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Event

The Baltic House Lab - EXHIBITION

St John’s Centre, 04-09-2015 - 27-09-2015

The Baltic House Lab 2015 is the exhibition presenting works of artists from the Baltic Sea Region. Drawing from rich tradition and cultural heritage of each of the countries, the artworks that we exhibit touch on various subjects, spurring multidimensional narration.

Neighbouring the Baltic has determined the direction of our researches, focused eventually on the sea’s direct presence and water routes in cities centres. The key issue - in the context of studies oscillating water front areas –was to turn attention to their vulnerable aspects.

The Baltic House Lab 2015 exhibition focuses on presenting various issues relating to “water” and the region. This widely understood subjects has been interpreted in many ways: starting from sculptures, kinetic attributes, through geological aspects or those relating to materiality of air, to political-economic threads and documenting neighbours activities.

Most of the works has been commissioned especially for the exhibition: those artworks are the outcome of cooperation of the artists and the experts, result from inspiration with scientific theories or participatory activities. Creations of the exhibition owns to cooperation within curators team, representing culture institutions in the Baltic Sea Region.

Artist of the exhibition:
Danil Akimov (RU), Stine Avlund & Oleg Koefoed (DK), Serina Erfjord & Magnus Oledal (NO), Hanna Husberg (FIN), Linda Konone (LV), Anton Krohn & Daniel Petersson (SE), Jekaterina Lavrinec (LT), Maja Ratyńska (PL), Joanna Rajkowska (PL), Chili Seitz (DE), Anna Shkodenko (EST), Dominika Skutnik (PL), Piotr Wyrzykowski (PL).


Danil Akimov
Oscillation's grace
Cymatic’s interactive installation, 2015

    The complex and harmonious geometry of sound vibrations that wonderful manifestation natural beauty, observing that a person is experiencing cleansing and peace.
    This installation, conceived by the author for the exploration of the process of contemplation: What do we observe? Where? As? What for? What we feel and perceive? What is the difference between a visit to the museum and the cathedral?

The work was commissioned for The Baltic House Lab 2015

Danil Akimov (b. 1976, Russia). A sound artist and curator. Active in the field of interdisciplinary contemporary arts, in his projects he brings together sound and video, installation and performance. Since 1997 has cooperated with the art-group 'Membrana'. The main idea behind is an exploration of primitive extremities of pseudo-scientific/conceptual approach to artistic production. Since 2004 has been research officer at the Kaliningrad Branch of the National Centre for Contemporary Arts, curates the programs which deal with experimental music.

***

Stine Avlund & Oleg Koefoed
The Eco Island Lab
1-11 July 2015, ongoing

    Eco Island Lab is a laboratory for living in the city. With the help of local forces, a floating platform is built to live as a small 'island' on the water in Gdansk. A key goal for the island is to investigate and understand how conditions can be the best for living systems in the city.
    The platform is built from recycled materials such as: wood, pallets and for the effect of buoyancy, empty gas cylinders and plastic bottles. All construction is made as on site prototype with the resources available.
    During the lab, questions are asked and discovered, regarding the process of making and on learning from the place, understanding its past and possible futures as well as the dreams and wishes of its participants.

Project took place between 1-11th of July 2015 in CCA Łaźnia 2 in Nowy Port in Gdańsk in the frame of the artist-in-residency programme of The Baltic House Lab 2015 project.
Coordinator: Anna Miler

Cultura21 (Denmark) - Øko Ø / Eco Island
    The Eco Island Lab is one in a row of local interventions exploring relations of making and living, between flows of people, material resources and places. Øko Ø / Eco Island has previously taken place as an urban laboratory throughout 2014 in Amager, Copenhagen. Each place is treated as a unique situation as well as there is an aim to learn and pass on from place to place. The project is conducted by the organisation Cultura21, in collaboration with local partners. Cultura21 consists of three independent local organisations and works as an international network concerning itself with 'Cultures of, for and as Sustainability'. The Eco Island project originates from the Copenhagen group of Cultura21.
    The project is led by architect Stine Avlund and action-philosopher Oleg Koefoed, working between activist projects, consultancy, research and education.

***

Serina Erfjord & Magnus Oledal
But Listen
Installation, 2011

    The artwork But Listen is comprised of an oil barrel filled with dark pigmented water. Regularly a large bubble of air rises from the bottom of the barrel and breaks the surface. As the authors emphasize: Our first interest was the sound of a bursting bubble. As our working process continued, we focused on the bubble as a sculpture. The bubble that rises up towards the surface functions as a familiar metaphor. Something is bubbling up from the deep – an unknown dark place.
    This is the first co-operation between Erfjord and Oledal, who both work independently as artists, investigating movement and kinetic sculpture in their respective art practice.

Serina Erfjord (b.1982, Norway). She received her MA from the Oslo National Academy of Arts in 2014. Her works are within a sculptural field and they usually reflect and include its surroundings, as it often constitutes interventions within the gallery space or in the public realm. Erfjord has participated in international exhibitions in Norway and abroad. Lives and works in Oslo.

Magnus Oledal (b.1972, Sweden). Oledal holds a Masters degree in Fine Art from The Royal Institute of Art in Stockholm and The Art Academy in Oslo. He mainly works with sculpture. One of his main concerns is to create encounters that highten the viewer's awareness of her own body and the cognitive functions that enable and produce this encounter. He has been involved in the collaborative art project 'Tomma Rum' (Empty Rooms) since its inception in 2003. He exhibited in solo and group exhibitions. Lives and works in Oslo.

**

Hanna Husberg
The World Indoors
Installation, 2015

The intention of the installation is to give visibility to the hybrid materiality of air and its characteristic as a medium to transmit light and vibrations and to diffuse volatile and soluble chemicals. The installation will be conceived spatially, and with audiovisual elements making apparent some of the material exchanges taking place through the movements of air.   
    By using the areca palm (Dypsis lutescens), the mother-in-law’s tongue (Sansevieria trifasciata) and the money plant (Epipremnum aureum), three plants, which have been found to filter harmful substances and provide the fresh air and humidity needed in indoor environments (as well as in closed systems such as space stations), the installation addresses our entanglement with a world made of and animated by the trajectories of things, beings and entities.

The work was commissioned for The Baltic House Lab 2015

Hanna Husberg (b.1981, Finland). She graduated from École des Beaux-Arts in Paris in 2007, and is currently a Phd in Practice candidate at the Academy of Fine Arts Vienna. Through a practice of video and installation projects she investigates how we perceive, and relate to our environment in times of anthropogenic climate change. Husberg took a part in solo and group exhibitions, she join international workshops and artist-in-residency programmes. Currently lives and works in Stockholm.


***

Linda Konone
Mer
Video, 2011

    The movement of human is being repeated back and forth and developed in time. The more it repeats the more it deforms. This repetitive motion is similar to the movement of the waves in the sea. It goes back and forth. It would be endless work only if the music piece wouldn’t stop. It's stopped by a movement of a fire.
    The work Mer was commissioned by the sound and media festival Sound forest. The music is made by Raimonds Tiguls. It was an experimental project where video artists were making videos for the compositions of contemporary music. The main idea of the video is a game with a movement.

Linda Konone (b. 1985, Latvia). She graduated Art Academy of Latvia, Visual Communication department and L'école supérieure d'arts & médias de Caen/Cherbourg. Konone works with image and sound in various media. She investigates time, movement and space. Her works have been exhibited in Latvia, Germany, France, the Netherlands, Egypt and USA.


***

Anton Krohn & Daniel Petersson
Temporary Islands
Installation, 2015

    Growing up by the south-eastern coast of Sweden, the sea has always been present, and has in many ways shaped us. This multiplicity in constant change, a threat and a friend, has been our partner in this work. The project aims to reach out to the sea and establish a conversation, an open conversation where the outcome is unknown and in constant becoming.
    In Temporary Islands we explore a different understanding of the creative process, where we are not sole creators but co-creators together with the actors involved. The experiments are different interventions in the worlds becoming, where meaning, boundaries and materiality is shaped and articulated. Visitors are, in a similar way, participants in an ongoing conversation with the Baltic Sea.
    The presented work is a collection of marks of our encounters with the Baltic Sea, our conversations in workshops, cars and trains. These marks, or ponds, is the pattern of our different contexts and experiences flowing through the barriers of theories and Baltic Seas. Our bodies has been sedimented out in various forms through the process of ebb and flow, sometimes free floating with the current, sometimes as Temporary islands. It's a comment of the authors, Anton Krohn and Daniel Petersson, which are inspired by the texts of Donna Haraway and Karen Barad.

Anton Krohn (b. , Sweden). He graduated from The Blekinge Institue of Technology (2015). His aim is to examine performative understanding of life and the creative process through practices in media technology, graphic design, photography and contemporary art.

Daniel Petersson (b. , Sweden). He graduated from The Blekinge Institute of Technology (visual production). Inspired by scientists like Donna Haraway and Karen Barad, Petersson is working toward a posthumanist performative understanding of the creative process were meaning is created and co-shaped in relation with both human and non-human participants, an ongoing conversation that never reaches an endpoint. Processes where each intervention requires a responsibility for the body that is produced. He is an illustrator and co-author of the kids books.


***

Jekaterina Lavrinec
Sea findings and sharings / Sea stories [Komoda nr. 3]
Object, 2015

There are two concepts, embedded into the Komoda as an object. One is the forms of private expositions, which are arranged at homes, using commodes as small gallery spaces for peculiar items. Derived from the Cabinets of Curiosities - a Renaissance form of keeping and exposing collections of uncategorized wonders, the private collections of souvenirs and proud expositions of tea services went through modifications alongside with the modifications of the furniture design (from the secretaries to the sideboards). Differently from the museums’ collections, these home collections are fragile as theirs lifetime usually is limited by the lifetime of the memory keepers – the persons, who recognise the stories behind these strange configurations of items. 


    The other concept is sharing. Spontaneous places of sharing in the cities is an axis of the emerging networks of mutual help. By arranging the Komoda, I invite you to take part in sharing process, by leaving small messages and bringing small items, which can cheer other users of Komoda, and by taking the items and messages left by the others. Spontaneous collages, formed by leaving and taking small items from Komoda, is a form of collective storytelling. Like sea waves bring stones, seashells, small accidental items and messages in the bottle to the seashore – and take them away, the users of Komoda bring and take small things. Together, we are a sea. 


The work was commissioned for The Baltic House Lab 2015

Cooperation: Grupa Gdyby

Jekaterina Lavrinec, PhD (b. , Lithuania). She is a co-founder of the urban games and research laboratory 'Laimikis.lt' (2007), which develops and implements scenarios of the revitalisation of abandoned public spaces and neglected neighbourhoods. In her practice she implements participatory arts-based research approach and focuses on the issues of urban solidarities and cooperation, usability and regeneration of public spaces. The interconnection between urban design and user experience in public spaces is one of the topics she has been working since 2009 both as a researcher, curator and artist


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Maja Ratyńska
Reeds
Installation, 2015

    Baby mermaids grow hidden in reeds. Their delicate, transparent eggs, like spawn and fry of many other sea creatures, are hidden in the dense reeds. This place is safe- covered, rich in hideouts, hard to reach for bigger predators.
    The conception for the installation Reeds came up during workshops Art (for) ecology organized in 2008 by the Baltic Sea Cultural Centre and Sea Station at Hel. While at the meetings of artists and scientists we were discussing the need to translate scientific data to language of emotions and arts, easier for wider audience. One of the issues for ecosystem of the Bay of Puck is the protection of its reeds- nesting place for Bay’s fauna, reeds cut, often against the law, in order to create the commercial recreational areas. Oneiric vision of lucent mermaid’s eggs hidden in the reeds moves the discussion into the fairy-tale world of miracles and questions about good ending of this story.

Cooperation: Jan Piszczak

The work was commissioned for The Baltic House Lab 2015 project

Maja Ratyńska (b. 1979, Poland). She graduated from Fine Arts Academy in Gdańsk, she was a resident at Artist’s Colony at Gdańsk Shipyard. Designer bent for sculpture and eco-education. She specializes in graphic and industrial design, she creates installations in public space, animations, conducts art-education workshops, often cooperating with scientists. Together with Konrad Ziętara they run MRKK| design studio. As they emphasize: We are interested in widely understood space and environment. This is how we understand architecture, design and art – as the elements of the same branch. We want our space to be beautiful, comfortable and simple and simultaneously a part of ecosystem.


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Chili Seitz
The View
Installation, 2015

    The work The View plays with the viewer's imagination. Our perception is the direct link to the world. We save through our senses, in our memory we note different aspects of the environment. Whether consciously or unconsciously. Our perceptual space is always individual and always in perspective. In terms of historical paintings in the two museums, National Museum and National Maritime Museum in Gdańsk, our contemporary view is questioned on things in the context of historical representation. It creates a kind of balance between the present and past life and its image.
    Seven benches in the public space in Gdansk are marked with a small sign with a QR code. By scanning one of it, the viewer is able to hear a text which links with one of the paintings from the National Museum or the National Maritime Museum in Gdańsk. In this moment the viewer is already sitting on the bench, enjoying the views of the city.                                   
The work was commissioned for The Baltic House Lab 2015

Chili Seitz (b. 1977, Germany). She graduated from Academy of Fine Arts, Muthesius Kunsthochschule in Kiel. She works with such a medium as Audio, Installation, Spatial Conception, Sculpture. Seitz often works in the public space, she is interested in the contexts of the range of artistic intervention and its representation. Seitz took a part in solo as well as in the group exhibitions. Lives and works in Kiel.


***

Anna Shkodenko
Prisoner’s Cinema
12 oil on aluminum paintings, 2014

    Prisoner’s cinema is a phenomena experienced by those who spend prolonged amounts of time in the dark, deprived of visual stimuli (prisoners, miners and for example Antarctic explorers etc). The 'cinema' refers to the series of images that the mind creates, often emotionally intense or terrifying. The affected ones report visual flashes that are close to real, but somehow distorted in ways they cannot precisely describe. Prisoner’s Cinema is a result of psychological effects of prolonged exposure to darkness combined with the phosphenes, an entoptic phenomenon of light being seen without light actually entering the eyes.
    The distance of 45 - 75 cm, called 'personal distance' according to E.T. Hall’s classification, which allows to touch one’s partner and a visual distortion is minimal; visual acuity is optimal and it is possible to perceive a three-dimensional form both as a whole and in small detail – is a distance she chose for looking at the paintings. By the way, the size of paintings is connected with the size of either upper or lower part of human face (10 x 16 cm) that ideally fits into the 15-degree visual angle of personal distance.
    12 images, 12 surfaces of deformation frizzed in grey, gentle textures as if left by a thumb of someone who tried to melt grey, to palpate through the surfaces unbelieving his eyes. These 12 diminutive oil paintings on aluminum plates depict snowscapes and different types of snowy surfaces turned into a negative — where the falling and dispersion of light and shadow can be seen and observed in the most clear and direct way. Furthermore, being looked at from the right angle, light and shadow in these paintings changes into something almost tactile, tangible.

Anna Shkodenko (b. 1986, Estonia). She graduated The Estonian Academy of Arts, 2009. During and following graduation she studied in Chelsea College of Arts in London (2007-2008), in 2009 to 2010 attended the 'New Artistic Strategies' course in Moscow Institute of Contemporary Art and in 2013 was accepted as international artist in artist-in-residency programme 'Broadcasting offline' in Berlin. Being trained as a painter, Shkodenko approaches every artwork she makes from a perspective of painting: be it video, installation, event or any other art form. The subjects of her works vary from social problematics and dilemmas to art-specific questions and phenomena of liminal sensory perception of a human being. Shkodenko had several solo exhibitions in Tallinn and Berlin and participated in numerous international group exhibitions.

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Dominika Skutnik
Filling in/Complement
site-specific sculpture, 2015

    Filling in/Complement is a project joining two natural forces. One is indefinite, changing, formless. This is the moving element of water, which is put in the earthy, here, made of bricks steady, historic, structure of Gothic architecture. The simulation of the water will fills in, in a way – it will heal the lack, the breach.
    The sculpture of Dominka Skutnik will fill in the niche of Gothic column with some transparent form – a brick made not of clay but of 'water'.
    In the work Filling in/Complement the water is brought not so much from the sea, but from the term of 'sea character', from the feeling that we are a sea region, often in economic, historical, practical meaning. The author tries to let in a different sea, primal and mysterious – its fluidity, magic formlessness, the spirit of three states.

The work was commissioned for The Baltic House Lab 2015

Dominika Skutnik (b. 1971, Poland). She graduated from Academy of Fine Arts in Gdańsk. She does mainly space installation and photography. Works of Skutnik very often turn to architecture, Gothic or post-industrial, formally 'filling in' it. The artist endeavors to use the specific architectonic space to build different, often intimate narration. She is a laureate of international art prizes and scholarships. Her works are exhibited in Poland and abroad. Lives and works in Gdańsk.

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Piotr Wyrzykowski
Regional Defence System
Mobile Application, 2015

Facing recent events in Ukraine we should consider preparing Poland in case of Russian Federation military invasion. The war is happening 2000 km from Gdańsk, so this events and the character of the conflict makes us aware the we need to be prepared for sudden attack in the Baltic Sea Region. Analysing the internet data we conclude that 'The existing shelters cover only 2,86 % of total needs for sheltering in the country, which means that in case of the conflict we only have 28 687 buildings, able to shelter 1 135 239 people, so not every Polish is going to find a place in the protective bunker' (2) What about the rest of the people ?
    This especially designed mobile application helps you to test the ways to react in case of a direct danger resulting from war or terrorists attack. The application based on the position of the user in the city gives advice and commends, showing direction where to go. The main goal is to reach the bunker in set waring time. It is the time that the user has, from the moment of launching the weapon by the enemy to the moment of explosion in the region.
    Currently there is no direct danger for Poland, so the application is designed purely for instructive and educational reason. Taking our near neighbour as an example – Lithuania, where the Ministry of Defense issued a guide 'What to do in case of war for the citizens of Lithuania', Wyrzykowski wants to raise the awareness of the society and ask a question: is the state thinking about the safety of the citizens? Terrorists provocations and war cannot surprise us!
(1) Zbiorowe środki ochrony ludności – budowle ochronne, płk (r) dr inż. Bogdan Michailiuk, 2015.

The work was commissioned for The Baltic House Lab 2015

Piotr Wyrzykowski (b.1968, Gdańsk). He studied interior design and painting at the Academy of Fine Arts in Gdańsk. He received diploma in the Multimedia Department of Prof. Witosław Czerwonka. He creates experimental mobile applications, multi-media performances, photography, internet projects, interactive installations, projections in public space. His video art Beta Nassau (1993) is in the collection of MoMA, New York. He is a co-founder of „Wiktoria Cukt Presidential Campaign”. The artist took a part in many solo and group exhibitions in Poland and abroad. Lives and works in Gdańsk and Kiev.