Bita Razavi (Iran/Finland)

Born in Tehran in 1983, Bita Razavi lives and works in Helsinki and Tehran. She has graduated with a Bachelor of Music from Tehran Art University and with a Master of Fine Art from the Finnish Academy of Fine Arts. Collective memory and collaboration are essential elements in her works. The dialectic between bringing what is personal to public and the impossibility of total exposure because of law or social pressure has created a secretive and criminal aspect in most of her works. Razavi had her first solo exhibition in Israel under the name of an Israeli artist, which was a manifestation against the political games between Iran and Israel. She has exhibited her works in Tehran Museum of Contemporary Art, 3rd New Art Biennial of Tehran, 1st Trondheim Biennial, XV Biennale de la Méditerranée, Thessaloniki, Helsinki Photography Biennale, Helsinki Design Museum and Cité international des Arts, Paris.

During her residency at Polymer September 2013 Ms Razavi worked on her project; Some Critique from Our Parents, a series of videos, exploring the relationships between artists and their parents. It is based on interviews with the parents of artists, in which the parents discuss their perceptions of their children’s work and creative pursuits. Parents form an inevitable and very particular part of an artist’s audience. They are at once intimate associates but also art world outsiders who might fail to understand the professional language used, and implicitly understood, by the artists themselves. Razavi’s idea for the project comes from her own struggles in trying to communicate her work to her parents. Some Critique from Our Parents draws on the experiences of the parents of artists to explore in greater detail the relationships that exist between artists and their audiences and between parents and children as well as addressing the challenges of human communication more broadly. Ms Razavi offered an artist talk at Polymer’s Komuun Tehas, 26 September 2013.

Amira Aranda (Cuernavaca, Mexico)

Amira Aranda (born in 1983), earned a bachelors degree (2006) in Fine Arts and a Masters Degreee (2011) in Art History at the Autonomous University of Morelos. On 2005 she attended The Akademie Vytvarnich Umeni in Prague at the studio directed by the Professor Milos Sejn. She lives and works in Cuernavaca, where she lectures at the Centro Morelense de las Artes and at the Art Faculty.
The work usually involves animal characters that allude to ideas like solitude, femininity, loneliness and the absurd. It unfolds as a metaphor for human conditions and emotions. The images are references of personal experiences, creating a utopian space in which distant things may meet.

While at Polymer (2-25 July 2013) Amira used several techniques and the Polymer printing press to create a series of posters and artist books. At the conclusion of her residency Amira gave an artist talk at Ptarmigan (22 July 2013).

Päivi Raivio (Finland)

Päivi Raivio is a freelance designer, artist and producer working in the area of public spaces, design and placemaking. She has studied public art and design in London and design in Helsinki. Her work mostly consists of built installations and site-specific works in public spaces. She also designs and implements social experiences with environmental themes. She is a part-time Errorist and involved in many grassroots art & culture organizations.

During her residency in Polymer (10 days in June-July 2013) Päivi did a project called Polymer Rag Flag to examine how to extend the life cycle of different waste materials even further - symbolic to Polymer way of life. The flag was made out of repurposed textiles and dyed with bio-waste from Polymer. Polymer Rag Flag is a site-specific work, which is also part of FlatPackArt project, which aims to produce artworks for public spaces which can be sent by mail.

Thomas Choinacky (USA)

Thomas Choinacky is a Philadelphia based performance artist. He experiments within intensive dramaturgical research and workshop. He integrates image with sound, layers time with space, molds objects with movement which are often mixed and matched throughout his creative process. The subjects and themes he focuses on often connect to autobiography and explore distinct audience-performer relationships.

“What I create is not here to be polite. The original site specific performances are shaped, built, bent, broken, and again, until satisfaction.”

During his residency May-June 2013 Thomas will develop performance individually and in collaboration with local artists. He will perform in Global Container (Tartu 29 May 2013) and in Culture Factory Polymer at the end of June.

Joakim Hansson (Sweden)

Joakim Hansson received his Master of Fine Arts from the Academy of Fine Arts in Umeå, Sweden 2012 and is now based in Finland. Joakim works with interdisciplinary techniques including sound, vibration and video to explore such subjects as integrity and participatory culture, which take the form of unannounced intervention, site specific installations, performance and events in public space. Joakim has exhibited in: Fotografins Hus (Stockholm, Sweden), Turkish pavillion Venice Biennial of 2007 as part of the group CFL(cheap finnish labor), Kulturkiosken (Gävle, Sweden), Platform Gallery "Para-Sites" (Vasa, Finland), Istanbul Biennial 2009 as part of the group CFL, Vasa Konsthall (Vasa, Finland), Pro Artibus (Ekenäs, Finland), Lapua Photo Museum (Lapua, Finland), redPoint Gallery (Barcelona, Spain), Ribermusica (Barcelona, Spain), Bildmuséet (Umeå, Sweden), Teresjkova House (Häädemeeste, Estonia), Galleri Verkligheten (Umeå, Sweden), Konsthall C (Stockholm, Sweden), Survival Toolkit (Riga/Sigulda, Latvia), His films and videos have been aired by Finnish television. Joakim is also involved in and co-founder of the nomadic project "Eine Kleine Disko" together with Rasmus Hedlund and Peter Rosvik.
Joakim prefers take on subjects within a team of two or more artists.

As artist in residence at Culture Factory Polymer in April 2013 Eskil worked with Sebastian Mügge and Eskil Liepa as part of the artist group Alte Schweden on the theme of the Singing Revolution in Estonia. He created a sound installation dealing with the voice as a tool for freedom. "Laulev revolutsioon, ja edasi?" was realized as a group exhibition which opened in Polymer 27 April 2013.

Joakim Hansson links:

Eskil Liepa (Sweden)

Eskil Liepa earned a Master of Fine Arts in Umeå Art Academy in 2011 and remains working in Umeå. His work is often process based using diagrams, mind-maps, video, installation, text, actions and his body as media. His installations are about process of thinking through representations of reality mediated through the artist’s perceptions. His work has been influenced by the idea that a copy is more potent than the original and that it easily replaces the original as presented by Jean Baudrillard in the book Simulacra and Simulation. Some of his recent exhibitions have been included in Stockholm Independent Art-fair (Stockholm, Sweden), Survival Kit 4 Contemporary Art Festival (Sigulda, Latvia) and Bildmuseet (Umeå, Sweden).

As artist in residence at Culture Factory Polymer in April 2013 Eskil worked as part of the artist group Alte Schweden on the theme of the Singing Revolution in Estonia. He created a diagram using tape and a live performance dealing with the voice as a tool for freedom. "Laulev revolutsioon, ja edasi?" was realized as a group exhibition which opened in Polymer 27 April 2013.

Sebastian Mügge (Germany/Sweden)

Sebastian Mügge is an emerging interdisciplinary artist based in Umeå, Sweden. He received his MFA from Umeå Academy of Fine Arts in 2011. He works in the intersection of painting, drawing, found objects, sculpture and installation; often based on expanding collections which can result in research-oriented and expressive site-specific, often monumental and narrative sculptural pieces. He explores the poetic and aesthetic potential of found objects and analyzes their significance within consumerist societies. Sebastian’s work has been exhibited at Künstlerhaus Bethanien (Berlin, Germany), Kunsthistorisches Institut der Universität (Bonn, Germany), Bildmuseet (Umeå, Sweden), Centre d’artistes Caravansérail (Rimouski, Canada), Survival Kit 4 Contemporary Art Festival (Sigulda, Latvia), Härnösand Art Hall (Sweden) and Musée des beaux-arts de Mont-Saint-Hilaire (Canada).

During his residency in April 2013 he created a collaborative piece based on the Singing Revolution together with artist group Alte Schweden (Eskil Liepa, Joakim Hansson). He used soil from historical places where the revolution took place to paint on copies from the Estonian national anthem. He collected beer caps from the streets of Tallinn which can be considered as a kind manifesto of contemporary resistance, as it is forbidden to drink in public spaces, and - by putting them together as a long line- a reference to the Baltic Chain (1989).The group exhibition titled "Laulev revolutsioon, ja edasi?" opened in Polymer’s gallery 27 April 2013.

Boris Lafargue (France)

Boris Lafargue lives and works between France, Greece and Estonia. After obtaining a Bachelor of Visual Art at the University of Lille he studied installation and sculpture for five years at the Fine Arts School of Tourcoing and then for one year in the George Lap-pas’ Studio at the Athens School of Fine Arts in Greece. The main subject of his plastic approach is to discover a place, a person, an object or an aspect of the world; to transcribe those privileged moments of discovery and show them in a poetic dimension sharing them with as many people as possible.

During his residency in February 2013 Boris endured the brutally cold conditions of Polymer to create drawings, paintings, wax casts, sculptures and installations in his studio. Near the conclusion of his residency he exhibited his works in Polymer’s Supplemental Gallery in an exhibition titled, “Loodame, et meiega ei juhta midagi” 20 February 2013 and as part of Global Container 22 February 2012.

Austin White

Austin White seeks to cultivate subject matter that resides in sites of collective memory that resonate with his personal experience. Embracing his outsider vantage, that of the tourist, he picks through a specific culture's collective past until he reaches a point of intersection with his own. He starts this process by collecting internet searched photos of a site of interest, moves closer to the subject by collecting local photos and primary source documents about the site, and then combines what is collected with his own photography. Informed by these culled materials, White then selects an image of his own to enlarge.

An impressionistic system of painted dots is used to blow up the touristic snapshot; the dots are then applied to a grid of panels that comprise the enlargement. The process of painting the dots is immensely time consuming and thus expresses a distance from the snapshot's subject. In recomposing the tourist snapshot. White seeks to portray the contradiction contained in the digital image itself. The digital image and its use has the potential of exposing collective memory in an unadulterated form, but all that the digital image leaves us with are impressions of otherness. White's work in Estonia examined the local collective memory, and mobilizations of the other, around the site of Tõnismägi park in Tallinn.

Hana Vojackova (Czech Republic)

I'm a Czech photographer currently living in London. After finishing my BA in Humanities at Charles University in Prague with thesis on Social Functions of Family Photography I decided to explore lens based media not only in theory. I moved to Argentina and studied Camera and Cinematography at Universidad de Cine in Buenos Aires. I completed my formal education in London with postgraduate degree in photography at Central Saint Martin's College of Art at University of the Arts.

In my practice I mainly focus on two themes.

I'm interested in exploring narrative possibilities of photography as well as in relationships the medium has with reality and fiction. I work with tales and stories coming from popular culture and reinterpret them through photography in different or unusual contexts.

Recently I also started to develop projects experimenting with body as a form of expression, body language and relationship between body and environment.

During my stay in Polymer I plan to create a series of photographs examining the idea of (e)motional body. I want to explore primal human instincts, reactions and expressions. This I plan to do through photographs of an illusional chase. Chase as a situation of fear, desire, anger, vulnerability, exhaustion........

Photograph: Ikonija, Age 11 .... is from a time based project currently in progress where I'm working during a period of 5 years with ballerinas from National Ballet Academy in Prague.

Jodi Rose (Australia)

Jodi Rose is a nomadic artist, writer, producer and creator of Singing Bridges, an urban sonic sculpture using the cables of bridges as musical instruments on a global scale. Originally from Australia and most recently based in Berlin & Barcelona, Rose has traversed the globe from New York to the Mekong Delta, Bangkok to Tallinn in her endless quest for bridge music. Created with recordings of the structures, on-site interventions, composition and improvisation, her fascination with bridges has led to collaborations with artists around the world.

Her works have been produced, broadcast and performed internationally including: Glasgow International Festival of Visual Arts, ISEA Singapore, Pixelache Helsinki, Mal au Pixel Paris, European Sound Delta (Danube fluvial residency), CitySonics Mons (Belgium), Sonorama-Besancon, Break 2.3 Ljubljana, Transit Lounge Berlin, Electrofringe Newcastle & Liquid Architecture in Melbourne. Rose continues to explore philosophical and musical aspects of cable vibrations through writing, composition, on-site concerts, installations, the meta-nation 'Bridgeland' and dreams of linking bridges all over the world in the Global Bridge Symphony.

Celebrating 10 years of Singing Bridges:

Co-initiator, Co-curator, Editor T.R.A.C.E.S
Transcultural Research Exchange Series

Narendra Haynes (US)

Narendra Haynes is a New York based painter. He attended the Cooper Union on a full tuition scholarship and obtained his BFA therefrom in 2008. His work often combines traditional forms of painting with experiments in materials and process.

During his residency from July to August 2012 Narendra left the cloistered environment of the studio for the solitude and exposure of the forest. For six weeks he inhabited and painted a landscape along the Jägala River chosen for its use in Andrei Tarkovsky's 1979 film "Stalker". The project was cut short when Narendra returned to his work location to find his painting had been cut off the stretcher bars and taken away, along with his paints, brushes, and other items of value. However, with the help of local media, particularly an article published in the evening News Paper Õhtuleht, the painting and valuable items were soon returned undamaged. Upon completing the 2.5 by 5 meter canvas, Narendra unveiled it along side Austin White's work in the exhibition "Inclusionary Memory" at Polymer Festival 2012.

Szabo Klara Petra (Hungary)

I work mainly with watercolor illustrating my feelings on paper about, my environment, my friends, and my life according to my moods and emotional connection to the subject. The paintings are usually small scale, complex designs that reflect my sense of the times we are living in recent works the traditional watercolor paintings transformed into digital works such as animations.

I spent the June and July in the Polymer Culture Factory in 2012. During the residency I had a solo show in the Hungarian Institute (5 July 2012) and also participated in an artist talk in the Ptarmigan with the other artist residents from Polymer. The topic of the symposium was: Why Do Young Artists Still Paint? (14 June 2012) In August I spent 3 weeks in Parnu in the Academia Non Grata’s house.

During the three months I painted a portrait series from my Estonia friends. I also made a flower collage and finished my „Memento” projected animation. I used my photos as a starting point for the animation working frame by frame using drawing and watercolor on paper. I exhibited the site specific projected animation. and all of the Estonian works during the Polymer Culture Festival (24 August 2012). 

For further information please visit my website:

Rose Staff (Australia)

Rose Staff is an Australian media artist, VJ and Graphic Designer. Staff’s practice explores the realms of digital video, photo animation, and temporal installations. She has BA in Visual Arts at the Southern Cross University and second BA in Visual Media (Digital Design) at the Southern Cross University in Lismore.

During the residency - from 28 March to 8 June 2012 - she will research, design and prototype a new body of work. Her aim is to examine the phenomenological experience of spaces that people inhabit using photomedia and new media techniques. Staff is interested in the political landscape involved with taking a camera into an intimate mediated space, and the difference between being considered an ‘insider’ or an ‘outsider’ in these environments while using digital technology.

Kilian Ochs (Germany)

In 2002, Kilian Ochs started his studies of philosophy at the State Academy for Arts and Design in Karlsruhe (Germany). After one semester, he however felt the urge to dig into the obstruction of material, and continued in Media Arts. He got educated in film and media theory, and created photographies, videos, and some interactive works.

In 2009, he came to Estonia and stayed in Polymer for almost a year. Besides running the "Sunday Cinema" event every week, he developped and created his diploma work, "Sphere 12/16", in the Culture Factory, a 300 kg steel ball equipped with electronics and hydraulics. He transported it back to Germany, graduated in 2010, and has been visiting Polymer for several times after that, being a member of "Art Container". Since May 2012, he resides at Polymer again.

12-22 February 2012 he worked with Art Container on a project for Supermarket Art Fair in Stockholm.
Video of "Sphere 12/16" by Kilian Ochs

Hanna Harkes (UK)

Hannah Harkes, born in 1989, is a visual artist who graduated from a BA Hons in Printmaking in 2011. Grasping at the interstices of fear and joy, slapstick and sincerity, Harkes displays a preoccupation with the figure and a playfulness that flirts occasionally with homoeroticism and often with death.

Her recent work brings together the mediums of printmaking and painting in a manner that highlights the conflict in their principles and history. Through graphic images and objects, the artist explores the conflict between anxiety and pleasure that comes from working with the process and the mindset of a printmaker, whilst also addressing the romantic presupposition that lies behind the Artist and the painting. Underpinning Harkes' work, which encompasses sculpture, installation, costume, digital collage, written fiction and the moving image, there remains foremost a solid attachment to the history and the principles of printmaking (process, repetition, illustration, meticulousness, political dissemination, commercial reproduction, endless multiplication).

During the residency (Aug-Sept 2011) I partially plan to print and exhibit a collection of posters, one for each of the exhibitions that are unlikely to result from the stated intentions for my residency, along with any other potentially exhibit-able intentions gathered during my stay. However, I might not do this.

As the September Fellow, I will host a two day long printmaking workshop entitled COMMUNALINOLEUM. The first day to commence with multiple synchronous, cutthroat games of pass the parcel (the parcels replaced by blocks of lino, hot water bottles, and cutting tools) under the conduct of live music, and centred around a changeable, fancy-dress, life/still life drawing set up. The second day to involve collaborative alteration of multiples of the original linocut prints, printed from the blocks cut during the first day of the workshop. This to unfold whilst encouraging the participants to undermine, with vitriol, their collaborators moves.

Kimberley Bianca (Gold Coast, Australia)

Kimberley Bianca was born to a tub of water in Malta 1989 and grew up in Thailand and Australia.

Kimberley's practice is deeply expressive and process driven, integrating poetry, performance, visual art, sound and digital media. Working across these areas, she often collaborates on projects for theatre, film, live music, and community events. Kimberley focuses on the future, interconnectivity, metaphysical concepts and values of culture. An experimental approach to technical artistic practice enables her to create diverse intermedia works.

Kimberley has lately been putting much attention into public audio-visual performances and installations. From July to October, her residency and fellowship at Polymer in Tallinn will be extending her practices with internet streaming and collaboration. She will run a workshop on online performance, organise poetry events, as well as contribute to Polymer’s Festival and Global Container events.

Laura Prikule (Latvia, Riga)

Laura Prikule is a Riga based intermedia artist, using Installation, Painting, Photography as her main visual vocabularies. The medium chosen is determined by the concept of the artwork itself, as well as the occasion. She explores the ideas of timespace, travel, inter-connectivity and play. Often her works are site-specific.

She is member of the Totaldobze Artist Community in VEF industrial territory, Riga. She has completed her graduate studies (MFA) at San Francisco Art Institute (2001-2004) with a Fulbright Fellowship and BFA (1997-2001) at Art Academy of Latvia. Prikule has participated in exhibitions, workshops, symposiums and artist residencies in Latvia and internationally. The awards and grants received include Indulis Zarins Year Award (2000), Merit Scholarship (SFAI), 2001-2004 and State Culture Capital Foundation grants. Since 2009 she has been collaborating with visual artist Eva Vevere in Poetic Robotism Projects, examining and exposing the divide between the poetic and the robotic in artistic practice, making interactive installations at ‘Underground Tournament’, Gallery 21 and Contemporary Art Festival ‘Survival Kit’, Riga; ‘Test station Laimdota’, Cçsis; T-R-A-C-E-S Interformat Symposium, Nida, Lithuania and Polymer Culture Factory, Tallinn. Since 2008 she has also been working on the PhD thesis ‘Creative Process in Transformation: New York Art in the 1960s.’ at Art Academy of Latvia and participated in theme-related conferences and seminars both in Latvia and abroad. She writes articles for the visual arts magazine ‘Studija’ and has also translated the ‘Collected Writings of Robert Smithson’ (2009).

During her A-I-R at Polymer in June 2011 she and artist Eva Vevere worked on a site-specific found material and hexahedron installation ‘Post-Factum’, also collaborating with Polymer artists Justin Tyler Tate, Kilian Ochs and Ernest Truely in building, sweeping, animating, understanding and documenting the piece. It was done in an abandoned part of the former factory building. Laura Prikule and Eva Vevere also did a Poetic Robotism Performance at Performance Art Now !!!!! Tallinn # 2, an event organized by Steve Vanoni on June 18, 2011. Another project launched was collecting Polymer and city color samples in test tubes as part of the work on project Time Planner 3.

Eva Vevere (Latvia, Riga)

Eva Vevere, Riga-based visual artist, working in various mediums including installation art, graphics and painting. Lately she has been engaged in exploring the possibilities of space and its transmogrification with the assistance of visual language through expositions where works are integrated into the environment transforming space into an element of these works Holes in time, private cosmoses, sanctuaries, living spaces and tunnels, poetic and robotic visions. Holds MFA in painting (2007), Art Academy of Latvia. Also studied at Finnish Academy of Fine Arts. Has had group exhibitions across Europe and solo shows in the Baltics. “Poetic Robotism Projects”, art project series in co-operation with visual artist Laura Prikule since 2009.

Poetic Robotism Performance and installation Post Factum

A commentary on the situation at Polymer as well as a universal scheme at the same time. Perfectionism and the boundaries. Becoming. Trash and satisfaction. Movement within. Strain and resistance in space when an object is introduced. The toy factory is remolded into a private playground, where players have existed long before it was built. Boo! They show up and play after their own rules, sweep, construct, watch through the camera-lens and swear in several languages. Yet the hexahedrons enter the boat and sail on a journey, along the current, which appears and disappears. Blue water drops on the wrinkled body of an old map

Mary Hyunhee Song (Korea)

Mary Hyunhee Song is an independent curator from Korea. Her independent curatorial projects include Foreigners Aliens Shinhan Gallery, Seoul (2007); Minority Report, Gallery 175, Seoul (2007); and Young Collectors' Choice, Shinhan Securities Group, Seoul (2008), Gruenrekorder in Seoul (2010), Distance Making & Reducing, Finland (2011). She is focused on collaboration with local artists for international projects and cultural exchange to reduce the gap between different cultures and misunderstanding. She writes regularly for her blogs, 'Mary Art Project', about her art experiences and information.

While she stays at Polymer, she will create a cooking event, communicate with resident artists at Polymer as well as local artists in Estonia. She will host a seminar about transnationalism.

Lorenka Stropnik (Slovenia)

Lorenka Stropnik, born in 1976, is a freelance architect and photographer. She combines applied and visual creative substances. She is researching and developing story-telling ambiences that are composed from sound, light, materials, structures, and flow of communication. The outcome of commisioned projects, usually suspended by the subjectivity of the client, sometimes yield the most peculiar results.

Lorenka will be in residence at Polymer 15 December 2010-7 January 2011. She will work with local artists to design and build a sauna in Polymer. She will photograph her impressions of Polymer and of Tallinn.

Lewis McGuffie (London, UK)

Hailing from the UK, Lewis is an artist who works under a number of roles and titles in an effort to produce organisational structures with a historical/political critique. While Lewis accepts the prevalence of 'relational aesthetics' and the democratization of audience relationships etc in the contemporary art world, he does not necessarily support it. Lewis believes that good art despises democracy, as does bad democracy covet art.

Lewis McGuffie is for the second time in residence at Polymer from 1st Nov - 13th Dec 2010. During his stay he will be working on a number of projects, including a recreation of the Apollo 11 moonwalk working with the Antonomic Society, a memorial to the Deepwater Horizon Wellhead, as well as collecting an archive of legal declarations claiming ownership to the concept of plagiarism.

During his first residency at Polymer(5 - 31 August, 2010) he was with the Pedalto group on their cultural fact finding mission, as well as produced some of his own work in the Polymer print studios, and continued to write and realise a number of video projects.

Cizzy Gonzales (Dresden, Germany / Austria)

Cizzy Gonzales is a musician and performance artist born in Austria, resident in Dresden, Germany. With the background of classical and contemporary flute education, improvisation and performance art in Graz, Vienna and Malmö, Cizzy Gonzales art is ranging from concerts, happenings, performance art to installations. The combination of music, text and movement is the centre of her work. Her themes range from social and politic imprint to the conflict of sexuality, love and femininity in nowadays society.

Besides her artistic work she is working as freelance assistance of directors or head of production in experimental music theatre and contemporary opera. Her personal artistic work started to get influenced by the theatre.

Cizzy Gonzales first came to Polymer Art Container with the GoGoTrash Performance Collective (Berlin) in May 2008 for Diverse Universe Performance Art Festival. She returned to Polymer to be a part of the Virtual Body Film Festival in October 2008. During the film festival Cizzy Gonzales instructed students from Academia Non Grata and the Estonian Academy of Arts about DIY and recycled material in art. She worked with students to build installation and costumes for the Virtual Body Dada Ball. Cizzy made a performance exhibition featuring her unique flute music, dance and original costumes (October 3 2008.)

Cizzy Gonzales will be artist in residence from August 26th until October 10th 2010. She will present bits and pieces of her developing solo piece “Sieben Elementare XY´s” in form of a scenic concert during the Dilentided Avangard on August 27th. In the concert she will use short stories as a musical base, flute, music box, computer and movement. All the used elements are part of her solo piece on which she will keep on working during her residency. In those six weeks she will concentrate on the textbook and the flute compositions and wants to collect stories about love, friendship and sexuality from different people she will meet in Tallinn. Further she will give a lecture about Helmut Oehring and his music theatre “Don Quixote”. She herself was involved as a directory – composition – stage – costume assistance in this production. Helmut Oehring is a German contemporary composer who mixes contemporary music, rock, experimental electronics and comic in his theatrical work.

Max Pensack (US)

Max Pensack was born in Denver, CO and is currently a Philosophy student at Columbia University in New York. He is interested in the difference between actual human nature and what people like to pass off as human nature in order to feel better. Instincts, culture, science, and economics all provide people with good excuses to act the way they do. Max would like to expose some of these motivations as justified and others as self-indulgent. This goal takes shape through film and theatrical works.

Artist in residence 19 August - 30 August. He is here helping The Pedalto Institute execute its fact finding missions, and will also be contributing his own performance-based mission to be completed by Pedalto representatives.

Jasmine Dreame Wagner (Hartford, CT, and Brooklyn, NY)

Jasmine Dreame Wagner is an inter-disciplinary artist, poet, and musician. Her work investigates the hidden narratives of manmade landmarks: abandoned industrial areas, vacant lots, fences of wildlife refuges, decommissioned military structures, exurban space that has fallen into disuse. Using a variety of mediums including photo series, drawing, ritual performance, and texts including poems and short prose forms, Jasmine’s work explores the shadowy pockets of the post-industrial landscape and the natural life that persists in the face of environmental degradation and decay. She holds a BA from Columbia University and an MFA in Creative Writing from the University of Montana.

Jasmine also performs and records folk and experimental music as Cabinet of Natural Curiosities. Her third album, Blue Highways, will be released by For Arbors / For Satellites in Fall 2010. Cabinet has performed at the CMJ Music Marathon, the Olympia Experimental Music Festival, free103point9’s Wave Farm, and Missoula, Montana’s New Lakes Poetry Reading Series.

Artist in residency August 11-28, 2010. During my residency at Kultuuritehas Polymer, I will continue work on Registers Vanishing, a collection of site-specific poems, short prose pieces, and sound compositions. I will also perform twice during Culture Factory Festival 2010. On August 24, I will read from Registers Vanishing and from my most recent chapbook of poems, Charcoal, during Polymer's drawing marathon. On August 27, I will perform music from Registers Vanishing and from my most recent album, Searchlight Needles, at Diletantide Avangard.

In addition to drafting new texts and performing, I will use this opportunity to visit the site of the former Soviet military base at Paldiski, to observe the architecture and wildlife of the area, record the organic and machine-made sounds of the environment, and use these images and recordings in new compositions. I am also looking forward to speaking with the artists and art-lovers who run the Polymer space, along with members of Tallinn's artistic community, about the use of images in their work and in their personal and communal identities.

Pedalto Institution, International collective

The Pedalto Institution supports the incorporated and bureaucratic arts: the creative investigation and application of organizational systems and structures. Through events, publications, and media, Pedalto promotes awareness of the incorporated arts, dialogues between artists and organizational workers, international incorporated art collaboration, and the research, development and implementation of new incorporated art techniques.

The Pedalto Institution was formed in 1998 in the basement mailroom of the Hoover Institution for War, Revolution, and Peace, a conservative think tank at Stanford University. As mail sorters, the founders were well aware of the paradox that Hoover staunchly opposed government bureaucracy, but also had its own intricate bureaucracy which it could not only avoid, but secretly cherished. Even the most ardent proponents of limited government loved their titles and organizational structures. Bureaucracy is not a necessity, it is a love. Pedalto was formed to promote this love of bureaucracy, so titled incorporated art, the culture of organizational structure, and was formed to help understand and promote this love. Since its founding, Pedalto’s history has stayed close to the roots of its bureaucratic and institutional mission. Throughout the years it has had brief periods of productivity within large stretches of inactivity and inefficiency.

Artists in residency July 31 - September, 2010.

Rita Lino Feliciano (Barcelona, Spain / Portugal)

I can describe my work as animal, instinctive, intimate, narcissistic, filled with emotions and sensations. A true ego trip, a diary with a thousand interpretations. I am what you want to see, I show you what I am not. playing with my body, banalizing and putting it out of context is the space where I can imagine myself. My relationship with the camera is one you could call passionate. When I capture myself, I absorb it and it gives me pleasure. It's my true lover. It knows me better than I know myself. It knows how to look at me and it shows me glimpses I could never see reflected on a mirror.It's not physical, it's spiritual. There's sex and pleasure; there are also sad stories in each of my Videos/Photography. Photography is my detox, my rehab. I'm not bashful.

Artist in residency August 17 – September 1, 2010. During my stay residency in Polymer, I will work with THE PEDALTO INSTITUTION and contribute video performances developed during residency.

Abby Manock (Brooklyn, USA)

Abby Manock’s work is a web of ever-expanding, multi-media interactive adventures based on studied systems of work and play.  With a recurring cast of icons, patterns and colors she creates a self-referential aesthetic illustrating the subjective role of objects and experiences both in art world and everyday contexts.  Abby has developed her own visual alphabet for classifying and explaining the links between her many projects which highlights the process of making an artwork as both a systematic means to an end, as well as a improvisational spectacle of performance.  Abby received her MFA from Columbia University in 2007.  She lives and works in Brooklyn.

Artist in residency August 19 - 30, 2010. Test Flight Program: During my stay at Polymer, I plan to conduct numerous experiments representing challenges in both the transfer of information and transport of physical goods between various platforms of consumption.  This series, entitled: Test Flight Program (in honor of the soon-to-be obsolete fleet of US Space Shuttle Orbiters (STS) and their 29 years of space transport service) is a hands-on field research project structured around the challenges posed by the need/desire to move things around in order to get things done.  As always, HTS (Human Test Subjects) will be uniformed for efficiency of movement, ease of identification, and relevance to the task at hand.

Andrea Filipe (Faro, Portugal)

Andrea uses a variety of colorful, kitsch items produced in China which she purchases, as well as found objects as raw material for her compositions on the theme of “Massification in its core, physical and psychological. Andrea finished her degree in Visual Arts at the Universidade do Algarve, and completed the program WALKS TALKS WORK DISPLAY through the MOBILEHOME- Experimental Independent Nomadic Art Academy in July 2010.

Artist in residency August 6 – September 1, 2010. During her residency Andrea will engage in studio practice using objects found in Estonia and exhibit the work. She will also collaborate in a collective project, Pedalto Institute.

Yiorgis Sakellariou a.k.a. Mecha/Orga (Athens, Greece)

Mecha/Orga is the project and recording name of Yiorgis Sakellariou. Since its inception in 2003, Yiorgis has released a number of albums and performed his work internationally. He is involved with the contemporary and experimental music scene in Greece through his CD-R label “Echomusic”, and as a member of the Centre Of Contemporary Music Research, and the Hellenic Electroacoustic Music Composers Association. He’s also a participant in the Ear to the Earth organization and he has composed music for film and theatre.

Mecha/Orga’s music and performances are based on field recordings witch are filtered and mixed in real time, with the use of a laptop. The importance of the sounds is not connected to their source (witch can be from passing trains to waterfalls and from refrigerator drones to insects) but to their texture, their resonation and the impact on the listener’s psyche.

Artist in residence August 16 to September 8, 2010. Yiorgis Sakellariou will compose and perform a piece using field recordings that he will make during his residency at Polymer. He will use environmental sounds of Tallinn and the wider Estonian area. The recordings will be re-sampled, looped and mutated beyond recognition. A selection of edited field recordings will be patched, with the use of the Audiomulch application, and mixed in an improvisational way, based upon how the sounds reverberate and resonate in the performance space. During the Kuluuritehase festival, Yiorgis Sakellariou will also present a workshop on how he performs with Audiomulch, and in what other ways this interactive music software can be used.

Kristina Paabus (Chicago, USA / Estonia)

Kristina Paabus was born and raised in Massachusetts and has also called Tallinn, Providence, Minneapolis, and Chicago home. She studied Fine Arts and Religious Studies at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, Fine and Applied Arts at the Estonian Academy of Arts, and received a BFA and Art History Concentration from the Rhode Island School of Design. In spring of 2009 she earned her MFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and later that summer moved to Tallinn as a Fulbright Fellow and Visiting Artist at The Estonian Academy of Arts. Kristina’s history as a first-generation American of Estonian heritage has led to her interest in duality, paradox, and navigating the spaces that are formed in the "in betweens". Kristina is a multidisciplinary installation artist who unfolds drawing into lived space to examine the infinite possibilities between fact and fiction. These hybrid spatial conversations elaborate on systems of logic and perceptions of structure to explore the modality of variables that exist in our individual and group narratives. She uses armatures of order to form a flexible grid to investigate the chaos and complexity of our shared and singular experiences.

Artist in Residence May 28-July 22, 2010. My residency at Culture Factory Polymer concluded my yearlong Fulbright project in Estonia, Bridging Two Worlds – Animating Lived Space. As an installation artist I came to Tallinn to study animation at The Estonian Academy of Arts in order to incorporate time, movement, and narrative into my work. Using Polymer's wealth of space and materials I was able to return to sculpture and drawing while pulling from my recent explorations with the moving image. I became familiar with Polymer shortly after arriving in Estonia in summer 2009, and quickly became a regular participant in their innovative programming. My last visit to Tallinn had been exactly a decade prior, and it was fascinating to see how much Estonia had changed; changes made especially apparent in the development of an inclusive, artist-run space, that is Polymer. I have benefited greatly by the opportunity to make work and form lasting relationships, in this energetic and ever-changing environment of conversation and collaboration.

Avantia Damberg (Leeuwarden, The Netherlands / Caracou)

Avantia Damberg (1977) is a visual artist using multi-disciplinary techniques. She lives an works between Amsterdam, the Netherlands and Curacao, Dutch Caribbean. She graduated at the Gerrit Rietveld Acadamie in 2007, Audiovisual arts department.
In entering new environments she adds a layer she discovers in the surrounding of the object, but not of the object itself. This translates in form of a drawing, a video-installation or an animations. The animation she made at the Polymer was under perfect conditions so she could fabricate the 4 minute lasting animation "Lupita" in only 3 weeks, a personal record. It's about a broken heart, healing and bouncing back. As she is just picking up her desire to make animations the drive started here at Tallinn, and more animations will come from her hand from now on.

My stay at Kultuuritehas or Culture Factory Polymer was from june 6 till july 4th of 2010. I came here mainly to focus on making an animation I intended to make quite a while back, but never got the time to dedicate myself to. I ran into Polymer thru an Estonian girl who organised the Comic Bienial here and the Polymer and it's set up, just as Kultuurimois Sänna have inspired me a great deal. I have always desired to have an art platform on the island of Cura?ao. I even have a building in mind, an old quarantine hospital from the colonial days with a not so happy history. I also want to start from scratch and just do! My stay here has been confirming my ideas more and more.

Link of animation:
Other works of Avantia Damberg:

Damaso Reyes (Brooklyn, USA)

Born and raised in Brooklyn, New York, Damaso Reyes began his career as a photojournalist fifteen years ago while still a teenager. As a young man of color growing up in one of the worst neighborhoods in America, he was fascinated by the way in which his community was portrayed in the media. As an adult he chose to pursue photojournalism and art in order to ensure that there was more diversity in the images that are presented to the public. Assignments and projects have taken him to countries including Rwanda, Iraq, Indonesia, Senegal, Tanzania and throughout the United States. He is currently the principal photographer of The Europeans, a long term photographic documentary project.

Artist in Residence May 15 - June 1, 2010. The six weeks I spent at Polymer served as an introduction to the former Soviet Union. I came with few expectations or assumptions and through my residency had an opportunity to explore Estonian culture in all its diversity. One of the aspects of Polymer I most enjoyed was the close contact I had with local artists. Rather than being isolated from the local population, Polymer gave me the opportunity to interact with and learn from Estonians directly. Part of the local community is Uue Maailma selts a community and cultural center near Polymer where I connected with local artists and activists and gave an artist talk. Through Polymer I had a chance to spend time at the Culture Manor Sanna in Estonia's south. As a “city boy” it was a unique opportunity to spend time in a rural environment. I hope to return to Sanna to work on a photographic documentary project in the future. While I photographed extensively while in residence I feel like my stay at Polymer was more of a period of research and reflection, something which is all too often rare for artists. I have laid the groundwork for future collaborative projects in Estonia and hope to maintain a close relationship to Polymer, its staff and artists.

Rebecca Strain (Leeds, UK / Ireland)

Rebecca Strain was born in Dublin, Ireland on the day Bobby Sands died and was brought up in a small village close to the border between the Republic and Northern Ireland. She went to art school the year of the Omagh bomb and learned about paper making from and artist who had worked with the victims of violence in Northern Ireland. When war was declared on Iraq she turned to paper making again and has continued to use the process as a way to deal with the complex emotions of loss, grief, isolation and bereavement.

Artist in Residence May 2- May 30 2010. I’d intended to use my residency at Polymer to reflect on my practice and to begin work on ideas that I’d not yet had time to develop. I achieved this and more importantly got involved in activities which broadened my practice in a way that was both disquieting and exciting. I taught a workshop on making paper. I collaborated with Sandra Jogeva, Estonian Artist and Co-ordinator of Art Container and photojournalist Damaso Reyes from Brooklyn documented the process. In the four weeks I made 1000 sheets of paper, 8 paper action figures, a pinhole camera, went to a lecture, sang at a church, planted some tomatoes, got involved in a sound art installation, and met interesting people from all over the world. As well as this I have had uncountable experiences and conversations that have made me rethink about art, life and morality. I’ve found that all I had to do in Tallinn to get something done is to open my door and get the kettle on.

Dave "Killer" Queen (Washington State, USA)

My name is Dave "Killer" Queen. For 15 years, I have done a weekly storytelling show at different venues including 'Dante's Inferno' (Portland, Oregon, USA). At my show I tell true, adventurous, humorous, tragic and moving stories from a life of sex, drugs, and rock and roll. Sometimes I'm the hero, sometimes I'm the villain. I tell the first story then invite anyone from the audience to tell their true 'pitiful' tale. Truly my only regret in life is that I can't hear all the stories that need to be told.

I have acted in many films and hosted many cabarets, rock shows and other events. When I return to the U.S. I will perform in a series of radio plays in New Orleans. I am a counselor and work with maniac sex-offenders.

Artist in Residence May 2-15 2010. During my stay at Culture Factory Polymer in Tallinn, I was lucky enough to meet an international group of talented artists and in several social sessions, extending into the late night, heard their stories and told some of my own. Sunday 9 May 2010 I did my show after the weekly cinema, around 22:00 to 1:00. Polymer Baar was full of people, many of whom told stories, some more than once. On Friday 14 May I did the “Story Telling” show at Von Krahl theater in old town Tallinn where many Estonians and international people shared their true stories.

Meghan E. Van Alstyne (Boston, New York, USA)

Meghan E. Van Alstyne is a graduate of the BFA program at the School of the Museum of Fine Arts Boston and Tufts University. She works as a visual artist in Boston and New York. Her work includes sculpture, installation and performance. Much of the work is executed through Casting and Mold Making in plastics, rubbers and traditional materials.

The work references anatomy and its locality to sociological and psychological relationships. Love, mortality and the human condition are current threads of interest. She often writes short stories about her sense of loss because of the absence of her imaginary conjoined twin Delilah, joined to her at the breastbone. Her work has been exhibited in Boston, New York and Art Basel, Miami (2007.)

Artist in residence: June –July 2009. While an artist in residence at Polymer, Meghan conducted a tutorial workshop on the methods of casting and mold making. She created a set of helium inflated human hearts. These floating hearts demonstrated their own life cycle as they floated and then deflated over time falling to the ground.  She also created a wedding dress to her mortal body, hand sewn from bed sheets, which she hand embroidered with an image of the human pulmonary system.

Meghan's second residency took place March-April 2010. During Meghan’s residency she contributed “The Seed Video Installation” to Art Freak (April 16th, 2010), Vene Theatre (April, 1st, 2010) and Global Container XI (April 17th, 2010). She contributed art work to “New Age” exhibition curated by Sandra Jogeva at Parnu Artist House (March 30th, 2010). She taught workshops on special effects for film "Gore Hound Gurus" at Polymer (April 10-11 2010) and at Lemma Theatre (April 24 2010) She gave an artist talk at the Estonian Academy of Arts (March 23 2010). (Participation in Global Container 7)

Fiona Flynn & Sasha Kachur (Leeds, UK)

Fiona Flynn and Sasha Kachur are studying at Chelsea College of Art Design in London. Both multi-media artists, they have each worked on a range of projects including light installations, three-dimensional objects involving sound and wall based sculptures and two-dimensional work. Sasha and Fiona are planning a road trip project across Europe.

While in residence at the Polymer, the artists spent a week working in the typesetting studio on a collaborative project with the resident print master Ljudmila Akulina to make conceptual posters, using the discipline and restrictions of the medium to consider the possibilities of new visual ideas within a contemporary art practice.

Evangelia Basdekis (Athens, Greece)

Evangelia Basdekis earned a MFA from University of Lincoln (U.K.) and BFA from De Montfort University (U.K.). She works and lives in between Athens and the UK. Evangelia has performed and presented her work in many galleries and festivals in the U.K., Europe and around the world including Argentina and Japan. Evangelia’s work examines her role as an artist in contemporary society. She explores how a work of Art can upset the establishment.

During her Polymer Residency (February 8 to March 4 2010), Evangelia selected questions to ask the citizen’s of Tallinn . In this way she tried to "overhear" the considerations of Estonian contemporary citizens about their fears, likes, what upsets them and makes them laugh. Evangelia selected some responses which she made into signs and pasted onto walls in public spaces around Tallinn . Within this project the artist considers how to privatized public space.

Evangelia made a performance titled “I Trust You” in collaboration with Tanel Saar for Global Container X on February 17 2010. She combined both notions of "high" and "low" art by stitching the cultural icon of Mickey Mouse on her foot while encased the body of a Trojan Horse. The action of stitching was projected on a massive scale on the wall of the Art Container Gallery in Polymer. The artist parodies herself as the performance ends up in a show.

Fred Pinault (Rennes, France)

Fred studied new media in Blois, France then moved to New York City. He's been part of different music projects and started to get involved with performance arts and music improvisation there. He undertook arts and new media studies in Rennes, France where he curently lives.

Fred Pinault has come to work and live in Polymer on several occasions. He came in 2007 and 2008 for Diverse Universe festival and again in October 2008 to participate in Virtual Body Film festival. Fred also helped to organize and produce the Virtual Body Dada Ball. He prepared a delicious meal for festival participants and was a participant in the Virtual Body Conference.

Fred returned for residency January 5- March 4 2010. He led a three part workshop “ Repetitive Musik” (February 5, 12 an 19) He performed a concert at Juksor (February 11). He made a fifty hour performance in Art Container gallery culminating during Global Container X February 17. Fred also created a multi-media installation titled “ underneath the tops or other displacements” which opened February 28 in the Art Container Gallery.

Workshop "Repetitive Musik" (2010, Feb 5, 12, 19)

Justin Tyler Tate (Halifax, Canada)

Justin Tyler Tate was born in Halifax, Nova Scotia and grew up in Florida USA. He relocated back to Halifax to attend the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design and has since made it his home. Graduating with a Bachelor of Fine Arts his solo practice incorporates a variety of media; primarily sculpture, installation and performance. Over the past few years, he has exhibited his work across Canada and internationally. Tate's work investigates the relationship between the viewer and the object questioning the weight of viewership and creation alike.

First time artist in residence in Polymer August 14-27, 2009.
Error Collective formed in Lithuania during the summer 2009. In Tallinn Error Collective produced the Matching Project, jewelry in the form of silver matches fabricated at Gram Studio, which are distributed within the context of live performance in matchboxes with original labels printed in Polymer’s Silk Screen Studio.

At Polymer, he also created a performative, interactive installation called Three-See-Saw. A three layer teeter-totter that can accommodate six people and can be used through cooperation and communication of each participant. The Three-See-Saw’s site feels appropriate in the context of Soviet era Estonian architecture, Polymer’s previous use as a toy factory and in relation to other installation work surrounding the factory. He also created installation and performance art for “Global Container VIII”.

During Justin’s second residency (November 5, 2009- February 5, 2010) he delivered his thesis presentation at the Estonian Academy of Arts (November 23) on cultural acquisition and retrieval devices for his Doctorate in Electronic. On December 5 he taught a workshop on Tattoo culture and practice during “Kuuseke 2”. He built a performance based installation next to Art Container Gallery titled “Living Room" where he made daily performances.

Karo Szmit (Austria / Poland)
with MediaLAB/Tallinn2011

I was born 1978 in Warsaw, Poland and migrated to Austria in 1988. I studied at the University of Art in Linz in the experimental design department (2008) and a semester at Kunsthochschule, Berlin-Weissensee in the Erasmus program (2005). The main focus of my work is on drawing, animated filmmaking and video. I live in Vienna and participate in many film festivals.

The aim in my work is to approach the structure behind things using methods like collection, repetition, reduction. On the other hand I am focused on issues like longing, observation from a distance, definitions of action versus stagnancy, interesting versus boring.

I am working at the Media-lab in Polymer from August 2009 until December 2009. I was invited to create a project for the Plektrum Festival in Tallinn on this years’ topic “Where is Virtuality?”. The idea for “Emoticonize Me“ appeared when I discovered that Skype was first developed in Estonia. I performed as a street portrait artist under the restriction that I interpreted peoples' faces as Skype emoticons icons. I compared individual expression within different fields of interaction. I made hand drawn animated versions of Skype emoticons and uploaded them on Youtube. Skype employees saw the video and invited me to visit the Skype office in Tallinn.

Currently I am working on a map of the stone pigeons serving as barricades spread all over Tallinn. (Skype animations) (MediaLab aka Estonian Media Artists' Union) (Tallinn European Culture Capital 2011)

Teresa Lane (Melbourne, Australia)

I use an abstract figurative language to create self-contained narratives within jewellery objects and sculptural installations. Through this language I wish to express human emotional responses to existence and to communicate it across different cultural conditions in form. My art objects stem from drawings I make from the subconscious and the process of making with my hands directs the final forms. I have worked with metal, enamel, stone, paper, wood and plastic resin to realise my drawings into objects.

Artist in residency June - September 2008 and February - November 2009. I came to Polymer Kultuuritehas in the summer of 2008 and spontaneously became an artist in residence. I made some jewellery workshops and made a small exhibition "Jewellery Peepshow". I returned later, in early 2009 to live in the factory and make a structured artist residency program alongside Martin Rünk and Ernest Truely. During this time I also made an installation "Brickman" and a jewellery exhibition in Art Container gallery with conceptual installation by Tanel Saar. I also met a lot of interesting artists making different art for different reasons and had amourous contact with an indigenous person to unsettling results. It was a good time. I'll probably return, most people do.

Rebecca Delange (Melbourne, Australia)

Rebecca Delange is an Australian installation artist. Her art practice explores ideas relating to mutation, repetition, destruction/construction and the fragility of the body. Central to the work is a search for finding materials, actions and process that physically articulate immaterial things such as fears, desires, thoughts and secrets. She is interested in exploring what sort of forms would these things take on if they existed tangibly in our reality. Her arts practice engages in a dialogue between controlled making and uncontrolled action. Currently the work takes the form of spatially responsive assemblages and installations made from materials such as plasticine, paint, clay, dirt, and lollies. / PROCESS / INSTALLATION at Global Container

Adam Gooderham (Melbourne, Australia)

Adam Gooderham lives in Melbourne, Australia and is a musician and sound artist. He studied music at Deakin University and has been performing for almost 20 years. He works in different genres as his mood takes him and prefers live performance as the ultimate expression of his ideas. His music uses a variety of instruments and voice as well as field recordings of urban and wild spaces, industrial noise, mediaeval village ambience, spaceships, military installations, lo-fi accidents and hamburger factories. He is equally happy making an infernal racket as part of a ‘rock’ band as he is making minimal ambience involving the twiddling of knobs and manipulation of unobtrusive sounds. His music incorporates humour, political and social comment and, sometimes, dancing. He tries to break down barriers between audience and performer and prefers not to dazzle people with technical prowess as part of his artistic process. He believes that all people have an artistic contribution to make, even if they don’t call themselves artists.


Saulius Leonavicius (Vilnius, Lithuania)

Saulius Leonavicius is an artist, filmmaker and art director. He is a student in the Photography and Media Art department at Vilnius Academy of Arts, Vilnius Lithuania. Using different media he questions common perception of space, social norms and politics. In the work he appropriates cultural artifacts, rules and models of social behavior. By initiating creative interaction within temporary communities he defines the artists’ position in society.

After two weeks in Polymer Culture Factory Saulius piloted “Extraterrestrial Phone Home” (ETPH) party. ETPH is a multi format collaborative device which incorporates audio-visual media and interactive experience. ETPH was started during The Tourist Syndrome Summer Camp, (3 -11 September 2009), Palanga, Lithuania, a workshop on tourism and displacement, by Manuel Prados (Spain) and Saulius Leonavicius and now continues as an open source project. At Polymer Culture Factory the second ETPH party took place October 2 2009.

More about project at:

Tom Russotti (Brooklyn, USA)

Tom Russotti examines the relationship between sport and art, as well as their functions as representatives of larger social systems.  In 2006 Tom founded the Institute for Aesthletics, an organization that promotes socially engaged and performative athletic activity. Aesthletics is the practice of sport as art; by playing with the aesthetic variables of sport- rules, dress, location, and performance, aesthletics emphasizes the cultural, ritual, and social qualities of sports over its competitive element, a small part of sport that has been over-prioritized in contemporary society.

Tom has organized events, exhibited, and performed throughout the United States and abroad, including the Tate Modern Museum, The Phillips Collection, Los Angeles Contemporary Exhibitions, and the Brooklyn Historical Society. Tom’s work has been featured in The New York Times, The Washington Post, Lithuanian National Television, CBC Canada,, and the Brooklyn Rail. Tom studied History at Stanford University and received an M.F.A in Visual Arts from Rutgers University.

Artist in Residence August 14-31. While in residence at Polymer Culture Factory Tom invented a new sport, Break a Leg which he organized for Diletantide Avangard (August 21 2009). Tom teamed up with Ernest Truely (also known as Eero) to announce Global Container VIII. Tom and Eero employed the sport narrative to the documentation of the Global Container festival, presenting performers as competitors in what turned out to be a very heated international event. Interview on Vice magazine blog

Monika Malinauskaite (Vilnius, Lithuania)

Monika Malinauskaite is a Lithuanian artist working on miniatures, pottery, theatre and human being. Now a student at Vilnius Gedimino Technikos University, Creative Industries.

Artist in residence August 13-25 2009. Monika Malinauskaite came to Polymer to visit the Polymer Festival and complement her creativity bucket. Participated in Pikk Street Design Market, made jewelry masterpiece in Gram Studio, visited Õhu silk screening studio and took part in human branding performance in festival opening evening. Hoping to come back soon.

Simon B. Haefele (Vienna, Austria)

Simon B. Haefele was born in 1977 and lives in Vienna, Austria. He is an Artist and Curator, IT Trainer and Technician. He studied Media Art and Performance in Vienna at the University of Applied Arts and in Tallinn with, among others, Peter Weibel, Brigitte Kowanz and Jaan Toomik.  Since October 2008 he  has been writing his PhD thesis about the “the effect of art on disputed boundaries” at the Academy of Fine Arts in Vienna, Institute for Art Theory and Cultural Studies where he is  Faculty of Philosophical and Historic Anthropology of Arts.


During his stay as Artist-In-Residence at the Polymer Culture Factory form (27 July – 1 October, 2009) he interviewed artists, curators, art historians, journalists, collectors, gallerists, diplomats, academics and directors of museums. His research compares artistic strategies on the Estonian-Russian border to those in Israel and Palestine and those on the US-Mexico border. By the end of 2009 the first results and parts of interviews will be published on the web-page.

Simon installed a mobile Closed-Circuit-Installation called "Your-Self-Research Station" which recorded the audience answering the question "How Do You Use Art?" at his Public-Art-Research Booth, Performance-Art-Festival Seahank (31 July, 2009) . During the Polymer Festival (27 August, 2009) as part of  "Global Container", he invited participants in Estonian, Russian and English, to his "Open Brunch and Discussion Series" where he publically asked the crucial question "What Is the Power of the Artist?".  As a member and founder of he presented the re.sonance.007.dvd "Manic.Fiction" at the Plektrum VJ Festival (27 September, 2009)

Asta Vekki & Jaana Maijala (Helsinki, Finland)

Asta Vekki is a visual artist living and working in Helsinki. She mainly works with objects and installations using recycled materials. Besides her individual work she's a part of two artist groups. In their exhibitons the groups work with themes like religion and gender.

Jaana Maijala is a Finnish artist who lives and works in Helsinki. Her maininterests lay on fields of conceptual art and photography. Lately, though, she has developped a need for being a ”praktiline perenaine”.

During their residency (June-August 2009) Jaana Maijala and Asta Vekki established a new artist group Missionaires. The fundamental idea of the group is to make only religious art. The group made site specific art pieces in different places at Polymer. The installations can be regarded as two different series. The boxes remind people of the presence of paradise and hell. The Passage is a conceptual piece that leads the audience walk through pink doors named after Finnish popsongs. A three minute song is a modern confession of one's deepest feelings.

In the Global Container VII Missionairies made a performance called "Ponyride=An International Delight". Ponies! Wedding Dresses! Confettis! Accordion Player! Saaremaa valss! Blindfolds! Letters! Statements! Ilus!! Missionaires have also preached about Finnish culture, it's traditions, food and modern folk music for the people of Polymer. There has been a midsummer night's fest and a pre-Christmas party. The group has offered a rare chance to enjoy these typical elements of Finnish culture. (Participation in Global Container 7)

Kendall Nordin (Washington DC, USA)

In her art, Kendall Nordin focuses on the qualities of life that make us distinctly human—the accidents, the messes, the drive to symbolize and the quest for relationship. Though she draws on many materials and processes for her work, for the most part the result is contemplative and minimal.

She completed her MFA in Contemporary Art Practice at RMIT in Melbourne, Australia in 2005 and has since been living in Washington DC, working as a studio teacher for small children. She received a DCCAH small projects grant in 2008, exhibited a solo show with Astroturf DC in 2007 and has shown work in group exhibitions throughout the Southeastern US. In 2005 she co-founded the 24-hour drawing project and has since performed it 2 more times. In past public lives, she has been, amongst other things, a poet, a musician, and an associate producer for documentary film.

While in residence at Polymer (June-July 2009), Kendall worked on a site-specific installation on a ceiling using detritus-- scraps from other artists' practices, found materials around the factory, field recordings of Tallinn, and tangents from conversations. An installation of her most recent musical output, "Tshuvah", opened on July 7 in the gallery. "Tshuvah" is a collaboration between Kendall and Hugh McElroy. Also she will led a workshop for small children that explores a variety of materials, encouraging them to become more excited about making things and developing their small motor skills. The workshop took place at Uue Maailma Selts on July 18th & 19th. (Participation in Global Container 7)

Simon Whetham (Bristol, UK)

Simon Whetham is a sound artist who composes new sound environments through phonography: the evocative art of using field recordings of natural sounds. Hearing and then capturing the music in everyday noises, Simon draws the listener's attention to the subtle details and sound layers which are commonly disregarded.

Simon has performed extensively and had his work presented in many galleries in the UK and in Europe. His sound compositions have been released through a number of specialist record labels, such as Trente Oiseaux, Entr'acte and Gruenrekorder, with forthcoming releases from 1000fussler, And/OAR, Con-V and Lens Records.

Artist in Residence at the Art Container in Polymer Culture Factory May 10-29 2009. While in Estonia Simon engaged in collecting field recordings in Tallinn, Mooste and Tartu. He also traveled to Riga to make an exhibition and collect recordings. At Art Container in Polymer Simon instructed field recording workshops "Active Crossover" on the 26th and 27th May 2009. After a presentation of Simon’s Tallinn sounds captured during his current residency, participants were blindfolded and led around Tallinn for a short walk, where, without visual distractions, they experienced the sound of the city and realized the complexity of the sound environment. On the evening of the 27th May as part of a Global Container event, Simon and John Grzinich from Moks presented a sound performance in Polymer’s Red Hall.
MP3 release from workshop "Active Crossover"

Enkhbaatar Tudev (Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia)

Enhkbaatar Tudev graduated from a four year diploma program from the Fine Arts School of Ulaanbaatar in Mongolia. Although being trained in the ways of visual arts as a young man, he did not paint for many years until he arrived to Polymer Kultuuritehas to participate in our International Artist Residency Program.

Enhkbaatar Tudev lived at Polymer as artist in residence from April-July 2009, coming here primarily to improve his painting and English language skills. He chose as his subject for painting to depict Tallinn Old Town only during sunny and windless weather, and to paint only on location. Besides obvious pragmatic goals, this way of painting also had backing from Tudev’s wish to flee his everyday life in Mongolia. As part of his project, "Painting Tour Around the World," he exhibited oil paintings in Kultuuritehas’ grand hall.
Interview with Enhkbaatar Tudev (Participation in Global Container 7)

Orion Maxted (London, UK)

Orion Maxted is London based performance artist who has been making solo and group transdisciplinary performance work internationally since 2004, and as co-director of protoPLAY he initiated the Co-LAB’08 project to further protoPLAY’s ongoing research and establish relationships with new artists outside of mainstream meeting places. He is also an international member of Non Grata’s conceptual art and performance department.

(Artist in residence October 5-16 2008) Maxted's work is simply about the relationship between the world and ideas: that the way we see the world is determined by the way we see the world. He seeks to develop original ways to express ideas such clearly, creatively and non-didactically. Often informed by kinks and short-cuts in the structure of Language and in the structure of the spectacle, he questions the roots of understanding and of our ‘selves’ through circuitous inquiry, action, and inconsistencies logical. To put it another way, If by taking things apart, and putting them back together again, in a new order, we may gain understanding - then by taking apart and putting back ‘taking apart and putting back’, may we not discover some understanding of understanding?

Co-LAB’08, 2008

A joint project between Non Grata, Art Container and protoPLAY, and brings a new group of UK based artists to work in Estonia alongside Estonian artists, at Non Grata’s Tallinn gallery and residency space, the Art Container.

Co-LAB’08 focused on a series of open-ended collaborative projects, and a rapid turnover or creation and public presentation. Questioning the notions of individual authorship, cultural-recycling and the taboo of plagiarism, the project took individual works as a starting point for collaboration then building, from scratch, a collective identity – or at least, a shared creative space. Both the premise and the context aim to facilitate artistic risk, as well as time for reflection and conversation.

Co-LAB’08 is artist-led collaborative and hence open-ended. Its starting point is DECONSTRUCTION/ RECONSTRUCTION, which looks to mutate artist’s individual works into a group exploration. Deconstruction/ Reconstruction looks and feels like a cross between an exhibition, a durational live art event, and a residency which is in a constant process of evolution as new pieces are made collaboratively in the space throughout the duration of the event, in response to the solo pieces of the individual artists.

Yoko Ishiguro (London, UK)

Yoko Ishiguro is a performance maker, performer and actress. She studied psycholinguistics in University of Tsukuba and participated in the theater company Su-punk Dan, YUBIWA Hotel, and the techno performance unit Grinder Man in Japan.

In 2005, Yoko Ishiguro started to create her own/collaboration pieces in/outside of Japan. Mostly, her works are sight-specific and time-specific and have been performed to look at “co-existence”, “time and distance” and “individual memories and collective memory” by distorting the meanings of the venues and relationships between the performances the audience and bringing some theatrical techniques including her physical existence and some daily items and daily technologies such as the internet and video.

In August 2008, Yoko moved to London and started to study at Queen Mary, University of London. After she finished her course, she is participating in some residency programs and performance events around Europe based in London. Now she is in Tokyo and looking for ways to “perform” remotely with high/low-tech-communication tools to challenge the distance.

October 5th - 11th, 2008, I was taking part in a residency program Co-LAB'08 DECONSTRUCTION/RECONSTRUCTION by protoPLAY (UK) and Non Grata Art Container. Everyday we, artists from UK (at that time, I was in London) made performances based on the performances on the previous days. I thought we were successful to "deconstruct" performances, things, structures of the event, moods, relationships and so on but I'm not sure we really "reconstruct"ed them. Maybe we did. Maybe not. Or maybe, even they hadn't been constructed before we "destruct"ed?

Josephine Wood (London, UK)

I live and work in London. My current work mirrors the phenomena of new age practice and the search for liberation from the self in our increasingly alienating society. In my video performances, a literal approach to demonstrating yoga, meditation and body work practices are subverted into something more perverse and destroys their associations with wholesomeness and spirituality.

In my audio pieces I work collaboratively with British artist Natasha Rees to create conversations between a fictitious, manipulative guru-healer who uses persuasive language to rip off his client. The conversations are recorded on to a mobile phone and then transferred to vinyl records. The pieces are presented at live events in Scotland and London by simply playing the record on stereo in front of the audience.

Polymer AIR (October 5th - 11th, 2008) I made daily performance action with the collective protoPLAY (UK) for a project called Co-LAB'08 DECONSTRUCTION/RECONSTRUCTION in the NG Art Container Gallery. Following the week of performances we presented an exhibition of documentary photographs and art installation created by the collective in the Art Container Gallery.

Cizzy Gonzales (Dresden, Germany)

Cizzy Gonzales is a flute player and performance artist, born in Austria and resident in Dresden. In the centre of her performances are social, political and philosophical themes which are expressed artistically through the connection of improvised and composed flute music, text, electronics and movement.

Artist in Residence May 2008 and October 2-7 2008. Cizzy Gonzalas first came to Polymer with the Gogo Trash Collective in May 2008 for Diverse Universe Performance Art Festival. Cizzy returned to Polymer to be a part of the Virtual Body Film Festival in October 2008. During the film festival Cizzy instructed students from Academia Non Grata and the Estonian Academy of Arts about DIY and recycled material in art. She worked with students to build installation and costumes for the Virtual Body Dada Ball. Cizzy made a performance exhibition featuring her unique flute music dance and original costumes (October 3 2008.) Cizzy was a panelist in the Virtual Body Conference, (October 4 2008.)

Andrew Hicks (Chicago, USA)

Andrew Hicks, artist, teacher, curator, programmer, filmmaker, writer and musician, living and working in Chicago, U.S.A.. He is an instructor of New Media Art at Columbia College and the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.

Artist in residence October 2-7 2008. Andrew Hicks came to Polymer to participate in the Virtual Body Film Festival where he presented a media installation “Not Doing Anything.” He also curated and screened a program of videos by 15 artists from Chicago titled “ChicagoWorks.” ( Andrew was the moderator of Virtual Body Conference (October 4-5 2008.)

Travis McCoy Fuller (USA / Italy)

Travis McCoy Fuller is a visual, sonic and performance artist originally from Massachusetts, USA. He graduated with a Bachelor of Fine Arts from the School of the Museum of Fine Arts/Tufts University. Three years ago he moved to Roma, Italy which he now calls home. He was one of the founders and organizers of the late TEST performance art initiative and is a member of the Los Angeles based artist collective Obscurities. He has exhibited his work widely throughout the US, Europe and South America. His practice includes, live sound performance, live action performance, drawing, murals, printmaking and experimental instrument building.

Artist in residence at the Tallinn Culture Factory Polymer May 19 - 29 2008. Travis participated in the Diverse Universe festival, producing six individual performances as well as a group action with Non Grata. The festival, based out of the Polymer also took place at the Parnu Artist House, Cable Factory in Helsinki, Finland, Tallinn Art Hall, and the Estonian Art Museum KUMU. In addition, Travis was invited as a guest artist to assist Ernest Truely in his site specific performance class for students from the Estonian Academy of Arts.

Russell Butler (Boston, USA / Bermuda)

My name is Russell Ellington Langston Butler. I was born in Bermuda, a small British Dependent Colony in the Atlantic Ocean. My grandmother, a painter and art educator, helped me develop a unique sense of form and design from a young age. My parents provided me with lessons from the age of four, in violin, saxophone, and guitar. I attended public and private schools in Bermuda until the age of seventeen, when I graduated from Warwick Academy with honors. I then attended George School, a Quaker boarding school in Pennsylvania, where I was engaged in the art program. I earned a Bachelor’s of Fine Arts in Performance and New Media and a Master’s of Arts in Teaching from the School of the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston, Massachusetts. I established myself in the music, performance art, and new media communities of Boston as an n artist and curator by running a domestic art space, traveling to show my art, and starting my own music label. My art is motivated by the cultural exports of the United States, primarily that of music. Specifically, I address how Heavy Metal music influences daily routines, moments of introspection, and domestic spaces. As a Bermudian; my work focuses on cultural exchanges with American Heavy Metal music.

(Polymer resident May 19-29 2008) In May of 2008 I was invited to perform in the Diverse Universe Performance Art Festival in Estonia. On May 25 at the Polymer Culture Factory I did a performance in which I played the first 20 seconds of Disposable Heroes by Metallica on a CD player and “moshed” up and down the space, first in a straight line, and then I pushed and bumped into people. After the first 20 seconds of the song I ran back to the CD player and restarted the song.. By singling out the most intense part of the song, the epic and aggressive introduction, I brought attention to a moment of cathartic release. As I repeated the action many times, I became more aggressive. The audience responded by screaming, head-banging, and fist-pumping but remained separate from the action, as if they were watching me go through an action in my daily routine.

Link to my myspace for music:

Joseph Sledgianowski (Boston, USA)

I use diverse media in my work. The taboos of sensuality, my experiences in life (and as a frequenter of hospitals because of illness), and this inevitable delusion forced upon us called "time" are my inspiration. I work with these themes in performance, sound, and installation art. I often find profound gratification using minimal elements and materials. In sound art, for example I use analog electronics, reel to reel tape machines and similar instruments to explore what lengths I can achieve from a near minimum of materials.

What is taken can be firm and influential. What is taken can be timid and derisible.

Artist in Residence May 19-29. I was invited to participate in the Diverse Universe Festival organized by Non Grata. On May 23, 2008, at Polymer Culture Factory, I presented a “sound piece” in collaboration with Fred Pinault (France/NYC) I spoke through a megaphone and created sounds with a large, broken, metal, electrical housing cabinet. I dragged the cabinet around and dropped it. I yelled into the cabinet with the megaphone and produced feedback. I also spoke into a exhaust pipe in the ceiling. Fred was live sampling and remixing the sounds, reiterating with the distortion of time.

This piece was influenced by our opinions of working in an office or factory, as time goes by all sound eventually drones out and becomes a blur.

Jay Stern (New York, USA)

Jay Stern's first feature film "The Changeling" opened in NYC in May, 2007.  He has directed and produced over 30 short films and directed over 20 theater productions, including several New York premieres.  He is a founder of the award-winning internationally-syndicated Quicksilver Radio Theater Company, and a founder of the First Sundays short comedy film festival, which has been screening monthly in NYC since April, 2002.  His next feature, a ghost story titled "Archive Fever," will be produced in 2009.

Artist in Residence October 2-7 2008. Jay Stern was invited to Polymer to participate in the Virtual Body Film Festival. Jay along with Victor Varnado presented a film screening of First Sundays Comedy Festival on October 4 2008. Jay and Victor also instructed a workshop on low budget filmmaking in the NG Art Container. On October 5 2008 Jay was a panelist in the Virtual Body conference. While in residency in Polymer Jay and Victor worked together to write, direct and produce two short films which can be viewed on you tube.)

White Moon Voodoo
First Sundays in Estonia Part 1

Moira Tierney (USA / Ireland)

Moira Tierney was born in Dublin, where she graduated with an honours BA from University College Dublin. She went on to study fine art at l’Ecole Nationale d’Arts de Cergy-Paris, graduating in 1997 with an honours Diplome Nationale Superieure d’Expression Plastique. She was granted an Arts Council film award and a Fulbright Scholarship (to Anthology Film Archives in New York) in 1998 as well as a grant from the Taoiseach’s Department for her film project ‘Matilda Tone’. Since moving to New York Moira has completed 10 short films as well as the half-hour documentary ‘Matilda Tone’; her films have screened internationally at venues such as the Fondation Cartier in Paris, the Rio Film Festival, the London and Edinburgh Film Festivals, the Rotterdam Film Festival and the Reina Sofia Museum in Madrid, as well as participating in numerous touring programmes and gallery shows. Anthology Film Archives in New York and L’Alternativa Film Festival have screened retrospective programmes of her work. She has recently received a grant from the Brooklyn Arts Council for her film ‘Portrait of a Pan Yard’ as well as residencies at the prestigious Yaddo colony at Saratoga Springs, New York and at the Rotunda Gallery/Brooklyn Community Television in New York City. Her films are distributed by Third World Newsreel and the Film-Makers Co-operative in New York and the Collectif Jeune Cinema in Paris.

Artist in Residence October 2-7 2008. Moira Tierney came to Estonia in October 2008 to participate in the Virtual body Film Festival. While Moira stayed in Polymer she went out to film different locations in Tallinn. She participated in the Virtual Body conference. Moira curated and screened a program of short films by artists from Irelands in Parnu Artists House October 10 2008. Moira instructed a workshop on Super 8 film production at the Non Grata School House in Parnu on Ocober 11 2008.

Jay Van Buren (Brooklyn, USA)

Jay Van Buren is an artist and designer living and working out of Brooklyn New York. He has been an artist, curator, teacher and writer working in the New York art scene since 1997. He was the founder and director of the legendary Videoland gallery on Manhattan's Lower East Side, and his artworks have been exhibited in Kansas City, New York, Washington DC, Amsterdam and Rotterdam. His recent artworks and events have veered into the realm of Relational Aesthetics creating encounters between people from radically different subcultures. 

His latest project, Brooklyn is Watching was realized by bringing together the world famous fine art gallery, Jack The Pelican Presents and the virtual worlds pioneer Popcha! to create an attention-economy wormhole from the Brooklyn art scene to the Second Life art scene. It is simultaneously an artwork, a marketing vehicle and an entertainment product. He holds a BFA in painting from the University of Kansas, and an MFA in painting from Parsons, the New School for Design. He also teaches at both the City University of New York, and at Parsons.

Artist in Residence October 3-7 2008. Jay Van Buren curated and presented the media installation “Estonia is Watching” at the Virtual Body Film Festival in NG Art Container on Ocober 4 2008. Jay was a panelist in the Virtual Body Conference in the NG Art Container Gallery where he recorded and later posted a podcast of the event which took place October 5 2008. 

Victor Varnado (New York, USA)

Victor Varnado is a comedian / actor / writer / director who has been seen on Comedy Central's "Premium Blend," "Late Night with Conan O'Brien," and "Jimmy Kimmel Live."  He has appeared in films with Arnold Schwarzenegger ("End of Days,") Eddie Murphy ("The Adventures of Pluto Nash"), Julia Stiles ("A Guy Thing") and Werner Herzog ("Julien Donkey Boy.")  "Twisted Fortune," Victor's first feature as a director, starring Charlie Murphy and produced by Warner Brothers, will be released in 2009.      Victor is a founder of the First Sunday short comedy film festival, which has been screening monthly in NYC since April, 2002.

Artist in Residence October 2-7 2008. Victor Varnado was invited to Polymer to participate in the Virtual Body Film Festival. Victor along with Jay Stern presented a film screening of First Sundays Comedy Festival on October 4 2008. Victor and Jay also instructed a workshop on low budget filmmaking in the NG Art Container on October 5 While in residency in Polymer Victor and Jay worked together to write, direct and produce two short films which can be viewed on you tube.

White Moon Voodoo
First Sundays in Estonia Part 1

Peter Puype (Gent, Belgium)

Peter Puype is an artist and musician living and working in Gent. He's a visual artist who works with different mediums from photography and printmaking to installations. Always going in depth with conceptual analysing he tries to discover hidden structures of his subjects.

Artist in Residence July 24 - August 22 2006. Peter Puype worked extensively in Polymer traditional print shop with making conceptual prints on found industrial blueprints. Throughout his stay he was working with the "post soviet condition" looking for evidence of it in the Polymer factory building, in the behaviour of the local people and big block house district of Lasnamäe.

Peter Puype's residency in Polymer