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Reconfiguring Territories

Territooriumite ümber mõtestamine

Uudelleenmäärittyvät paikallisuudet

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(Re)configuring Territories Spring School 2021 presentations in Narva

(Re)configuring Territories: Spring School 2021 presentations in Narva
June 5th, 2021
10:30-15:00
@ Narva Art Residency and online

A week-long intensive Spring School culminated with a hybrid public event where the participants of the three workshops shared glimpses of their processes and findings.

The public event started online with Charming Perspectives where participants of the Trollperception in the Heartlands workshop presented some of the <<charms>> they worked with during the week. The group also made an exhibition of the <<charms>> to the (Re)configuring Territories instagram feed.

The event continued with the Archaeology of Postsocialist Narva tour by the Post-Brokenness workshop group. The cycling tour began at the Narva Art Residency and went around Narva where the participants presented objects, installations and public spaces as speculative archeological findings thirty years in the future.

After the tour the event continued with a common lunch moment, which reflected the topics that the Obschenie group had worked with during the spring school week.

The event ended with a tour to Kreenholm factory area where Sandra Kosorotova presented her project The Garden of Death.

Spring School Workshops
→ Весенняя Школа
→ Kevadkool
→ Kevätkoulun työpajat

Post-Brokenness

Post-Brokenness
Andra Aaloe and Francisco Martínez will host the workshop ‘Post-Brokenness’ in the (Re)configuring Territories Spring School taking place in Narva (May–June 2021). Selected participants will study how personal and collective relationships are sustained in relation to the maintenance and repair of the surrounding environment, opening up a wide range of questions about care-taking, sustainability and the fragility of the worlds we inhabit.

Obshchenie

Obshchenie
The main aim of this workshop at the Reconfiguring Territories Spring School is very simple: to feed ourselves and the whole group. We will use this necessity as an excuse to explore our own as well as local habits and preferences that start with food and dining but tell a lot about class, cultural backgrounds, feelings of home and political inclinations. Let us carefully scavenge our surroundings for matters to bring to the table: radishes and cucumbers from the supermarket and a local dacha; eggs from a nearby farm; sakuski and toasts; lunch offers; Turkish pizza and Chinese takeout; undervalued grandma pastries from around the corner; overpriced puree soups from the university cafeteria; basement shops and banquet halls; strange jars in cyrillic with surprisingly familiar contents.

Trollperception in the Heartlands

Troll perceptions in the Heartlands – artistic research to widen our imagination capacity Once upon a time, humans lived in harmony with Earth. Trolls, fairies, and other spirits roamed freely around the villages of Sweden. Then came an era when humans started exploiting nature, pushing Earth to her limit. In the process they shut out all the conversations and relations they used to have with their non-sentients neighbors. Now, there is an acute need for radically different imaginaries of how to live with Earth again. In Troll perceptions in the Heartlands, we turn to folktales and legends to reconnect to that time when people in our regions lived closer to, and were more subordinated to nature.


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Welcome to Narva varialambo!

May 19, 2022
Welcome to Narva varialambo!
varialambo is currently at the Reconfiguring Territories research residency in Narva. At the beginning of their residency, we discussed Narva’s first impressions, getting to know new places and the plans they have for Narva.

Live-Action Role-playing the City – Workshop Open Call

May 13, 2022
Live-Action Role-playing the City – Workshop Open Call
Live-Action Role-playing the City is a weekend-long workshop that explores performative artistic research in the context of urban surroundings. How can cities be approached by means of LARPs? How can LARP exercises be used for questions dealing with the city? What kind of power structures emerge? The workshop will begin on Friday, May 3 at 4p.m. and end on Sunday, June 5 at 3 p.m. 5-8 participants will be admitted to the workshop. Register by May 20.

Spring School 2022 Open Call

Apr 8, 2022
Spring School 2022 Open Call
(Re)configuring Territories research programme continues as a week-long Spring School on June 1(Re)configuring Territories research programme continues as a week-long Spring School on June 13 – 19, 2022. This year’s programme explores the politics of collective imagination in the midst of the socio-political and technological upheavals we currently face. How do the changing perceptions of territorial relationships, the experiences of belonging to a place, the multiple spatial layers of history, and their connection to human and non-human agencies shape abilities to imagine futures? What are the possible roles and structures of educational institutions that could develop the necessary skills and knowledge of political imagination?

#StandingWithUkraine

Mar 15, 2022
#StandingWithUkraine
(Re)configuring Territories stands for free and open societies, against war and violence. We stand in solidarity with the people of Ukraine. The war has also changed the context of (Re)configuring Territories project. We are currently reorganizing our resources and this year’s programme. Action and friendships are now even more important #StandWithUkraine #StopRussianAggression

Wishes and Hopes for 2022

Dec 20, 2021
Wishes and Hopes for 2022
Before the year ends, we – the organisers in Finland and Estonia – gathered to share wishes and hopes for 2022, which will be the final year of the (Re)configuring Territories programme.

Navigating the Indeterminate Terrain

Oct 28, 2021
Navigating the Indeterminate Terrain
Ksenia Kaverina wrote a mid-term reflection on the (Re)configuring Territories programme on art and culture website Arterritory.

(Re)configuring Territories Spring School 2021 presentations in Narva

Jun 16, 2021
(Re)configuring Territories Spring School 2021 presentations in Narva
A week-long intensive Spring School culminated with a hybrid public event where the participants of the three workshops shared glimpses of their processes and findings.

(Re)configuring Territories Talk by TOK curators: On the Verge of Post-Industrial Routine. In search for an alternative planetary set-up and trajectories of degrowth

Jun 16, 2021
(Re)configuring Territories Talk by TOK curators: On the Verge of Post-Industrial Routine. In search for an alternative planetary set-up and trajectories of degrowth
The starting point for this conversation are the prevailing industrial and economical conditions of the city of Narva and beyond, which TOK curators have been exploring during their residency (Re)configuring Territories in May and June 2021. By discussing a variety of post-industrial contexts and sites, we will integrate the economic, manufacturing and architectural processes of decay of the Ida-Viru region into a wider geographical and conceptual framework.

(Re)configuring Territories Talk: Discussion with TOK Curators in Narva Art Residency

Jun 16, 2021
(Re)configuring Territories Talk: Discussion with TOK Curators in Narva Art Residency
Creative Association of Curators TOK joined the Narva Art Residency on May 20 – June 18. The introduction talk with the TOK curators Anna Bitkina and Maria Veits was hosted by curator Ksenia Kaverina and the (Re)configuring Territories programme curators Tommi Vasko and Kaisa Karvinen.

Spring School 2021 Open Call

Apr 15, 2021
Spring School 2021 Open Call
(Re)configuring Territories programme continues as a week-long Spring School on May 31 – June 6, 2021. The Spring School consists of three simultaneous workshops mentored by anthropologist Francisco Martínez and urbanist Andra Aaloe, graphic designer, baker and writer Maria Muuk, and architecture, art and design practice MYCKET.

Dear Mist: A Journey Through Folklore and Energy Politics

Mar 15, 2021
Dear Mist: A Journey Through Folklore and Energy Politics
The live action role-play taking place in Narva, eastern Estonia. Because of the ongoing epidemiological situation this year’s LARP participants will be online; facilitated by technologies like geo-located audio AR, instant messaging apps, Zoom and live-stream webcams. The river Narva and its lore will be transported and beamed to you.

(Re)configuring Territories Talk: Anthropology, Fieldwork, and Design Research

Dec 18, 2020
(Re)configuring Territories Talk: Anthropology, Fieldwork, and Design Research
Interest in anthropology is growing in situated architecture and design research circles, with fieldwork and community-led design processes becoming an increasingly important part of the critical discourse. What should architects, designers, and artists know from anthropology and its methodology? What can these disciplines learn from each other? (Re)configuring Territories program curator Tommi Vasko will talk with professor Francisco Martínez and filmmaker and artist Polina Medvedeva about fieldwork and the relationships between artistic research and anthropology.

(Re)configuring Territories Talk: Feminist Fairytales, Parties and Eating Together as Spatial Practices

Dec 18, 2020
(Re)configuring Territories Talk: Feminist Fairytales, Parties and Eating Together as Spatial Practices
Could fiction and eating dinner together be seen as ways to question the conventional methods of spatial and design practices? Can these careful methods create a more resilient and discursive architecture and design culture? In the talk, the art & architecture group MYCKET (Mariana Alves Silva, Katarina Bonnevier, and Thérèse Kristiansson), graphic designer/writer/baker Maria Muuk and curator Kaisa Karvinen investigate strategies in each of their practices and dream about possible roles of architects and designers in the neighborhoods of current society. The talk starts with a short reading. In the talk, the art & architecture group MYCKET (Mariana Alves Silva, Katarina Bonnevier, and Thérèse Kristiansson), graphic designer/writer/baker Maria Muuk and curator Kaisa Karvinen investigate strategies in each of their practices and dream about possible roles of architects and designers in the neighborhoods of current society. The talk starts with a short reading.

The Indeterminate Terrain Between Disciplines

Dec 18, 2020
The Indeterminate Terrain Between Disciplines
The first (Re)configuring Territories talk was a discursive introduction to the research program. How can residencies and gatherings create discussions about borders, territories, and design and architecture cultures? (Re)configuring Territories program curators Kaisa Karvinen and Tommi Vasko will talk with curator and archivist Ksenia Kaverina, program director Karoliina Korpilahti and Narva Art Residency’s director Ann Mirjam Vaikla.

Reconfiguring Territories Research Residency Open Call

Feb 25, 2020
Reconfiguring Territories Research Residency Open Call
(Re)configuring Territories welcomes applications for a six-week Residency in May–June 2020. The Residency is meant for practitioners and researchers who share an interest in situated practices and speculative approaches.

Narva, a post-colonial, post-soviet, post-industrial bordertown in flux

May 31, 2019
Narva, a post-colonial, post-soviet, post-industrial bordertown in flux
Elena Hess-Rheingans who took part in the (Re)configuring Territories Spring School 2019 wrote about Narva, the Spring School and Damiano Cerrone’s MetaNar workshop.

(Re)configuring Territories Spring School 2019 Open Call

Mar 11, 2019
(Re)configuring Territories Spring School 2019 Open Call
(Re)configuring Territories program’s first instalment is a week-long Spring School in May. The Spring School consists of three simultaneous workshops mentored by designer and theorist Aiwen Yin, urban planner and researcher Damiano Cerrone, and filmmaker and artist Polina Medvedeva. Apply by March 31, 2019!

Theory, History, Poetry

Spring School 2019
→ Весенняя Школа 2019
→ Kevadkool 2019
→ Kevätkoulu 2019

In the Theory, History, Poetry Workshop led by Aiwen Yin, spring school participants walked through history in poetry, ate theory on history, and wrote poetry on theory by wandering, listening, reading, ruminating, conversing and writing together in the city.

Trollperception in the Heartlands

Spring School 2021
→ Весенняя Школа 2021
→ Kevadkool 2021
→ Kevätkoulu 2021

Trollperception in the Heartlands

In 2021, MYCKET will embark on a new three year artistic research project called Trollperception in the Heartlands. In Trollperception in the Heartlands, we turn to folktales and legends to reconnect to that time when people in our regions lived closer to, and were more subordinated to nature. Trollperception in the Heartlands is a transdisciplinary design project emerging out of our own heartlands in southern rural Sweden, expanding the formal field used to generate sustainable future scenarios through site-specific crafting and crafting video animations informed by folktales and mythology. During our workshop with the Narva Spring School MYCKET invited the workshop participants to delve into trolls, spirits, and animism together with us, joining the pack, and craft together, while simultaneously mediating and sharing these artworks through filmed animations – investigating what new and unforeseen knowledge can be derived from the process itself. The aim was to explore troll perception through artistic research, and to create and share viable ways of designing and living for the future. Returning people to a dialogue with Earth and its fellow creatures.

Post-Brokenness

Spring School 2021
→ Весенняя Школа 2021
→ Kevadkool 2021
→ Kevätkoulu 2021

Post-Brokenness

Andra Aaloe and Francisco Martínez hosted the workshop ‘Post-Brokenness’ in the (Re)configuring Territories Spring School 2021.

In the Workshop participants studied how personal and collective relationships are sustained in relation to the maintenance and repair of the surrounding environment and opened up a wide range of questions about care-taking, sustainability and the fragility of the worlds we inhabit.

The focus was on Eastern Estonia in general, a region affected by monofunctional Soviet industrialism and continuous demographic decrease and political abandonment of the last decades. There, the overwhelming first impression of brokenness (especially viewed from the West) was contested through a series of in-situ micro-ethnographies, where participants were asked to pay attention to the multiple practices and material interventions that establish socio-material stability and maintain our life-worlds as we know them.

By post-brokenness, we thus meant to a condition in which recovery has not been achieved, yet many things continue to go on in the meantime – including care and suturing practices. With a practical-research oriented ethos, the programme combined lectures and reading seminars with multimodal forms of fieldwork techniques – meeting locals and elaborating a final individual project presented on a chosen site of Narva.

On Saturday morning (June 5), participants of the Post-brokenness workshop presented their independent work. They were asked to wear the hat of a future archaeologist and identify a site, a thing, or material trace that could remain 30 years ahead and holds a representative power of the postsocialist condition. In their site-specific presentation, they introduced the selected object individually and explained how it might look like in 2051, as well as possible tournaments of value in the meantime. The exercise combined an ambition to understand and document recent changes in the city of Narva with a speculative, conceptual gesture. The public presentation in a form of a cycling tour started at the Narva Art Residency.

Participants: Michael Cole, Andres Lutz, Triin Kampus, Farbod Fakharzadeh, Andra & Francisco.

Obshchenie

Spring School 2021
→ Весенняя Школа 2021
→ Kevadkool 2021
→ Kevätkoulu 2021

Obshchenie

The main aim of this workshop at the Reconfiguring Territories Spring School is very simple: to feed ourselves and the whole group. We will use this necessity as an excuse to explore our own as well as local habits and preferences that start with food and dining but tell a lot about class, cultural backgrounds, feelings of home and political inclinations. Let us carefully scavenge our surroundings for matters to bring to the table: radishes and cucumbers from the supermarket and a local dacha; eggs from a nearby farm; sakuski and toasts; lunch offers; Turkish pizza and Chinese takeout; undervalued grandma pastries from around the corner; overpriced puree soups from the university cafeteria; basement shops and banquet halls; strange jars in cyrillic with surprisingly familiar contents. Let us try to trace meanings, feelings and causes within every bite.

The symbolic title of the workshop is borrowed from the Russian language via sociologist Alexei Yurchak’s book “Everything Was Forever Until It Was No More” (2005), which highlights modes of (mostly kitchen-related) communality inherent to slavic values and the Soviet socialist order (albeit in problematic manifestations). We will try to create an ongoing, open-ended obshchenie – “both a process and a sociality that emerges in that process, and both an exchange of ideas and information as well as a space of affect and togetherness” – to get a better taste of the legacy of these values and history within the local context, and how we (as an international group of progressively disposed designers residing in Narva for a week) relate to them ourselves. 

Participants of the workshop will be encouraged to contribute with recipes and ideas for “setting the table” to prompt discussion among the group during dining times. 

Image for Maria Muuk's Reconfiguring Territories Spring School 2021 Workshop: Obshchenie. The entrance and menu of a culinary shop slash beer bar in Kreenholm, Narva, 2020
The entrance and menu of a culinary shop slash beer bar in Kreenholm, Narva, 2020
Quotes from Yurchak’s book “Everything Was Forever Until It Was No More”
Quotes from Yurchak’s book “Everything Was Forever Until It Was No More”

Spring School Mentors
→ Весенняя Школа
→ Kevadkool
→ Kevätkoulun mentorit

Maria Muuk

Maria Muuk
Maria Muuk is a graphic designer and writer based in Tallinn, Estonia, whose main research interest is food. By thinking and making through the lens of food, she explores its semiotic, cultural and affective meanings, as well as ways in which food can be used to facilitate change, find commonalities and digest problematics.

(Re)configuring Territories Talks
→ Доклады на (Пере)осмыслении территорий
→ (Re)configuring Territories vestlusring
→ (Re)configuring Territories -keskustelut

(Re)configuring Territories Talk: Feminist Fairytales, Parties and Eating Together as Spatial Practices

(Re)configuring Territories Talk: Feminist Fairytales, Parties and Eating Together as Spatial Practices
Could fiction and eating dinner together be seen as ways to question the conventional methods of spatial and design practices? Can these careful methods create a more resilient and discursive architecture and design culture? In the talk, the art & architecture group MYCKET (Mariana Alves Silva, Katarina Bonnevier, and Thérèse Kristiansson), graphic designer/writer/baker Maria Muuk and curator Kaisa Karvinen investigate strategies in each of their practices and dream about possible roles of architects and designers in the neighborhoods of current society. The talk starts with a short reading. In the talk, the art & architecture group MYCKET (Mariana Alves Silva, Katarina Bonnevier, and Thérèse Kristiansson), graphic designer/writer/baker Maria Muuk and curator Kaisa Karvinen investigate strategies in each of their practices and dream about possible roles of architects and designers in the neighborhoods of current society. The talk starts with a short reading.

MetaNAR

Spring School 2019
→ Весенняя Школа 2019
→ Kevadkool 2019
→ Kevätkoulu 2019

MetaNAR

In the metaNAR – Narration for Digital Society Workshop led by Damiano Cerrone, five participants used digital means to explore the metamorphology of Narva, process the digital footprint and map the collective landscape of the city.

MetaMorphological research explores the speculative form of the city by examining the shape of the urban environment and its cultural landscape, emphasizing the significance of technology and the rules of media platforms for the creation of urban loci. metaNAR was an attempt to apply this framework to the border city of Narva, where we introduced a new, synthetic landscape.

We leveraged GANs and style extraction (neural style transfer without the content loss, in collaboration with Rheza Budiono) to encourage discussion and broaden speculation about the condition and future of a city, about the way in which its complexities might unravel. Through experimenting with these technologies in Narva’s post-industrial landscape, we eventually arrived at a place of hope: that computer vision, large-scale image analysis, and cartography, when coalesced, can be tools for abstracting the shapes and functions of a city, unleashing the collective imagination of groups, giving them the capacity to redefine their own environment.

We are proposing to write an article about the use of new digital media as tools for reconfiguring the imagination of contemporary cities.

Photo of the metanar.com website: The Image of Three Cities Narva, Нарва and Narwa
The Image of Three Cities: Narva, Нарва and Narwa

Deconstructed Field Study

Spring School 2019
→ Весенняя Школа 2019
→ Kevadkool 2019
→ Kevätkoulu 2019

In the Deconstructed Field Studies -workshop lead by Polina Medvedeva, participants interacted with the city and its inhabitants documenting small stories and local knowledge about the informal economies and non-conformist communal structures of Narva.

In 2012 Narva’s old town gets a brand new building, standing next to the Town Hall. Freshly inaugurated Narva College, say Kavakava Architects, reflects the former Stock Exchange Building destroyed during the Second World War. Yet for some Narva older residents, the modern architecture comes as a challenge to their representations.

When entering the building shaped with clear wood structures, a sense of utopia invades the thoughts. A new generation is busy going in and out through the glass doors, discussing at the fancy café or leaning over Estonian and Russian books in the cosy library. Somehow, accounts of the former Kreenholm factory’s social life come to mind. Perhaps, the youth has found its new headquarters.

Among these ambitious youngsters, some have crossed the border from neighbouring Russia. The hybrid situation of Narva appears as an unforeseen opportunity for those who aspire to open the door to Europe.

And yet… just like the golden age of Kreenholm don’t include hard work, stress and health problems in the picture… is the European university utopia resisting the reality of Narva’s complexity? How is this new generation of Russian-speakers arriving in Narva going to face Estonia’s conflicted past? How are Estonians going to process the changing structure and ambitions of the Russian-speaking population? How is the identity of Narva going to be transformed?

As the medieval castle stands still on the bank of the undisturbed Narva river, it feels hard to find the clue, and so we wonder… What will be the face of the future Narva?

(Re)configuring Territories Spring School 2019 – Deconstructed Field Studies 1/2
(Re)configuring Territories Spring School 2019 – Deconstructed Field Studies 2/2
Interviews from the Kreenholmi Manufactuur