EMPACT GifXweb-2

Fourteen collaborative interdisciplinary artistic projects (artist/philosopher, artist/architect, artist/urban planner etc.) will take place leading to fourteen artistic productions (UGM, FLP, ER, CUT, VM, NAFTA, NAHR) presented by each partner as individual events. A discussion between the collaborators will take place at the opening of the presentation of each of the productions.

The collaborative projects facilitate the interdisciplinary nature of the project, and it tackles the need for creative exchange between artists and sustainability-related experts.

Participatory Community Mural: Migration, Empathy, Nature, Sustainability

A conversation between Konstantinos Avramidis & TwentyThree
15 - 22 September 2023 | Limassol, Cyprus

This interdisciplinary project was a collaboration between architect and University of Cyprus lecturer Konstantinos Avramidis and street artist Vasilis Vasiliou (aka Twenty-Three). They created a socially-engaged mural and conducted a workshop where participants mapped urban elements and local hidden histories, which were then incorporated into the mural. Community members participated, exploring shared experiences and understanding different perspectives. The mural represented collective aspirations for a more empathetic and inclusive society, addressing social and environmental sustainability in Nicosia. Its theme focused on interspecies inclusivity and challenging the concept of borders, using migratory birds as symbols of interconnectedness and empathy beyond human boundaries.

Calculating Your Pause

A conversation between Panayiotis Michael & Christina Lambrou
30 November 2023 | Nicosia, Cyprus

The project «Calculating Your Pause» is a collaboration between artist Panayiotis Michael and art historian Christina Lambrou. It includes an exhibition of Michael’s artworks and discussions with Lambrou, focusing on transitional spaces and forms of life in suspension. As part of the EMPACT program, the project explores visual collaborative practices and relationships with space and landscape. It examines suspension, a key theme in Michael’s work, through diverse perspectives and methods. Discussions redefine textual forms and theoretical positions, addressing displacement, abandonment, and transformation. The project also explores the interplay between personal experiences and collective history, studying landscape changes from unrealized political visions. Over three months, it involved a series of encounters and discussions, emphasizing the fragility and openness of the process.

Shared Cosmogonies

A conversation between Deneb Martos Marcos & Miguel Alfonso Bouhaben
12 January 2024 | Madrid, Spain

«Shared Cosmogonies» (Kosmogonías compartidas) is a collaborative exploration merging painting, cinema, science, and philosophy, focusing on the genesis of constellations and galaxies. Led by image thinker Miguel Alfonso Bouhaben and visual artist Deneb Martos, the project centers on Martos’ work «Cosmogony. Film performance for a planetarium,» using cameraless film techniques on 35mm celluloid with live improvised music by Wade Matthews. The dialogue delves into themes of chaos and order, the visible and invisible, drawing from Hesiod’s Theogony where Chaos signifies both a condition of possibility and the genesis of philosophical inquiry and cinematic expression. «Shared Cosmogonies» challenges disciplinary boundaries, advocating for fluidity, dialogue, and hybridization in knowledge production, weaving together diverse materials and perspectives into a dynamic assemblage that transcends fixed categorizations.

Wings to believe and create

A conversation between Begoña Rius & Enrique Rius
12 January 2024 | Madrid, Spain

The collaborative project «Wings to Believe and Create» explores the Montagu’s harrier from multiple perspectives, intertwining art and science to highlight its biology, ecology, and migration patterns. Led by artist Begoña Rius and biologist Enrique Rius Peña, the project delves into the bird’s journey from Africa to Europe, paralleling it with the migratory experiences of sub-Saharan migrants. Emphasizing empathy and social change, it aims to raise awareness about conservation and cultural diversity in depopulated rural areas of Spain. Through artistic expressions like sculpture and collective books, and educational tools such as bird cards and creative workshops, the project seeks to foster dialogue and action among diverse stakeholders. Audiovisual pieces and collaborations with environmental and cultural associations further enrich the project’s interdisciplinary approach.

L’invasione delle aliene/ Alla luce del sole sono di un nero brillante

A conversation with Annamaria Ajmone, Natália Trejbalová & Manlio Speciale
27 June - 4 July 2023 | Salina, Italy

The project «L’invasione delle aliene/Alla luce del sole sono di un nero brillante» was an intense one-week interdisciplinary collaboration involving dancer Annamaria Ajmone, visual artist Natalia Trejbalova, and botanist Manlio Speciale in Salina island. They explored the island’s landscapes and vegetation with local guides, exchanging knowledge and experiences. Each day ended with a game called «Io mi ricordo,» fostering a collective memory. The artists gained a new understanding of plants as inclusive and cooperative beings, while the botanist reaffirmed his deep connection with nature, emphasizing the co-evolution of human and non-human life. Their exploration focused on the «Macchia Mediterranea» ecosystem, highlighting the risks of resource exploitation. The project concluded with two public events: a talk on plant life and habitat, and a performance blending dance, music, and visual art, each attracting 45-50 participants.

Habitus Resonans

A conversation with Giovanni Di Domenico, Gaetano Ortolano & Marco Viccaro
25-30 September | Salina, Italy

The project «Habitus Resonans» was a collaboration between pianist Giovanni Di Domenico, petrologist Gaetano Ortolano, and geochemist Marco Viccaro on Salina island. They explored the island’s geological features and volcanic history, with Di Domenico translating his sensory experiences into a graphic musical score. The scientists shared their knowledge of magma storage, volcanic processes, and plate tectonics with the pianist, highlighting how art can connect with natural dynamics and how science can reconnect with emotions through art. Their exploration included a comprehensive boat trip around Salina, examining coastal rocks and understanding their vibrant, dynamic nature. This collaboration led to the creation of the musical score «Habitus Resonans,» performed by Di Domenico on September 30th, following live talks by Viccaro and Ortolano. The final event attracted 30 participants, including locals, other artists, and tourists.

I Am In Between Forces And I Am Gravity

A conversation between Elena Nemkova & Petra Gruber
5 May - 23 October 2023

«I Am In Between Forces and I Am Gravity» is an interdisciplinary project merging art and science. It centers on architect and biodesign expert Petra Gruber’s research into the structure and function of natural elements. Inspired by Gruber’s work on leaf morphology and thermoregulation, artist Elèna Nemkova emphasized the analytical and poetic aspects of these phenomena. The project featured a performative walk in the woods with Gruber, Nemkova, and ethologist Enrico Bassi, highlighting the interplay between function, context, and formal principles in nature. Along the path, panels painted by Nemkova illustrated their collaborative thought process. This was followed by a workshop involving all participants. The project encouraged active observation and listening, demonstrating the enriching potential of an interdisciplinary and empathic approach.

A conversation between Leonardo Caffo & Francesco Pedrini
19 June - 23 October 2023 | Taleggio Valley, Italy

Francesco Pedrini and Leonardo Caffo’s project «Lì» centers on the idea of intercepting the wind. It features a discreet hut in the forest, equipped with anemometers, serving as a mimetic observation point that encourages receptivity to the environment. The hut allows for individuals to leave drawings on its walls, though it can also function uninhabited. Pedrini and Caffo collaborated on a shared notebook, filled with reflections, drawings, and quotations, which became a repository of their experiences and thoughts. In the project’s second phase, the hut’s walls displayed additional drawings, phrases from the notebook, and a video merging wind sounds with Caffo’s readings from the notebook. The project’s title, «Lì» (Italian for «there»), references a concept by Gilles Deleuze about the purpose of travel as a means to verify the reality of one’s dreams.

Brain Waves Art

A conversation between Spas Kerimov & Jordan Varbanov
11 November 2023 | Sofia, Bulgaria

The project, led by actor Jordan Varbanov and microbiologist Spas Kerimov, explored the intersection of performing arts and microbiology through the lens of empathy. They studied how nature’s sounds and visions influence brain waves, using electroencephalography (EEG) to capture these effects. The brain wave data was transformed into music, which was integrated into the performance along with the actions that generated the waves. This process demonstrated the positive impact of nature on human behavior, highlighting the societal importance of nature. The collaboration turned scientific data into an artistic language, creating a continuous loop of art driven by empathy. This innovative approach merged scientific exploration with creative expression, revealing new ways to understand and represent human empathy.

Museum of Emotions

A conversation between Alexander Mandzhukov & Vanya Todorova
27 October 2023 | Sofia, Bulgaria

The focus of the presented artistic project was an intervention between an artist and a professional from another field, on one of the main themes of the project – Empathy. As a professional artist in the field of dance theater, Aleksander finds the connection between the language of corporeality and the empathetic impact through the body to construct a performance. Artistic performance through the body and the relationship with the audience makes a specific impact on the viewer through an invisible connection and considers the relationship as a projection of a human problem. We focused this creative project on the understanding of empathy as a formula that represents it as a passive-contemplative attitude to the experiences of another – empathy or sympathy, but without active intervention to change through actions (Psihologiceskii slovar, 1983: 413).

Marina Češarek Gallery

A conversation between Ana Likar & Tea Hvala
November 2023 | Frankfurt-Cerkno, Slovenia

Marina Češarek Gallery, an art project by Ana Likar, explores the historical context of witch trials, linking them to natural disasters and medicinal plants. Likar collaborates with Tea Hvala, a writer and anthropologist specializing in feminist theory and history. Their dialogue navigates feminist interpretations of witch trials, referencing works like Silvia Federici’s «Caliban and the Witch,» and Carolyn Merchant’s analysis of nature and science. The project delves into the Ribnica witch trials of 1701 through video texts, aiming to provoke questions about magic, nature, and contemporary relevance while avoiding historical simplifications. The collaboration integrates these themes into a multimedia exhibition, emphasizing the symbolic and material aspects of the narrative within the exhibition space.

Man Face Down

A conversation between Matjaž Wenzel & Miran Pustoslemšek
November 2023 | Maribor, Slovenia

«Man Face Down» is an artist book by Matjaž Wenzel developed under EMPACT, in collaboration with psychiatrist Miran Pustoslemšek. The book features a photography series spanning a decade, where Wenzel portrays men lying face down in various natural and urban landscapes. These subjects, friends and acquaintances of Wenzel, symbolize a diverse spectrum of middle-aged men caught in moments of vulnerability and introspection. The images provoke reflections on humanity’s relationship with its surroundings, exploring themes of struggle and impermanence. Texts accompanying the photographs include interviews, literary quotations, and psychiatric insights, fostering empathy and deeper understanding of the depicted individuals. This project aligns with UGM | Maribor Art Gallery’s EMPACT initiative, culminating in a contemporary art exhibition in spring 2024, focusing on the body in nature and its emotional resonance.

Three Hundredth (230th) Concealment

A conversation between Dimitris Alithinos & Stavros Vlizos
18 September 2023 | Athens, Greece

From July to September 2023, artist Dimitris Alithinos and archaeologist Stavros Vlizos collaborated on an interdisciplinary project at the Vorres Museum. The project emphasized the need for creative dialogue between artists and experts on sustainability. A highlight was Alithinos’ 230th Concealment ritual on September 18, where he symbolically buried one of his artworks, a practice he began in 1981 to address concerns about humanity’s potential annihilation. The collaboration included online preparatory meetings and a public workshop from June to September, culminating in a collective artwork. During the workshop, the artist and archaeologist shared their knowledge with participants. Alithinos reflected on the humility of working in a museum, emphasizing learning from the historical artifacts and the importance of maintaining humility.

Orbital Objects

A conversation between Pantelis Chandris & Pavlina Kyrkou
July - October 2023 | Athens, Greece

The interdisciplinary project between Pantelis Chandris, Associate Professor at the Athens School of Fine Arts and artist, and Pavlina Kirkou, Philosopher-Historian, took place from July to October 2023. Focused on themes like «Solar System/Resilience of Perception for the Wonder of Nature» and «The Role of Shadow in the Synesthesia of Environmental Space Perception,» their collaboration resulted in the artwork titled ‘Orbital Objects’. Chandris explored painting techniques inspired by artists such as Giorgio Morandi, Francis Bacon, and Edvard Munch, envisioning a peculiar planetary garden where sculptures and paintings orbited around a central, motionless white flame—a symbol of eternal silence akin to monuments and statues. References to flames formed connections across works, symbolizing ancient beacons conveying significant messages.