Ecosystems of Change. A series of artistic research, conversations and experiences

In December the Latvian Centre for Contemporary Art (LCCA) continues the artistic research, conversation, and experience series Ecosystems of Change in and outside of Riga. In the continuation of this series, events are created by artists in collaboration with researchers, with participants including Vita Eksta, Rasa Šmite, Raitis Šmits, Vladislavs Bezrukovs, Inga Erdmane, Anita Zariņa and Ivo Vinogradovs. Curator: Ieva Astahovska.

The focus of this series of events is on social, political and ecological change, relations between humans and the environment, as well as on nature and culture. Thus, this series of events aims to remind us that we’re part of a much greater ecosystem, in which there is an unbroken exchange of information and energy, which continues to change, and therefore makes one ponder novel ecosystems, which fundamentally differ from the previous ones, due to human influence.

Change, it seems, is the most characteristic feature of the post-socialist space, and we’re experiencing it at ever growing rates. Already since the 1990’s this has been partly due to the legacy of the recent past, namely, life between “after” and “not-an-entire” change of systems. However, though the distance between us and this past is growing, the endless social and political turmoil, the ecological – and now the epidemiological – crisis in which we live, force us to adapt and to accept change as a natural process of the present, as well as of the future; not unlike in the development of various species, which continuously undergo transformations, at the same time trying to resist them.

The legacy of the past, the meaning and experience of place, issues of identity and belonging, intertwining of mundane and historically significant events – these are but a few aspects which the events of this series address. Artists will strive to explore the complex and often paradoxical nature of change in our region, through interdisciplinary collaboration with scientists, environmental researchers, geographers, biologists, musicians, tourism and IT specialists, by tackling the aforementioned questions from critical environment and ecology perspectives, choosing both political and poetic approaches.

How is the symptomatic social and political change reflected in natural and urban environments? How does it echo the processes of the past? And can turning to the past tell us anything about the political and ecological crisis of the present day, and about possible solutions? How is imagination involved in mapping these changes?

The first part of this event series happened in October with Journey to Chernivtsi by Haralds Matulis and Liene Lāce and the multisensory experience performance Living Memory by Linda Boļšakova. In December, you’re invited to Vika Eksta’s event People of the Marsh, to Rasa Šmite and Raitis Šmits’ Virtual Dinner with Scientists, and to Inga Erdmane, Anita Zariņa, and Ivo Vinogradovs’ conversation Unless I Move, The Earth Becomes Flatter.

Programme of events

>> 3 December, 11 am

Vita Eksta, People of the Marsh

Graveri, County of Kraslava

In the hopes of engaging in conversation with the people of Grāveri, Vika Eksta invites them to a free viewing of the 2004 documentary Seda: People of the Marsh (directed by Kaspars Goba). The life of the ethnically diverse society depicted in the film in early 2000s resonates with everyday life in Grāveri today, where people are also living far from the capital and have learned to rely only on themselves. After the screening of the film, in a conversation with the artist, viewers are invited to share their experiences of how they live and feel today. What have been the most significant changes in Grāveri in recent decades? How do inhabitants live together or struggle with changes in the environment? Do they help each other to cope and, if so, how?

The event is created in collaboration with the Grāveri Cultural Centre.

>>10 December, 5–7pm

Rasa Šmite and Raitis Šmits, Virtual Dinner with Scientists

RIXC gallery, Lenču Street 2, Riga, and online


5–6 pm – A multi-media presentation of ideas from the project Deep Sensing: The Ecologies of Post-Soviet Military Industries—at the RIXC gallery, with offline discussions.

6–7 pm – An online conversation with the Ventspils International Radio Astronomy Centre scientist Vladislavs Bezrukovs about the ongoing science projects at the Irbene radio telescope, along with discussion on black holes, military technology, and signal transmission.

The legendary radio astronomy and sound art symposium RT-32. Acoustic Space Laboratory took place at the Irbene radio telescope in 2001. Back then only a few years had passed since society had learned about the existence of this secret facility, which had landed into the hands of scientists after the collapse of the Soviet Union and the withdrawal of its military forces from Latvia in 1994. After 20 years the radio telescope is being used for deep space research and is open to tourists. By returning to the radio telescope Rasa and Raitis Šmiti have begun an art research project, which focuses on socio-ecological questions. How has the role of this isolated facility and the legacy of the Soviet secret military industry changed and what is its role in today's society, when climate change and pandemic challenges are among the most pressing issues? In their new work, the artists use new sensory technologies, immersive media and aesthetic practices.

On the 10th of December the artists invite you to a Virtual Dinner with Scientists – a multimedia presentation of the artistic research and face-to-face (as well as online) discussions with the scientists involved in the project. Wine and appetizers will be served to participants.

The number of face-to-face participants is limited. Please apply by filling in this form:

Online participants are welcome to join on Zoom or to follow a livestream of the conversation on Facebook.

Zoom link:

Meeting ID: 892 2207 9830. Passcod: 081165

Facebook livestream:

>> December (time to be confirmed)

Inga Erdmane, Anita Zariņa, and Ivo Vinogradovs, Unless I move, the earth becomes flatter

The meadows of Lake Babīte and Lake Pape, Lake Engure and other seaside lakes, Spilve meadows in Rīga, and many other waterlogged places in the region were known as “territories reclaimed from the sea” in Soviet-era periodicals. Some of these wetlands are below sea level and, in total, there are about 50,000 hectares of such artificially created areas in Latvia. Drainage of marshes and wet meadows for agricultural purposes began as early as the first Republic of Latvia and triumphed with great success during the Soviet years. Now that they have lost their agricultural function, they are almost forgotten. Find out how this affects the Baltic Sea and its ecosystem in a talk by the artist Inga Erdmane and geographers Anita Zariņa and Ivo Vinogradovs. More information to follow.

The series of events is organised in compliance with the current Covid-19 safety regulations and the national emergency restrictions. To attend the events, a valid vaccination certificate or recovery certificate (, as well as an identification document (passport, ID) must be presented. Participation is free of charge.

Please don’t forget to keep up to date with the latest developments and changes in the regulations regarding Covid 19.


The Ecosystems of Change events are accessible to people with different types of disabilities. More detailed information on the accessibility of each event can be found under the event descriptions on the LCCA website. If you wish to participate in an event with an assistant – art mediator – please inform us in advance by contacting Māra Žeikare, either by calling 29586893 or sending an e-mail to

The event series Ecosystems of Change is part of the project Rethinking Post-socialism through Post-colonialism in the Baltics by the Latvian Centre for Contemporary Art, which addresses the imprints of post-socialism and post-colonialism and their echoed historical changes in our region through the prism of the current ecological crisis, environmental issues and nationalism.

The project is supported by the SCCF programme "KultūrELPA".

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