6 April, 2021

Dear readers,

I am sure that at some point we have all experienced the feeling of being wedged between two shores, causing major losses and delays as a result. The obstacles, causes and outcomes are always different. For some, it might cost billions an hour and disrupt the global economy. For others: feelings of exponentially growing uncertainty or the sheer helplessness of being trapped and aimless. Regardless of our different struggles, we do have a lot in common during this oddly bloated time. Even though sliding into passivity and giving-up seems like an alluring escape, let’s not turn into anxious driftwood just yet. 

Recent obstructions showed that immense systems and seemingly permanent structures are extremely fragile. A microscopic, self-replicating entity or the malfunction of a navigation system accompanied by a strong gust of wind can potentially change the present and the future of our world. In the face of such turbulence, the world can change for the better or bounce back into acrid normality like a mischievous gomboc. 

But how can we ward off the omnivorous spectre of normality? Humble suggestions from yours truly include but are not limited to: adding some otherworldliness to the process of worlding, having a balanced diet and applying some magic and rituals when necessary. The latter is also our theme for 2021, functioning as a swirling trajectory, a luscious backdrop and an invitation to think along. 

And, if any dear readers feel a bit agitated or curious, let me continue by disclosing that the open call for the alternative education programme has been announced! Aimed at Vilnius-based artists, curators, researchers, thinkers and dreamers of unlimited imagination, the programme will facilitate trialogues between magic and rituals, artistic practice realities and challenges of self-organisation in institutional settings. Mark April 18th as the application deadline and follow our social media for more information.

I have a feeling that we are running low on an already heavily-depleted attention span so I will ask you to bear with me for the last minute or so. Our long awaited and recently launched Journal now includes: documentations from thought-provoking lectures that shaped Rupert’s 2021 public programme; episodes from our Open Studio podcast featuring residents and people that we love and cherish; and fresh entries to our January 2021 issue dedicated to Care and Interdependence. If reading alone feels a bit… lonely, the Reading Session with Tom K Kemp on April 21, 18:00 EET will offer some digital comradery. 

Our two residentsTom K Kemp and Howard Melnyczuk — left our dear readers the note on the right. while Ignas Pavliukevičius, from our third studio and helped by a steady intake of caffeine, is preparing the Lithuanian Space Agency (steered by Julijonas Urbonas) for an unforgettable launch at the Venice Biennale of Architecture.

Your truly,

Howard Melnyczuk

It was warm on Saturday so I sat outside and watched the clouds rolling by in the spring sky, reflecting on the year gone by and the one ahead. Aeromancy, the art of divination through visions of the sky, was condemned by Moses as a dark art but the meteorological reading in my weather app says better weather is on its way. I wonder what futures the captain of the good ship Ever Given saw in the sky above the Red Sea last week as the winds picked up and a sandstorm blew.

Tom K Kemp

Over the last few weeks, Tom K Kemp has been producing some new animated works relating to his After the Maestro project for an exhibition which will open in Amsterdam next month. Appendix Songs opens at PuntWG, Amsterdam on April 10th and includes new work from Rupert alumni Monica Mays and Susan Ploetz. If you’re in the area, be sure to sign up for a visit!