Creative Camp in Aizpute, September 13-15, 2012

The AppleThink event takes place in Aizpute, Latvia, focused on creative trans-disciplinary approaches to apples and their diverse use after harvest. Artists, who once were exploring the boundaries of the digital realm, are today investigating survival tactics and resilience experiences that have been used in different times and by different cultures. In the quest for a sustainable future these emergent art practices are adapting, mixing and combining methods and techniques grounded in historical and traditional cultures, with emerging technologies, scientific research, and contemporary practices in today's urban and rural communities.

Apples are one of the most harvest-rich, yet under-exploited resources available in Latvia and other post-kolkhoz (collective Soviet farms) countries. AppleThink event aims to re-approach our 'habitual' apples from a variety of different perspectives. The event will bring together an international trans-disciplinary group of participants, who will be sharing their knowledge and experience by approaching apples as a 'real' resource of food and energy, as well as as a cultural metaphor for fecundity and wealth.

AppleThink will start with a Helsinki event, where documentation will be made at Malminkartano's public orchard event on 8th September, including the gathering of apples to bring to Latvia. During the following week from 13-15th September, the main AppleThink event, a creative camp in Aizpute will explore the phenomena of apples. We will start with the process of traditional fermenting, brewing, juicing, and preserving, ending up with experimental investigations: Can an apple be a transmitter of energy? How can one build a 'bacteria-battery' from apples-waste? How can apple-electricity signals be interpreted through sonification and visualization? The AppleThink event will also include presentations and discussions by artists, curators, science researchers, and community activists who will be discussing different survival strategies ranging from the concepts of 'downshifting' and 'withdrawal', to the  approach of 'resilience' and a 'techno-ecologies' perspective. The camp will end with a local outdoor market together with local farmers, where the artefacts created during the creative camp will be put out for symbolic sale-exhibition.

AppleThink is a collaboration between The Center for New Media Culture RIXC, Latvian Contemporary Arts Center and Serde from Latvia, as well as Pixelache Helsinki from Finland. The AppleThink event takes place in the framework of the European partnership project 'Survival Kit'. The outcomes of the AppleThink creative camp will be presented publicly during the Art+Communication Festival conference titled 'Art of Resilience' that takes place in Riga, October 4-6, 2012.

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