role in tackling the climate emergency, generating actionable, expansive and collaborative solutions to aid the shift towards environmentally responsible operations.

GCC will also provide an introduction to and demo of their Carbon Calculator, answering questions and taking feedback on its application and utility. The workshop will focus on how to create a culture of climate consciousness to support decarbonisation, as well as data collection, analysis and target setting.  

This will be an opportunity to ask the hosts and each other questions, share practices, surface actionable strategies and identify areas for collaboration and further action.

-22 April-

Closing Panel with Earth Bonds Contributors, Participants and Art Programme
Location: Rupert (Vaidilutės st. 79, Vilnius)
Doors: 18:30
Closing panel: 19:00
Art programme: 20:00 

🔗‍ Jasper Griepink
🔗‍ Jenna Sutela
🔗‍ Barnett Cohen
🔗‍ Marissa Lee Benedict & David Rueter
🔗‍ Ngoc Nau

Earth Bonds’ performance programme will explore spaces of confabulated survival, where ongoing memories of economic anxiety are supplanted by sympoietic tales of kinship. Meeting these worlds halfway means experiencing ephemerality, where digital spaces and lingering spells canvass devoted users. Further encounters can feel tangible, like the Earth and its soil, grounding material infrastructures that enable digital clouds that in turn store data for digital (and earthly) survival. These complex life systems unfold amidst vast networks, spanning from scientific research to summonings of ancestral spirits. 

During the event, these worlds will gather and disperse in the form of performances, installations and screenings. The programme will thrive in fertile contradictions and fissures of matter in motion. By moving through different disciplines, Earth Bonds will borrow voices from environmental justice, advanced technologies, world-making and world-lamenting, all the while trying to ruminate on what kind of shape a sustainable art institution could take in the near future. 

The performing artists will utilise Rupert’s infrastructure and its serene surroundings, addressing creative tensions between technoscience and naturecultures. Grasping soil and sifting through decentralised particles, the event will guide the audience through worlds in motion.

🔗‍ Jasper Griepink
Murky Medicine Swamp (installation) and OAKbaLLZ and EELskin (Murky Murky, Little Witch Bitch) (performance)

For the occasion of Earth Bonds, Jasper Griepink is bringing their current research into Wetland Worship and speculative Swamp Goddesses to Rupert in the form of a site-specific installation and performance. During the event, they will investigate a practice of relatedness and ‘worship’ of these liminal and often accessible zones. In many myths and folklores, the European landscape wetlands and swamps are the terrains of elves, trolls and other murky submerged entities. 

For the installation, Griepink will create an indoor sacred swamp that will offer room for the speculative research of the medicinal and mystical offerings by the swamp: herbal medicines, medicine of smell and stench, medicine of wet-to-dry, water-to-land substances, medicine of submerging, covering one’s skin, the medicine of reflection in the waters of bogs, the medicine of emotion, sadness, grief and death. The swamp invites its inaccessible, dangerous and murky in-between state to offer up its medicinal and queer aspects. In the form of a landscape, a multi-media installation that reads as a vernacular ‘troll’ wetland medicine lab, Griepink considers our relationships with the known and unknown, the tangible ecological and the ephemeral. 

During a live performance that will invoke and speculate a relationship with wetlands as a space of emotional worship and reflection, the artist will enter the portal and vocalise their experience in the portal of the swamp.

🔗‍ Barnett Cohen
rottttttttt (performance)

rottttttttt is a performance of digging down & into. It arrives from underground—if the ground is our shared surface of symbols—and appears in the bilingual and discontiguous space between two tongues. rottttttttt is individual transmission and collective translation. Channelled by Cohen, words first appear on the digital page as a score for performance. The words are then transferred to the three performers as they situate the text in their mouths. The performers not only translate the score through their singular embodied personal/professional/political/national histories but through their parallel language. The performance occurs in the space between the coherence and logic of metaphors unified by borders, between a single material state, between polarities. rottttttttt is a slip & cut & dig between.

Performers: Adelė Šuminskaitė, Jevgenijus Kovalčukas, Kristina Morta Paškevičiūtė

⌈⌉ ⌴ ⌇ (performance)

rendering hyperlocality through forming liquid crystals to create cardiovascular seablinghood 

liquid crystals say
how does it feel to be rain
fish don’t know
that tentacles move
ether do we swim
nor does sea see

🔗‍ Jenna Sutela (installation)

Sutela presents a piece of biomimetic song connected to her synthetic milk fountain HMO nutrix as well as Secrete Garden, an installation of plants bleeding milky sap. The work extends the artist’s thinking around body fluids, specifically the psychobiotic qualities of milk, to plant bodies. The sound piece was made in collaboration with Arjopa. It imagines streams and bubbles in flows of cell-cultured human milk as well as a hypersea connecting terrestrial organisms from within.

🔗‍ Marissa Lee Benedict & David Rueter
Metrica (performance)

The ceiling lights turn off. A receipt flutters to the ground. Twilight encroaches.

Dipping into a pool of text from the Lithuanian State Historical Archives, Metrica is an ambient performance of institutional dynamics, scored by queries to an AI as to whether the lights should be turned on or off.  Oblique interpretations of contracts and land deeds from the late-14th century until the present—histories that have been written and overwritten by waves of occupation and subsequent land reform—haunt the room. The excerpted and fragmented language of these bonds of property, amplified by the mise en scène, inflects the space with an unsettled atmosphere, a perpetual twilight.

🔗‍ Ngoc Nau
Ritual object 1 (single channel video)

This video is a part of a video installation produced in 2022. It was a combination of ritual objects, video footages as well as open source content that the Ngoc Nau encountered and gathered throughout her research in her hometown in Vietnam.

In 2014, ‘Samsung’ corporation started to build a factory complex next to the artist’s grandparents’ land in Thai Nguyen (Vietnam). Considered as one of the biggest factories in Southeast Asia, the project has modified not only the landscape but also the locals’ living conditions. The whole area is under the Vietnamese government’s overall plan to transform the town into one of its centres for technology production. Meanwhile, in that ever-changing site remain the locals’ reserved sites for ritual practices of Mother Goddess serving their spiritual belief. This tradition has been their form of reminiscing the past as well as expression of hope to be protected by gods. The artist questions the co-existence of technological development and religious preservation.


Official 🔗‍Earth Bonds🔗‍ afterparty: Isla to Isla: 5 years of adventures {} @ gallery 1986 (Kauno st. 32, Vilnius)

– – –

Participants: Victoria Ivanova (Serpentine Galleries), Sofia Lemos (TBA21–Academy), Lina Martin-Chan and Calum Bowden (Trust), Aoife Fannin (Gallery Climate Coalition (GCC)), Jasper Griepink, HASHIA, Jenna Sutela, Barnett Cohen, Marissa Lee Benedict and David Rueter, and Ngoc Nau.

Earth Bonds team: Viktorija Šiaulytė, Tautvydas Urbelis, Eglė Kliučinskaitė, Rugilė Miliukaitė, Karolina Augevičiūtė, Simona Šulnytė, Augustė Verikaitė, Eglė Pundzevičiūtė, Justas Bø, Antanas Dombrovskij.

Earth Bonds is supported by the Lithuanian Council for Culture, Vilnius City Municipality, Nordic Culture Point and Tech Zity. Partner: Lithuanian Composers’ Union.

The symposium is part of the long-term project the sustainable institution, implemented together with partners E-WERK Luckenwalde (Germany) and LUMA Arles (France). 

the sustainable institution is co-funded by the European Union, Teltow Fläming, Musikfonds and the Lithuanian Cultural Council.

The views and opinions expressed are those of the author(s) only and do not necessarily reflect those of the European Union or the other granting authorities. Neither the European Union nor the granting authority can be held responsible for them.