On the 4th of February, 6 pm, Kaunas Artists’ House is hosting a screening of four short films and a discussion moderated by the curators of the Artist as a Digital Archivist project, Emily Dundas Oke and Julija Rukanskaitė.

“The Artist as a Digital Archivist” is an international curatorial project that explores how narratives are constructed based on the model of digital archiving, questioning the potential of archives as an act of memory making in relation to the wider social outcome they imply. Initiated as an open call for video works that address themes ranging from time and memory to the politics of public narratives, it has become a collage in which the non-continuity, open-endedness and grounding in previous artistic and non-artistic practices make up the project itself.

As much work has been done in decolonial museum studies to locate a “museum without walls”, this project continues with a decolonial lens to locate an archive without an object. Rather than rely on the monumentalisation of hegemonic social narratives, the works in this film screening locate memory through collective and specific social milieus. They posit alternative conceptions of creating and storing memory beyond the written word or archived object. The land becomes archive, ancient oral stories become machinimas, and family histories contest the narrative driven by the photographic print.

The project has been screened in Oslo, Vilnius, and Canada.

This event is a part of a series that follow the establishing of the KAH residency program. The program of residences at Kaunas Artists’ House has been created in 2018 with the aim to present the most relevant contemporary artists, curators and cultural researchers working in Lithuania and abroad to the residents and guests of Kaunas city. The residency program aims to foster intercultural, cross-institutional and cross-sectoral cooperation, to provide artists and cultural producers with the opportunity to become acquainted with the historical and cultural context of the city during their residency, to facilitate their cooperation with other artists or cultural producers and local communities.

ARTIST BIOS

Emily Dundas Oke (CA) (b. 1993) is an artist and curator. She studied Philosophy and Visual Art (BA) at Thompson Rivers University in Canada. Her philosophical research in epistemology guides her interest in works that deal with the conception of social history. Currently, she is the co-curator of ARTIST AS A DIGITAL ARCHIVIST, an international video-works project with screenings and discussions in Norway, Lithuania, and Canada.

As an artist, Emily works between mediums to navigate conceptions and interventions of public spaces, often employing photography and installation to examine the role of perception in shaping our phenomenological experiences.

Throughout her residency at Nida Art Colony, she continued both curatorial and artistic investigations into the notion of the ‘archive’, further developing work that posits an archive without an object. Emily explored the role of the body as a historiographic tool or knowing subject that contributes to multi-vocal histories while researching how territorial markers, historical agreements, and occupation of land become monumentalized in writing and public consciousness.

Julija Rukanskaitė (b. 1997) is an emerging Lithuanian curator currently based in Sweden. Since her late school years and graduation from Justinas Vienožinskis art school she has been actively involved in educational art practice, volunteering and assisting in The National Gallery of Art of Lithuania as well as at Rupert, an international art and education center in Vilnius. With a background in the humanities she is currently pursuing a degree in interaction design in Malmo University, Sweden.

In her works Rukanskaitė explores the notions of memory, narrative, shifting contexts and digital practices. As a visual artist she has worked with textiles, photography and collage whereas currently she has moved towards curating, approaching it as a medium in itself. Featured exhibitions include Invisible Threads (2017) at Ideas Block LT, Public Airing of Your Home Life (2018) at Stephenville Texas and Between the Lines at the Oslo National Academy of the Arts (2018).

As a curator Rukanskaitė is actively engaged in researching the mentioned notions by employing a reverse curatorial approach where artists are granted discursive agency. In 2018 she was a contributing writer to an online residency program “Curate Archive” by MOP foundation based in London. The featured publications, lectures, and discussion alongside the Artist as a Digital Archivist project are an ongoing inquiry into the possibilities of archival practice.

The films will be shown in English. The discussion and presentation will be held in English.
Attendance is free of charge.

This event is held in partnership with Nida Art Colony / Nidos meno kolonija.

Video still from “She Falls for Ages” by Skawennati (2017)