COOP ~ FOREST AS IMAGE AND INFRASTRUCTURE Exploited, Assembled, Constructed, Protected, Cared for – Projections, Relations, Definitions – Forest Operational Images from Month to Month

Seminar 7: 12 - 17 June 2023

During the 4 days prior to the COOP Summit Presentations the participants in the FOREST AS IMAGE AND INFRASTRUCTURE Exploited, Assembled, Constructed, Protected, Cared for – Projections, Relations, Definitions – Forest Operational Images COOP will finalise last steps of prop productions as group work in the wood and textile workshops, fine tune and adjust to the site the presentation’s choreography together with dancer and choreographer Vasilisa Filatova, finalise the sound composition and go over the general presentation in several run-thoughs every day including the last day with general sound and costume rehearsal. 


Seminar 6: 18 - 20 May 2023

The outline below is an adaptable framework for daily activities during our stay in Salina. The framework is intended to give structure and to respond to the ever evolving dynamics and outcomes of the collaborative and individual practices.

18th May - with Svitlana

Morning 10:00-13:00 (indoors)

  • Check in and warm up
  • Presentation: methods for a collaborative practice and collaborative mediums
  • Reflection and discussion

Afternoon 14:00-18:00 (outdoors)

  • Exploration of collaborative mediums in the field
  • Exercises to mould and crystalise the collaborative assembly of mediums
  • Reflection and discussion

Evening 20:00-22:00 (indoors)

  • Presentations and discussions
  • Debrief and programming of the following day

19th May - with Nico and Svitlana

Morning 10:00-13:00 (outdoors-indoors)

  • Warm up exercise “Foraged Identity”
  • Reflections on day 1 / points of interest moving forward

Afternoon 14:00-18:00 (indoors-outdoors)

  • Presentation: methods/acts of collective listening
  • Field work with Nico and Svitlana

Evening 20:00-22:00 (indoors)

  • Debrief and programming of the following day

20th May - with Nico

Morning 10:00-13:00 (indoors)

  • Check in and open questions discussion
  • Exercise: Exploring alternative field mapping
  • Presentation: communicative aesthetics

Afternoon 14:00-18:00 (outdoors-indoors)

  • Workshop: collective cartographies / drawing the site as a group in 5 to 10 scales (will change based on needs of students)
  • Reflections and discussion

Evening 20:00-22:00 (indoors)

  • Collective presentation of outcomes
  • Debrief and check out


Seminar 5: 19 - 21 April 2023

Bringing Things to Collaboration 2

The 5th COOP session at PAF is dedicated to exercising all things COOP Summit. Activities are initiated, prepared, and led by the students, working groups and the group as a whole. On the final day the COOP will look towards the Salina session.


Wednesday, 19 April

Morning: Landing and Mapping

  1. Check in
  2. Warming up with exercises
  3. Mind mapping exercise // moodboard // web in between the 5 themes

Afternoon: Group Work

  1. Splitting up in two groups to work with the 5 themes

Evening: Presentations

  1. Coming together of both groups to present

Thursday, 20 April

Morning: Sites and Proposals  

  1. Check-in
  2. Themes + Site-specificity: again divide in half, each work on each site
  3. Mid-term evaluations face-to-face with tutors

Afternoon: Group presentations

  1. Groups present
  2. Then swap = groups build upon the other’s site-specific idea (so the group that first worked on the gas station builds up on the second group’s work on the football field)
  3. Presenting again to each other


  1. Coming together again // discussing developments

Friday, 21 April

Morning: Decisions and all things Practical COOP Summit

  1.  rounding up and some decision making // things to invest on - buy for summit, memorabilia etc.

Afternoon: Salina plans and preparation

Evening: Film screening


Seminar 4: 8 - 10 March 2023

The 4th COOP session at PAF is dedicated to activities initiated, prepared, and led by the student working groups. By the end of the week, guest tutor, spatial designer Svitlana Lavrenchuk will be introduced to the COOP.    

Guest Tutor

Svitlana Lavrenchuk

Wednesday, 8 March

Morning: Activity Ingredients

What are the upcoming activities made of? A question for each participant.

This is time dedicated for each student individually to unfold parts brought to the collaborative activity. Here meanings become laid out, referenced and discussed. 

Afternoon: foraging————spatial poem

With Thamy, Stephen, Gloria, Seán

Evening: Second Life 

With Meii


Thursday, 9 March

Morning: Ranges of Visibility and Sounding

With Adriana and Ros

Afternoon: Care, Conflict, Voice

With Seré, Julia, Meii

Evening: Remembering Nida / Looking forward

Discussion on Nida sites and summit


Friday, 10 March

Morning: Looking back / conclusions / future plans, schedules, agreements

Afternoon: Stratigraphy of Landscape/Memory

With Svitlana Lavrenchuk

Landscape layers

Layers of memories


Individual group work 


Seminar 2 & 3: 14 - 19 January 2023

Forest Palimpsest

The constructed forest, where are we?

The session in Nida will be dedicated to unfolding the concepts, processes and forces that shaped the cultural landscape of the Curonian Spit and the surrounding region where forests are being planted and constantly transformed, and swamps drained and rewilded as part of modernisation and industrial processes. The COOP will talk about the forest palimpsest and the colonization of forests since the Middle Ages, contemporary tensions and the possible role and agency of creative practices in influencing these developments.

The Curonian Spit cultural landscape is central to this session, this is where the Neringa Forest Architecture was initiated seeking to reflect on the forests as human shaped constructs. To interpret them as a portal into the complexity of forces behind contemporary spatial and environmental relationships. The COOP will visit selected sites and locations in the Curonian Spit and surrounding wider region to understand the terraforming processes and modernizing forces that were, are and continue to be at work. 

Guest tutors for the session:

The artists Nomeda and Gediminas Urbonas will join via video conference to unfold their Amphibian pedagogy and Wet Ontologies of the Swamp, the session will be a preparation to a visit to peatlands and restored parts of the Aukštumala swamp in the surrounding region that was transformed through colonization processes.

The artist Aistė Ambrazevičiūtė will join in Nida for walks, a presentation and a drawing workshop offering insights into her Grammar of Lichens to learn from these composite creatures ways to be in and with surrounding forest surfaces and environments.

Designer and artist Monika Janulevičiūtė will invite to carve, cut local timber in the workshop to compose, make and appreciate simplicity and multiple textures and meanings of the simplest of all furnitures - a little bench. 

The architect Anton Shramkov will guide through the public spaces to investigate the ideas and architectures of Nida town infrastructures.

Hikes and site visits leading from Curonian Lagoon to the Baltic Sea through the Neringa forests will open up conversations on possible locations for the Summit while discussing responses to landscapes and forces forming it, calibrating collaborative ideas focusing on the student’s individual practices, propositions, reflections, intentions and student-led activities.

Reading in preparation for the session:

  • The Forest as a Journal, guest editors Jurga Daubaraitė Jonas Žukauskas, editor Kotryna Lingienė, Lithuanian Culture Institute, 2021

In The Forest as a Journal the diverse ecologies of voices echo each other and form an assembly of photography, cartography, design, research, artistic work into a publication that may be conceptually compared to an optical device dedicated to reflect on the ways to be in, and with a forest. The publication offers a way to see how culture practices offer different ways to read complexity of interests interrelated in the forest space, this will lead to discussion on how to respond and relate to the topic of forest in diverse ways, to interpret and enhance its interrelations.

  • Migrants and Refugees on the Curonian Spit: Resettlement in the Mid-20th Century, Vasilijus Safronovas

A research study, Institute of Baltic Region History and Archaeology, Klaipeda University, Vilnius Academy of Arts Press, 2019.

  • Borders, European Integration and UNESCO World Heritage: A Case Study of the Curonian Spit, Ullrich Kockel, p. 235, from: Heritage Regimes and the State, Regina F. Bendix, Aditya Eggert, Arnika Peselmann (Eds.), Universitätsverlag Göttingen, 2013.


Saturday, 14 January

Morning: Check in // Forest As A Journal (LINK for pre-reading)

Afternoon: Terraformed landscape // Borderland walk from the Baltic Sea to the Curonian Lagoon

17:00 Guest Tutors: Nomeda and Gediminas Urbonas talk on their Swamp project:

Amphibian pedagogy and Wet Ontologies of the Swamp

Throughout history, the project of architecture was realized by draining swamps, marshes, and wetlands. Dividing the land into a liquid and solid, butchering the territory for agriculture, waterways, and settlements, extracting and parceling it by expelling the indigenous—all are technologies of architecture and of colonization. As Andrew Pickering argues “to notice the swamp below our feet is to switch to a non dualist ontology” that is more appropriate to the Anthropocene. Thus architecture must embrace the swamp, with its hybridity, queerness, and paradox, as a way to decolonize and de-school itself. 

This presentation will discuss Amphibian Pedagogy as a method of artistic practice that cannibalizes architecture to catalyze new hybrid forms of an emergent knowledge that help “landing on Earth.”  With the short overview of programmatic concepts that drive the epigenetic landscape of a swamp, the presentation will focus on The Swamp School, a self-organized, open-ended and ever-changing infrastructure that supports collaborative experiments in design, pedagogy, and swamp intelligence for learning and adapting to imminent unknowns.


Neringa in Moving image over the 20th century

Sunday, 15 January

Morning + Afteroon: Site Visit - Travel to Aukštumala Moor (subject to weather), Cormorants in Juodkrante and old growth forest in Juodkrantė

Evening: Acid Forest, film screening

Monday, 16 January

Morning: Guest Tutor: Aistė Ambrazevičiūtė Grammar of Lichens walk + talk:

Grammar of Lichens

Lichens are the sensors of the environment and their hyper-articulated surfaces have intimate relationships with the surroundings, forming mutual relationships with others. By activating their hyperlocal sensitivity, they teach us how to look around rather than ahead, caring about the depth rather than the height. Observing the world made out of curves slowly and carefully becoming patterns of spontaneity, randomness and unpredictability while forming infinite surfaces of scattered assemblages, we start to sense and read the context

by learning from the visual language of lichens. “Grammar of Lichens” proposes methodology merging disciplines, scales and knowledges while bouncing between digital, physical, real and imaginary surfaces. Technology and overlaying realities helps to join with intuitive and invisible layers of reality and shift the perception of our sensorium while creating new symbiotic compounds.

The goal of research is to change the hierarchy of design, elevate lichen values and empower the decorative, sensual, textural setting of architectonics that we could experience lichen relationship to our context.

During the workshop, Aiste will present her research paths simultaneously happening in the forest and digital screen. She will share what happens when you let lichen into your mind and start creating symbiotic compounds using 3d modeling software. By following lichen visual language and practicing abstract drawing methods, participants will learn to free their imagination, create their own drawing style and see/feel the surrounding environment as sensitive as lichens do.

Afternoon: Aiste led drawing exercise and conversations

Evening: Time of Forests, film screening and discussion

Tuesday, 17 January

Morning: Guest Tutor: Monika Janulevičiūtė Timber exercises in the workshop:

Benches are idling, quietly awaiting labour, a feeling that permeates the time boundaries. The legged structures, usually with four sticks or two slabs and without a backrest are tools built to paint the ceilings, kindle fire, wipe noses of children, and peel potatoes. They accompany the household and are alive and capricious like mules, lambs and baby goats. They are destined to most likely have a limp leg and slightly twisted hip joint.

During the workshop participants will make scaled models of benches, in their own ways, containing a fraction of specificity and robustness. Their surfaces retain high sensibilities: historicity, climate crisis, roughness, elevations, partitioning of spaces. They will look into and see how various affectations and attachments spring out of this. Within things, and generally in all Matter, these transformations of attention, work and care rephrase themselves with each sitting down. Somehow these objects probably will be pressured to be both worthless and extremely precious. But they are calendars, hard drives, made and comprehended not entirely in terms of efficiency. 

Afternoon: Workshop work / individual work / wood or else

Evening: Student Led and screening of Energy Island as well as discussion about infrastructure that shapes the region now 

Wednesday, 18 January

Morning: FSRU Independence Liquid gas terminal + Burnt Forest Circle walk – section from Lagoon to the Sea

Afternoon: Heating plant and Nida Public Services yard with Anton Shramkov:

In this tour Anton Shramkov discusses the typology of existing meeting places and spaces of public interest in Neringa. The tour focuses on the aspects of how and why we use public spaces and how we exploit them. Resources while living on an island. How are inhabitants of Neringa “island” using local resources? How is the infrastructure of the island formed by local and continental resources? What factors make Neringa’s residents dependant on the materials used for heating?

Evening: Workshop work / individual work / wood or else

Thursday, 19 January

Morning: Summit preparation discussion and site consideration

Afternoon: Workshop work / individual work

Evening: Student Led 



  • Time of Forests (2018)

As the symbol of authentic, preserved wild nature, forests are undergoing an unprecedented phase of industrialization. Heavy mechanization, monoculture, fertilizers and pesticides, loss of traditional know-how, forest management... all follow the intensive agricultural model at an accelerated rhythm. “The Time of Forests” is a journey to the heart of industrial forestry and its alternatives. A living forest or a green desert, the choices of today will define tomorrow's landscape.

Director: François-Xavier Drouet

Production: Raphaël Pillosio for l’atelier documentaire

1h 43m

  • Neringa in Moving image over the 20th century

Excerpts from feature films, TV reels, documentaries.

  • Energy Island (2016)

The materiality of infrastructure space that relates to production and supply of energy resources in the Baltic States is explored through five material assemblies. The film is composed as a sedimentary process reading through the layers of material space that is defining the condition of the Baltic States as Energy Island within the European Union. Tied to networks supplying energy resources from the east the Baltic States are currently altering their energy dependency by intervening into this inert material space by building new and dismantling old structures, changing existing networks with projects that synchronise efforts by all the countries in the region.

Director : Emilija Škarnulytė; Script : Emilija Škarnulytė and Jonas Žukauskas, Cinematographer: Eitvydas Doškus; Editor : Dominykas Kilčiauskas; Producer : Dagnė Vildžiūnaitė; Sound Composer : Arturas Bumšteinas; Sound Design: Jokūbas Čižikas; Camera Assistant : Jurgis Matulevičius; Sound Recordist: Sigitas Motoras; Sound Recordist : Julius Grigelionis; Production Company : Just a Moment


Locations: Litgrid AB, Geoterma, Ignalina Nuclear Power Plant, Lithuanian Museum of Geology, Klaipėda LNG FSRU Independence

Thanks to: Vilija Railaitė, Gabrielė Patriubavičiūtė, Sigitas Petrauskas, Natalja Lichodedova, Natalija Survila, Ina Daukšienė, Irma Pukinskaitė, Vytatutas Puronas, Orestas Gurevičius, The Baltic Pavilion, Cineskopė, Kinema

With the support by Lithuanian Film Center and Architecture Fund

  • Acid Forest (2018)

Can you imagine a tourist attraction where people come to see a dead forest? Where they are not only observers, but also the ones being observed and heard by the black birds?

There used to be an ancient pine forest, but then several cormorants landed there. Now there are thousands of the birds and they kill the pine trees by…shitting. The human observations and responses to this environment are as multi-layered and bizarre as the history of the forest itself.

Creative documentary by Rugilė Barzdžiukaitė, realization in collaboration with Dovydas Korba

63 min

* This link we mention as a footnote to reflect what is at work now, a status quo that will define the future of environmental relationships. More in next sessions:

From doves to über-hawks: Ukraine war recasts Germany’s Greens


Seminar 1: 22 - 24 November 2022

This session in Arnhem will be dedicated to introductions of the themes of the COOP study group while finding relations between the students' individual practices and trajectories, discussing the key concepts and setting out modes of collaboration that will unfold through this study year. 


meeting, introducing, walking the constructed landscapes


the session dedicated to images


thinking and living with/through environment, TRE session with Eglė Budvytytė  




meeting, introducing, walking the constructed landscapes

MORNING 10:00 – 13:00

A conversation for opening the year dedicated to getting to know each other a bit more, continuing conversations started in the PAF assembly and setting out the plan for this year of collaboration.

All COOP tutors will be present – Egija will be leaving in the afternoon.

AFTERNOON 14:00 – 19:00

Walking in the landscapes in and around Arnhem guided by former park ranger Jeroen Glissenaar who has joined Natuurcentrum Arnhem.

The walk will work as a gradient between managed and designed Park Sonsbeek towards the forests in the outskirts of the city. 

Please bring walking shoes and waterproof jackets in case of rain!

EVENING 20:00 – 22:00

Moving Images of constructed landscapes – making the Netherlands and other infrastructures.




the session dedicated to images

MORNING 10:00 – 13:00

Atlas workshop 

We will look into Bilderatlas Mnemosyne by Aby Warburg created and unfinished  in the 1920s

Atlas of images that make visual relations and constellations by making meanings at the same time as contexts for themselves. 

By introducing the Atlas, a few more contemporary projects will be presented while setting out an assignment for the students that will have to be assembled, presented and discussed during the afternoon session.

AFTERNOON 14:00 – 19:00

Atlas workshop, assembling, presenting and discussing.

EVENING 20:00 – 22:00

What are operative images? Session dedicated to presentation of films by Harun Farocki.




thinking and living with/through environment, TRE session with Eglė Budvytytė  

MORNING 10:00 – 13:00

Extractivist relationships have colonialist histories. 

The session will consider, look into, learn from indigenous epistemologies and writing that is examining ways the reality is set out, by who, in relation to who? 

Questions to prepare for the Tremor Session led by guest tutor, artist Eglė Budvytytė and screening of her film Songs From the Compost: Mutating Bodies, Imploding Stars, 2020

AFTERNOON 14:00 – 19:00

Session with guest tutor, artist Eglė Budvytytė

The Forest and the Body: a tremor session (aka TRE ) 

and a screening of Songs From the Compost: Mutating Bodies, Imploding Stars

We understand the world better if we tremble with it. Because the world trembles every which way. It trembles organically and geologically. It also trembles with the climate.. But the world also trembles through the relations that we have with each other. 

Édouard Glissant

Stemming from Eglė’s interest in the human body and somatic practices, in recent years she has been studying the anatomy of trauma and the nervous system. This research informs the way Eglė works with the voice, sound and image; reaching beyond cognitive systems of perception, she explores their potential resonance and visceral impacts.

As part of this research, Eglė has been training to become a TRE facilitator. TRE stands for Tension, Stress & Trauma Releasing Exercises. This is a specific set of simple exercises designed to trigger involuntary movements and tremors from within the body. These involuntary tremors help to reset the balance in our nervous system, releasing stress and tension stored in the body/mind, while practiced in a safe and supported environment. TRE is a simple and gentle, yet profoundly transformative somatic practice.

As part of her presentation Eglė will guide a group of participants through this TRE practice. The session will last circa 1.5 hours, including a short introductory conversation and time for rest and integration afterwards.

You can find more information about the TRE here: 

A screening of  the film: 

Songs From the Compost: Mutating Bodies, Imploding Stars, 2020.

Eglė Budvytytė In collaboration with Marija Olšauskaitė and Julija Steponaitytė

The film, shot in the pine forests and sand dunes of the Curonian Spit, is a hypnotic exploration of nonhuman forms of consciousness nested within symbiotic life: interdependence, surrender, death and decay. The images gradually layer, alongside intimate lyrics of a song that channels the desires of an entity shapeshifting across different genders, voices, and beyond-human embodiments. With a cast comprising mostly of local youth, the film unfolds through a specially conceived song, choreography and costumes.

Horizontality in the choreography undoes the usual verticality of human figure, unfurling her into the landscape.The performers’ bodies are sites of activity, though they’re often horizontal, pulled toward the earth and one another, moving through the forest, along the sand dunes and water. 

The song lyrics draw on the work and words of biologist Lynn Margulis, celebrating the role of bacteria in making life and the collaboration between the single-cell organisms possible, as well as concepts by the science-fiction author Octavia Butler, who employed tropes of symbiosis, mutation, and hybridity to challenge hierarchies and categorisation.

EVENING 20:00 – 22:00

Concluding conversations about what we’ve done and what will/could be prepared for the next session in Nida, January 2023. How do we continue as a group, what idea will be the spine for the COOP study group year’s work?