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VILMA - Vilnius Interdisciplinary Laboratory of Media Art

The "jutempus interdisciplinary art program" established in Vilnius in 1993, works and collaborates with creative individuals and institutions locally and internationally in the fields of art and media, technology, and culture. Since it's inception, jutempus has been against a monopoly of information controlled by state structures and art institutions, therefore jutempus has developed various strategies for artist collaboration to create a critical discourse in public space.

VILMA - Vilnius Interdisciplinary Laboratory of Media Art is a jutempus-initiated project based on a concept of dialogue. Instead of creating one more new place, jutempus suggests the transformation of an already existing structure. By infiltrating into a conventional art school in Vilnius, jutempus will implement a hybrid model of new media art and tactical education. There are 650 students and adults attending the art school, including marginal and ethnic groups.

Teachers and students at Vilnius J. Vienozinskis art school in particular would be able to transgress the borders of complex contemporary reality as well as integrate school at large into networks. Even the most experienced teachers have to relearn the use of communication tools in the virtual and the real spaces. VILMA will consist of several systems, making it possible to teach, communicate, create, experiment, and acquire necessary knowledge, needed to survive in electronic culture and the new media age.

VILMA refers to the Lithuanian name for "girl", as well as to the Vilnius-based factory producing the recorders.

DEVELOPMENT AND PRELIMINARY TIME SCHEDULE

Since 30 May, 2000 VILMA's team has already achieved the following: the J.Vienozinskis art school was given the space and maintenance services necessary to implement the project. The Nordic Council of Ministries has donated an Internet radio link antenna and the connection (bandwidth 2mb/s) maintenance costs. International support groups are consulting on technology and fundraising issues including co-operation between the NICE, BIN and SYNDICATE networks.

From 1 September, 2000 to 30 January, 2001 there will be fundraising on local and international levels to achieve the budget needed to implement the project. Based on the slogan "teaching the teachers", every week VILMA will invite local teachers, artists, theoreticians, technicians and other creative people to work on-site at VILMA, to teach and set up the tools needed to implement the aims, in collaboration with a large number of international specialists, making public presentations related to community awareness.

From February 2000 to January 2001 Vilma will organise series of theoretical lectures and practical workshops on various topics: net.art and net.radio, 3D and VR, digital video production and electronic magazine publishing, bio-technology and hacker culture, new media & ethnical-marginal issues and cultural policy development.

Invited lecturers and artists will include: Andrew McKenzie (H3O), Geert Lovink (Sydney-Amsterdam), Heath Bunting (irational.org), Andreas Broeckmann (Transmediale, Berlin), Alexei Shulgin (net.artist, Moscow), Rasa Smite and Raitis Smits (E-LAB, Riga), Jon Thomson and Alison Craighead (dfi.org, London), John Hopkins (NEO-SCENES), Mare Tralla (Tallinn), Eric Kluitenberg (DE BALIE, Amsterdam), Andy Best and Merja Puustinen (MEET factory.com), Marta van der Haagen (Warsaw-Amsterdam), Robin Rimbaud aka Scanner (London), Nils Claesson (CRAC.org, Stockholm), Kristin Bergaust (Atelier Nord, Oslo), and others.

EXPECTED RESULTS/EVALUATION INDICATORS:

TRANSFORMATION. VILMA would provoke a change in the traditional arts education system. The change would not be a destructive, but rather constructive, solution to efficiently using existing knowledge and resources to integrate with contemporary society through tools of technology and communication. Every month VILMA would achieve a creative outcome, including knowledge and experience on one hand and laboratory system building on the other.

TOOLS. By inviting various specialists from abroad, VILMA would explore their knowledge and abilities to set up tools, devices, and programs for a media laboratory, considering that the main factor is not the machines, but people who are able to navigate and create within a database toolbox.

PUBLISHING. VILMA would run a complete media publishing unit consisting of a website, net.radio, web TV, a chat channel, a mailing list, server space, and also worksites for digital image, video/sound processing, producing and authoring to be able to operate on a level of community building.

COLLABORATION. The framework of a workshop system based on collaboration with invited specialists from abroad, working together with local artists and students would increase the abilities of working under the brainstorming conditions and future networking.

ECONOMY. Through collaborative work, artists, teachers and students would learn how to create with minimal recourse and implement a model of a gift economy. Acquired knowledge, facilities and experience would enable self-maintenance skills.

STIMULI. A new model of working would enforce a new type of communication and relationship between students and teachers. This will create a productive environment with build-in trust and loyalties in a sense, stimulating issues of environmental awareness.

DEBATES. A community awareness based theoretical background of new media culture would provoke a debate so often absent in society at large.

SOCIAL CHANGE. VILMA will become the place of community development. The media lab will strive to reduce the negative effects of the globalisation process in Lithuania. Knowledge and awareness gained through the technology would give humans back to humans through the machine.

contact: Nomeda and Gediminas Urbonas