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Are you interested to find out how art and other creative practices tend to contribute to the greatest challenges of our time such as climate change and pandemics? Take a look at the Augmented Europe - Riga Virtual Ideathon and listen to lectures and watch innovative workshops on climate, art and isolation!


March 26, 2021. (Riga, Latvia time)

13.00 - 14.30 Introduction

Keynote Panel
Moderator: Rasa SMITE

Rasa Smite. Climate “literacy”: What Art Can Do?
Lina Kusaite. Education through Gardening. 
Maija Demitere. Deep Sustainability: Grow (and Make) Your Own!

14.30 - 15.00 Lunch break

15.00 - 15.30 Open Session by RIXC and Partners

Partner presentations AUGE climate change situation, art and activism case studies in Italy, Greece, Germany and Latvia - 6 min (20 slides x 20 sec)

Moderator:  Rasa SMITE

Fatime ZEKJITI. Clitaly: is change happening? / MEET  
Christina POULOUTIDOU, Valeria LIOUTA. Urban Gardening, Transforming our city from Grey to Green / MADE Group
Susa POP. Climate Change Interventions for Civic Awareness / Public Art Lab
Agnese BARANOVA. Towards Green Europe / RIXC

15.30 - 15.45 Lina KUSAITE. Permaculture Ethics (guidelines for the discussion after the workshop)

15.45 - 17.30 Workshops by artists (30 min, demo format) followed by the discussion for generating ideas. Participants split in 3 parallel Zoom break-out rooms.

How can art meaningfully contribute to raising awareness about climate change? How to give a voice to climate activists in the time of pandemic? What tactics and strategies we can learn from art, creativity and DIY practices?

Facilitator: Ieva Balode

Facilitator: Antra Kapilinska

Facilitator: Peteris Silis

17.30 - 18.30 Final presentation of the generated ideas / Wrap up


AUGE | Augmented Europe Ideathons are short, intensive, workshop-like experiences for young people to address some of the most pressing challenges of our time. AUGE Riga ideathon will serve a platform for discussion on climate change, art and isolation, focusing on how the time of pandemics have influenced climate activism, and exploring the role of art and creativity in raising awareness about these issues. 

Our times of social distancing, lock-downs and isolation present new and unique challenges for climate change activism. Our daily living routines are disrupted and we are overloaded with Zoom meetings and online lectures, and ecological issues have been shadowed by our life in front of computer screens.

But social distancing does not mean social isolation. Now more than ever, artistic thinking, creativity and “do it yourself” approach can show new ways to work and interact.

AUGE Riga Ideathon will serve a platform for discussion on how arts, creativity, and digital technologies can contribute to raising awareness of climate change issues and building a 'greener' and more sustainable Europe. This ideathon will explore creative and alternative ways and approaches to create a future vision based on “ecosystemic” perspective, which is more than just socially inclusive, namely, involving not only us, humans but also “non-humans”, all living beings on our planet, referring to the notions of “terrestrial co-existence” (Latour), and “natureculture” (Harraway) which suggests that culture shouldn't be never been separated from nature...

RIXC ideathon will feature keynote panel on the role of art, creativity and DIY (Do It Yourself) in raising awareness about urgent ecological and social issues as well as artist led workshops during in which the participants will learn how to create “bacteria batteries” by using the electricity that’s produced by microorganisms which are found in mud, explore alternative, experimentally creative ways of how to work with photographic media without a camera or photo film and discover the meaning of DIY culture in our everyday life as well as the development of  “sustainable robots”.

One of the ideathon lecturers - artist and art couch Lina Kusaite from Belgium will talk about the local, maybe already forgotten plants and vegetables, and their cultivation in gardens, creating an opportunity for everybody to create their own "plant kingdoms", where the knowledge and practical cultivation skills are handed over to the next generations, significantly reducing the current estrangement of nature and humans. 

Excerpt from the workshop by Lina Kusaite where a self-created garden irrigation system was created. Publicity photo.

Contemporary media artist and curator Rasa Smite will talk about the opportunities of art research within the framework of climate change "literacy". However, the new media artist Maija Demitere will introduce with special mini-aquaponics gardens - with ways how anybody can grow their own food that will reduce the time and resource input. 

Excerpt from the mini-aquaponics garden by Maija Demitere. Photo: Maija Demitere



Workshop 1.Future Electricity: Geobacteria Cells (Lockdown Bacteria Batteries)  

Moritz Schottmüller (Karlsruhe) & Efren Trevisan (Venice)


“Pond Battery”, outdoor artwork by Rasa Smite and Raitis Smits, 2014, Riga, Latvia.

This workshop will introduce how to make “bacteria batteries”  in which the electricity is produced by microorganisms living in the mud. Microbial fuel cells (MFC) are innovative, new generation biotechnology that turns chemical energy into electricity, using microorganisms – bacteria from ponds and other waters. The participants will be introduced to how to build “lockdown” batteries from materials available at home while discussing the topics of renewable resources and electricity consumption with regards to climate change and pandemics.

“Bacteria battery” workshop, RIXC publicity photo


Workshop 2. Ecologies of Images. Chemical Pollution and Digital Age

Workshop with artist Kristine Krauze-Slucka

RIXC publicity photo.

The inventory of photography started in the 19th century and since then just about everything has been photographed, as it seems. In the age of Instagram and Google Earth every corner of the planet and every human face has been snapped and millions of images every day uploaded. Today everyone is a photographer. But has 'everyone' ever thought about the resources that the “painting with light” and “new digital aesthetics” require? Digital imagery has reached an enormous scale and it keeps growing, consuming more and more resources. But also analog photography and artistic experimentation may have an impact on the environment as it was realized by young artist Kristine Krauze-Slucka...

Kristīne Krauze-Slucka. The Vibrations of the Material Universe. Golden Thirst. 2020. Sensorium, virtual exhibition in, RIXC publicity photo.

..Kristine will conduct the photography (demo) workshop introducing a unique historic technique of how to make “light images'' without camera or photo films. She will be using the color photochemistry to create and develop analog color photos discussing artistic aesthetics of analog photography versus digital, while questioning the environmental impact with regards to water and soil pollution caused by chemicals used in this “image creation” process.


Workshop 3. Grow 'n Make Your Own!  Food and Sustainability Robots

Workshop with artists Maija Demitere and Rogier Jupijn 

"Tomato-potato calculator", artwork in progress by Rogier Jupijn. Photo by Maija Demitere

Our times of social distancing, lock-downs and isolation present new and unique challenges. We are navigating uncharted waters full of uncertainty. Our daily living routines are disrupted causing added anxiety, stress and strain—physically and mentally. We are overloaded with zoom meetings and online lectures, and exhausted from just sitting in front of the computer screen all day long... 

But social distancing does not mean social isolation. Now more than ever, “do it yourself” approach can show new ways to work and interact. This workshop will focus on both – how to “grow your own” – food, and how to “make your own” – robots for sustainability. Artists Maija and Rogier, who will conduct this workshop, claim that growing the food and building DIY robots require similar skills – namely, the ability to search and compare information, assess the veracity of the information and create out-of-the-box solutions to unordinary problems..

“Aquaponics system” by Maija Demitere. Photo by author.

Workshop participants will be introduced with the cutting-edge DIY techniques that can be used at home in a lockdown situation. Maija and Rogier will show how to build “aquaponics”, self-sustainable gardening systems in your bedroom, and “sustainability robots” (using digital prototyping tools, sensors, and microelectronics - Arduino, Raspberry Pi) who can sense, monitor, and calculate what you grow and eat, or who can be useful or playful in any other way you can imagine. 


About AUGE | Augmented Europe Cooperation

“Climate Change, Art and  ideathon is a part of AUGE | Augmented Europe project which is co-created by MEET Digital Culture Center in Milan, Public Art Lab in Berlin, MADE Group in Thessaloniki, and RIXC Center for New Media Art in Riga. Four virtual ideathons with participants from each respective country as well as from the hosting city (Milan, Berlin, Riga, Thessaloniki) – between October 2020 to May 2021 – involving about 140 young people each (n. 50 online from the hosting country + 30 online from the three partners’ cities). Each Ideathon focuses on a European challenge as a glue of a common vision/dream for the future Europe, as well as a goal to drive the active participation: Climate change, Art and Isolation – RIXC, Riga / Inclusion, equality and diversity for a better Europe – MEET, Milan / Beyond Nationalities: Connecting People and Places – Public Art Lab, Berlin / Youths, future and startups – MADE Group, Thessaloniki. Each ideathon will be attended by participants from the respective country, but using social media, young people from other countries will also be able to participate.

AUGE | Augmented Europe project is aimed at enhancing the impact of digital technologies and digital creativity for the active citizenship and active participation of a huge number of young people in the political debate about the future of Europe, allowing the sharing of innovative ideas for the joint creation of a new EU awareness, and a renewed sense of European belonging.


AUGE project is co-funded by the Europe for Citizens Programme of the European Union. The leader of the project: MEET / Milan - IT, partners: Public Art Lab / Berlin - DE; RIXC / Riga - LV; MADE Group / Thessaloniki - GR.


+371 67228478 (office)

+371 26546776 (Rasa Smite)