Climate Change, Art and Isolation
Augmented Europe - Riga “Climate Change” Ideathon
Friday, March 26, 2021 (virtual)

Call for Participation!

Are you interested to find out how art and other creative practices tend to contribute to the greatest challenges or our time such as climate change and pandemics? Join us for the Augmented Europe - Riga Virtual Ideathon taking place on March 26, 2021 – to share your experience, ideas and visions with regards to climate, art and isolation!


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 thinning, 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, social and issues well as artist led workshops during 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”.


Times in the program are scheduled in the local Riga time:
13.00 Riga, Thessaloniki time, EET (UTC+2) = 12.00 CET, Berlin, Milan time

13.00 - 14.30 Introduction and Keynote Panel
Rasa Smite. Climate “literacy”: What Art Can Do?
Lina Kusaite. Creative Alternatives in Climate thinking
Maija Demitere. Deep Sustainability: Grow (and Make) Your Own!
Discussion and introduction to the workshops

14.30 - 15.00 Lunch Break
15.00 - 15.30 .. continued by Open Session by RIXC and Partners
Virtual Tour through the RIXC's project and new immersive art platform,
partner presentations AUGE climate change situation, art and activism case studies in Latvia, Germany, Italy, and Greece.

15.30 - 17.00 Artist workshops and Ideathon - discussions by participants.
How can art, DIY approach and creativity meaningfully contribute to climate change discussion?How to give a voice to the Climate Change activists in the time of pandemic? What art can do?
Three parallel Zoom break-out rooms.
Workshops will feature idea generating and discussions with participants.

Moritz Schottmüller & Efren Trevisan, with Rasa Smite. 'Lockdown' Bacteria Batteries.
Kristine Krauze-Slucka. The Ecologies of the Visual: Image Chemistry versus Digital
Maija Demitere, Rogier Jupijn (NL). Sustainable Robots.

17.00 - 17.30 Final presentation of the generated ideas / Wrap up


Topic 1. Renewable Energy: Resources, Bio-Electricity.
'Lockdown' Bacteria Batteries.

Moritz Schottmüller (Karlsruhe) & Efren Trevisan (Venice)

"Bacteria time", artwork by Rasa Smite and Raitis Smits, 2019, Futurium museum, Berlin.

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.

Topic 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.

Topic 3. Grow 'n Make Your Own! Food and Sustainability Robots
Workshop with artists Maija Demitere and Rogier Jupijn

"Aquaponics system" by Maija Demitere. Photo by author.

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..

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

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.

Final co-creation event – June 2021

Project Partners

AugE is promoted by:
MEET (Milano – IT) – coordinator
Public Art Lab (Berlin – DE)
RICX (Riga – LV)
MADE (Thessaloniki – GR)