• OPEN DESIGN COURSE for refugees and asylum seekers

    http://opendesigncourse.be KASK / School of Arts Ghent offers a course in Open Design for refugees and asylum seekers currently staying in Belgium. The course program focuses on Open Design as a technological and as a cultural, artistic and critical practice. The course method is based on co-creation and peer learning, and puts an emphasis on new media literacy. This 8-week course is open for refugees, asylum seekers but also “sans papiers” and people who does not have easy access to higher education. The course accepts a maximum of 12 participants. Candidates should apply by sending some background information about themselves (see register). Our common language is English. There is no tuition fee, participation is free of charge.
  • Sasé Istwé [audiovisual platform] 2019

    Sasé-istwé [searching for stories, searching for trouble] by Maxime Jean-Baptiste and Elli Vassalou Can we speak up and enact a non-colonial, polyvocal take on a story? In which ways does it resonate in contemporary times? Sasé Istwé is a film project and a polyphonic platform which dialogues with “L’affaire des Insurges de Cayenne”, a historical event that included the radicalization of the Guyanese people, an uprising, a long trial and finally the acquittal of the defendants. These events took place between Cayenne [French Guiana] and Nantes [France] in the interwar period. This incident has affected the history of France outre-mer territories and has up until the present been used by France to perpetuate an idealized image of republicanism based upon universalism. This project is searching for micro-stories, silenced behind the dominant narratives by using the reactivation of the trial’s archives in a creative dialogue with people of the Guyanese diaspora in Europe and in French Guiana. Maxime Jean-Baptiste is a filmmaker and Elli Vassalou is a multimedia artist, performer, researcher and activist. They are both interested in decolonial methodologies of narration and filmaking. Sasé-istwé is part of Sound Image Culture (SIC) platform for 2018-2019 and co-funded by Vlaams Audiovisueel Fonds (VAF) and Bureau International Jeunesse (BIJ). FB page
  • Parallel Perceptions [video walking performance, workshop] 2017-18

    in collaboration with choreographer and visual artist Maya Dalinsky

    “Parallel Perceptions” is a collaborative format which explores various aspects of video walking and its applications in specific socio-political environments. Video walks allow the videographer to share her/his perception with another person by layering times and spaces: a video is recorded in a single shot, then given to another person who watches and re-animates in situ the videographer's movement on a handheld device. "Parallel Perceptions" guides participants through “affordance theory” and somatic-based exercises to awaken individual and group perception, and to build a shared toolkit of compositional approaches to space.

    Mayas interest is in the medium’s potential for “digital uncanny”: a disorienting perception of self that results when digital technologies layer times, spaces and perspectives. She approaches the format from a movement background and roots her practice in notions of embodiment, co-presence, cycling feedback, and proprioceptive expression. Elli, coming from architecture and socially-engaged art is  interested in the social aspect of the medium. How do we construct spatial narratives, how do they relate to our gender, size, history, age and how do these narratives, when shared, transform individual ones? Can the collective kinesthetic practice of video walking subvert the sociopolitical and architectural conditions of a space? Is that polyphony, experienced non-verbally, able to shift our identities, build counter maps, oppose pre-established dominant narratives and lead to place-making?
    workshops and lectures:

    Participative Video Festival, Ghent, May 2018, De Koer, participation in the panel: Technologies, methods & epistemologies

    Publieke_Salon_Public, Brussels, April 2018, workshop for a community participative design project at Saint Josse.
    La zone du Dehors, Brussels, March 2018, Erg school of Arts, Putsch Gallery, workshop and video walk action.
    Urban Emptiness festival, Nicosia, December 2017, bi-communal workshop and video walk action.
    La marche comme pratique de recherche, Brussels, December 2017, workshop with the students of Arba-Esa
  • School Of LOVE

    www.schooloflove.info SOL is a platform for collective practices that stem from reflections on the notion of Love as a public concern and a political mode of being that should be taught in schools. It was initiated in 2016 by students and teachers from the Autonomous Design department at KASK school of Arts (Ghent, BE), but consists of artists and researchers from different fields. SOL is practiced through regular weekly meetings, events, workshops and performances that engage with the exploration of Love and School as charged with potential for change in society. SOL aims to contribute to the perception of school as more than just a safe incubator that prepares the inexperienced to an existing reality outside of it. We approach school as a place for experiment, reflection and collectivity, that can change society instead of adapting to it. We insist on learning how to deal with the unknown, rather than in learning how to know.
  • The city as a dream of presence [Geopeotics urban laboratory] 2016

    The City as a Dream of Presence; an urban performance laboratory November 2016
    facilitators: Elli Vassalou (architect, multimedia artist, performer) Anna Tzakou (performer, theatre deviser)
    Exhibition [OUT] TOP\AS: Performance & Public / Outdoor Space
    Benaki Museum - Peiraios 138
    If the city's experience fades away from its norms What would there be to notice, to affect and be affected by, to care and dream of? Would it signify the discovering of a new or hidden place that it has been sending us insightful messages of who we are and how we stand in this world?
    In this laboratory we use the body as a mean of activating space. Through movement (or stillness) we explore the urban space as a kinaesthetic and audiovisual environment.  We experiment with the senses and their objects such as form, shape, perspective and time in order to expand the mind to new mythologies of the urban space. The workshop addressed dancers, performers, artists, architects and anyone wishing to explore the city with her body and sight.
    The workshop took space in and around the areas of the Benaki Museum [Kerameikos- Metaxoyrgeio].
    photos by: Elli Vassalou, Christina Thomopoulou, Eleni Mastrogeorgopoulou
  • the Narrative Thread [collective action] October 2016

    residency at Zsenne Art Lab, Brussels, October 2016
    OUTSIDERS project, initiative by Eve Bonneau video of the project presentation here
    The Narrative Thread** video installation, public participatory action by Elli Vassalou
    video action: following the path of an unknown person that in an unknown time stacked outside of Zsenne gallery the sticker "no one is illegal", I follow the stickers through the city, making visible the narration of this previous action. In the same time, with my blue yarn, I  frame and connect items and relations I see [through this trajectory] in the public space, related in a way with the notion of the stranger\foreigner, legal illegal and more.
    I create a "film" that the body is the celluloid and the blue yarn is the camera that zooms in details, creating the story.
    live action 2: after watching the instruction video - installation, the people can follow the path and also take pieces [threads] of the blue yarn and add up their narrations and interests in the "story".
    Different people took the same path in public space, connecting their bodies through time and movement. the yarn plays the role of the storyteller, but the story is be open for interpretation of the people that  follow the trajectory. The Narrative thread makes the exploration of the public space a polyphonic collective experience, that activates one body at a time but connects the bodies through different times in space.
    ** thread: a long, thin strand of cotton, nylon, or other fibers used in sewing or weaving.
    Narrative thread: A narrative thread, or plot thread (or more ambiguously, a storyline), refers to particular elements and techniques of writing to center the story in the action or experience of characters rather than to relate a matter in a dry "all knowing" sort of narration. [wiki]
  • water and dreams [research in underwater dance] 2015

    by Elli Vassalou

    research and experimentation on apneustic underwater movement https://vimeo.com/157566520 Water is the element that gave birth to life. The sea is not the natural environment of the human being, but there is a memory of it hidden underneath our daily selves, that goes back in the womb or even further back to our evolutionary body characteristics. The Mammalian diving reflex is an automatic reaction when we submerge in water, t causes Bradycardia, a decrease in heart rate that is also occurring normally in the state of deep sleep and meditation. That makes aquatic environment a common place for dreams and introspection. In the underwater world, human body can move liberated from gravity and fly over the landscape. Movement is not devised by weight but from buoyancy and respiration. What are the possibilities of working in this environment while discovering the personal and communal psychophysical effect?

    7 days workshop in the submarine landscape of Maherida Beach performers, movement researchers: Gitsa Kostantoudaki, Elli Vassalou Chania, Crete, Greece, August 2015

    video documentation & editing by Elli Vassalou music in the video documentation composed by Tom Adams for Piano Day March 29 2015, track "Submarine"
  • open nature – physical theatre training and improvisation in Lycabettus [participation] 2014

    research-workshop, training leader Angela Delichatsios
    September - November 2014. Athens, Lykavittos hill // facebook
    photos G. Doukas
    We invite you to a research project about the relationship between physical theatre and nature, which will take place over a series of eight sessions in the “small canyon of Lykavittos hill”. In these sessions, we will train in physical theatre practices from the lineage of Polish theatre influenced by Grotowski. We will also base our training in techniques of meditation and improvisation from Barbara Dilley’s Contemplative Dance Practice, and we will work with text using selections from the poems of George Seferis. The development of Contemplative Dance Practice in a natural environment is a product of the Geopoetics doctoral research practice of Anna Tzakou (Nisyros, 2013).
    The workshop is a continuation of research and training Angela Delichatsios undertook while developing her work-in-progress performance “Entering the Canyon”, which was shown in June 2014 in Lykavyttos, with the collaboration of Andriana Alexiou. The themes of the work-in-progress, and also of the current research, are related to the following questions:
    - what is missing for us from nature when we live in the city?
    - can we make up for some part of this “missing piece” through theatrical meetings in nature?
    - can you build a future performance where the audience and the performers both experience restoration and connection in nature?
    At each meeting, the first part will be made up of training, so that the participants can develop a common vocabulary with which to improvise in the second part. Angela Delichatisos will lead the training, and she will hold the space during the open improvisation time, meaning she will operate as an ouside observer, in order to provide feedback to the participants and to observe the development of the research.
    The research workshop is open to actors, dancers, musicians, and performers with an interest in physical theatre and nature. The workshop is also open to people who are interested in deepening their contact with their bodies, with nature, and with their expressive potential. All that is asked is that the participants offer their full presence.
    We hope to see you in the Canyon! May the forest be with you!
  • How to Construct Public Space between Art and Education? [Workshop] 2007

    The workshop was presented in the second international conference on the ARTS in Society within the context of the contemporary art exhibition Documenta 12 [Kassel, august 2007] programme
    Participants from around the world are invited to discuss the workshop as alternative production site, between art and education. Workshops can provide ways for producing creative work, outside traditional art and education frames. In the context of increasing globalization and privatization of education, as well as the increasing commercialization of art, workshops can function as working environments to establish alternative modes of pedagogy and cultural production, based on experimantation, process, collective work, sharing ideas and skills, collaboration, intervention in everyday environments, etc. We want to discuss the workshop as a new merging site of art, education and everyday space. We will present examples of site-specific workshops, initiated at the Laboratory for Visual Arts, at the Department of Architecture, University of Patras. Key issues to be addressed are: the workshop as self-organized initiative to respond quickly to emergent city situations, forms of collaboration, discussion (as form of intervention), mobility (as expansion of the range of an action / activation of different places) networking practices, communication modes, hospitality, public forum, network of localities.  read more here
    Working team: Panos Kouros [Artist] – Nikos Kazeros [Architect] Dafni Aidoni, Marina Biza, Vicky Polychronopoulou, Elli Vassalou, Aggeliki Zervou [students, Department of Architecture, University of Patras]
  • House4Talk [research, collective action] 2006

    house4talk.blogspot.gr 4 discussions in 4 houses, collective initiative for the construction of public space between students and the city. A collaborative project evolving in parallel to the exhibition "what remains is future" Patras cultural city of Europe 2006. 4 student houses open their doors and host four open conversations related to the subjects of student residence, the relationship between public and private space and the creation of a public forum inside the cell of a private residence.
    "0" magazine, art exhibition What Remains is Future, Patras  2006