Autumn School 2021

European Forum for Advances Practices: Working Group 1: Contexts
Malta Meeting, 23-24 September 2021

1) Schedule

Wednesday (22/9)

6.30pm (optional) Huma min Huma? Performance

Thursday (23/9)

10.00: ‘IRL’ meeting (in lecture room 203, UM Valletta Campus)

12.00: Lunch Break: picknick (Lower Baraka Gardens)

13.30: Exhibition visit: Refraction

14:15: Exhibition visit: Malta – Tunis – Marseille

15:00: Exhibition visit: Gravity

16:00: (optional) Science in the City

18:30: Elektronika session 3: promotion

21:00: (optional) Dinner @Gugar

Friday (24/9)

10.00: ‘IRL’ meeting (in lecture room 203, UM Valletta Campus)

12.00: Lunch Break: picknick (Lower Baraka Gardens)

14:00: WG 1 virtual meeting

15:00 Marcell Mars discussing experimental publishing for context

15:30 RYBN collective presenting offshore tour operators project

16:00: Offshore Tour Operators OTO derive (meeting point Castille) 18:00: (optional) drinks at Maori Bar

20:00: (optional) dinner @Gugar

Saturday (25/9)

14:00-19:00 (optional) exhibition opening ‘rajt ma rajtx… naf li rajt’

2) Agenda

Update on the last 18 months of remote activity

Sharing collected information on on-line publications and technologies for WG1 results

WG1 planning for year to come

Planning the publication of wg1

Defining the activity plan of WG1 for the period November 2021-2022

3) Attendees IRL participants:

Remote participants:

4) Infos

Working Group 1: Contexts

The expansion of research across a civil society and the proliferation of practice-based research across academic landscapes have brought about new stakeholder alliances, modes of research, and applications. These are the contexts from which many Advanced Practices emerge. However, many of these initiatives are idiosyncratic (e.g., ad-hoc funding initiatives and/or efforts to think ‘outside the box’); others are deeply embedded in institutions whose cultural roles are evolving (e.g., archives’ efforts to leverage collections in response to shifts in popular interest or intellectual property potentials).

WG1 will survey these shifting contexts in order to ‘map’ currently emerging resources and adjacencies. Its goal is to develop a provisional set of typologies that are:

descriptive not prescriptive,

overlapping and non-exclusive, and

responsive to the needs of different actors/entrants.

These typologies will not serve, even informally, as certification process or ‘registry’ of Advanced Practices; and while WG1’s mandate is to conduct diligent broad-based research, these typologies, by definition, cannot be exhaustive.

Possible typologies might include: areas of interest (e.g., oceans, logistics, national security), practical methods (e.g., rules/guidelines for collaboration), participant needs (e.g., individual or institutional aspiration), and/or formats/techniques of dissemination.

WG1 objective: ‘Map’ emerging resources and adjacencies in order to develop typologies for understanding Advanced Practices.

WG1-specific activities: Identify a wide range visual/textual models for mapping findings; develop flexible/extensible system for annotating typologies and other useful annotations and indexing techniques.

WG1-specific tasks: (1) Develop a shared, rich-media user-writable resource (e.g., a wiki) to maintain provisional typologies linked to examples and supporting resources; (2) identify relevant typologies; and (3) populate and annotate the mapping platform.

WG1 milestones: (1) Setup of online working environments, and (2) publishing a dynamic map of Advanced Practices.

WG1-specific deliverables: Visual maps of annotated typologies of Advanced Practices

Huma Min Huma? by Noah Fabri – Performance Art

As part of his artistic body of work being exhibited in REFRACTION, Noah Fabri will be performing ‘Huma Min Huma?’ in Space C1 at Spazju Kreattiv, Valletta for the public. Anyone interested will need to book by filling in the form in your preferred date below.

The performance will include a discussion which will be in Maltese


is a celebration of what is usually unseen, forgotten about, or misunderstood, as well as a recognition that the ongoing fight for LGBTIQ+ rights is global.

The platform brings visibility to voices beyond the heteronormative and homoerotic bubbles that we are accustomed to. It also highlights the multitude of experiences faced by LGBTIQ+ individuals from different parts of the world. REFRACTION echoes a sense of strength, resilience, and power; sometimes from the most unexpected places.


Samar Hazboun, Leart Rama, HUSS, Kristian Chalakov, Mohsin Shafi, Elle Conant & Roux Noel, Imad Zoukanni, Roxman Gatt, Robert Andy Coombs, Dirk H Wilms, Lin Zhipeng (aka. No 223), Daphne Sammut, Agataukoxxx, Noah Fabri, Lau Baldo & م ح س ن Curator

Bobb Attard

Malta – Tunis – Marseille

Katel Delia’s Malta-Tunis-Marseille exhibition is based on a true story. It explores a Maltese family’s complex journey of migration that started one century ago, in its search for a better life.

It is about looking for a space to inhabit that feels like home, and being pushed out again because of external issues. As it echoes the life-story of many migrants, the exhibition asks: Where can you find a shelter when your native country does not accept your return?

Malta-Tunis-Marseille cuts across the Mediterranean Sea and its restless roads of migration. It is an immersive exhibition, and is made of photographs, videos, sound installations and archival documents from the archives. Raphael Vella is its curator.


Katel Delia


Prof. Raphael Vella


Kane Cali, John Coplans, Jesse Darling, Simon Fujiwara,

Eva Kotátková, Adrian Paci, and Pierre Portelli

Curated by Sara Dolfi Agostini

18 June – 30 September 2021

Blitz is pleased to present GRAVITY, a group show with Kane Cali, John Coplans, Jesse Darling, Simon Fujiwara, Eva Kotátková, Adrian Paci, and Pierre Portelli, opening on 18th June and running until 30th September 2021. The exhibition reopens the galleries since the shutdown of March 2020 in response to the Covid-19 pandemic. Also, for the first month, the exhibition is extended to OPEN, Blitz Valletta’s online platform, where Adrian Paci’s video work is be streamed online with free access, as well as by Victoria Gate in Valletta, where two new public art sculptures by Pierre Portelli (until August 10th) and Kane Cali (until September 30th) will be accessible day and night.

Gravity is a dual concept. In physics, it is a force of attraction, yet it is weak enough to not change the property of matter. It controls bodies in space, and binds them to the Earth, where it bestows them weight. Gravity is the condition we live in as human beings, regardless of our ethnicity, gender and cultural background; it also relates to our own bodies and the relationship with others. As such it is a common denominator, as physical as symbolic, sometimes both at the same time. In fact, without gravity, our bodies would be overpowered by other forces of nature, which would make drift inevitable and life as we know it impossible. In a way, gravity is both a form of physical resistance among peers and a frontier with alien energies and lives. Here, it is the point of departure for an exploration of the body and its meanings, in a society where striving towards the infinite possibilities of humankind leaves a profound gap with actual experience and the uncertain reaction to the many limits and setbacks we face. In this time of polarized disorder and public health emergency, where governments oscillate between dramatic containing measures and strategies designed to shore up capitalism, an exhibition titled Gravity is also a call to face the urgency of this momentum, condemn the hubris of anthropocentrism that brought us to this point, and peek behind the veil of false idols.

Gravity engages with a group of artists whose work demystifies the narrative of progress that politics and media have driven into our societies. In their practices, the presence – or absence – of the body signifies social orders and cultural targets, while its imagery connects to identity and survival, freedom and oppression, challenging a disconnect with nature which affects identity as much as social confidence. The exhibition kicks off with John Coplans’ poignant auto-portraits which defy the classic iconography of male power and invulnerability, and Pierre Portelli’s installation featuring several local rocks reflected in the space via mirrors, including one especially endowed with a prosthetic Victorian eye. In Simon Fujiwara’s mixed media installation and Kane Cali’s sculpture, bodies are fatalities of technological acceleration and new media dissonance, as society morphs into an antagonistic force. In Adrian Paci’s video and Eva Kotátková’s installation, by contrast, it is privilege and political disruption that intensify social distress, and eventually provoke psychological malaise. In Kane Cali’s and Jesse Darling’s drawings, finally, the investigation extends into otherness and failure, ordinary taboos that are both physical and linguistic.


Lying Figure, Holding Leg, Four Panels, 1990

Courtesy John Coplans Trust and P420, Bologna

Photo Carlo Favero

Gravity, installation view

Science in the City

Science in the City is Malta’s national science and arts festival. This year, the festival will be held with pre-festival events starting from the 2nd September and the main festival on 24th-25th September. All of this is to provide a memorable platform for citizens to engage with scientists, researchers, artists and performers.

The festival that graced the streets of Valletta on an annual basis is moving into theatres around the city, while retaining the virtual presence it established in 2020 due to the Covid-19 pandemic. The activities will be spread out throughout the city in St Dominic Theatre, St George Preca Primary, City Theatre (General Workers Union building), Museum of Archeology, Spazju Kreattiv and St Magdalene Church. While the live-virtual festival will be live from Valletta Design Cluster. This year, the theme is “Sowing Seeds”, emphasising how important knowledge, research and the arts are in everyday life and in active, responsible citizenship, especially in a world which is undergoing monumental changes.

Festival History

The Science in the City Festival was first held way back in 2012. It was the first science and arts festival to be brought to Malta’s shores and has been growing in scale and vision ever since. The number of attendees has more than doubled from 12,000 in 2012 to 30,000 in 2018 — reaching over 6% of the total population of the Maltese Islands. The number of activities has more than tripled as has the number of partners, researchers and volunteers involved, with over 400 students and 80 researchers involved.

In 2012 the main event was You Are The Staircase, an art installation by Norbert Attard inspired by the work of geneticist Prof. Alex Felice. In 2013 there were the Humanised fruit flies – human-sized and depicted engaging in human activities – and Light up my house, an interactive installation. The 2014 edition included AMaze² – a huge maze which threw in wide-ranging fields in science: from the CERN particle accelerator, creating music with plants to X-Ray Crystallography; with a planetarium at its centre. The 2015 edition focused on the Rosetta Comet, with St George’s square transformed into the Rosetta Satellite Space Mission, along with 3D printing of the same satellite, the hubble telescope and more. In 2016 the festival was themed ‘The Brain’, with exhibitions like Brain Square (inspired by comparison of different mammalian brains) and Anthropomorphic Sculptures (showing the evolution of the nervous system), along with discussions centred around mental health. 2017 saw the festival reach new heights and focused on how today’s research is shaping our future with highlights including Light Pushes Stuff (an interactive moving sculpture powered by light), virtual reality demonstrations, a large Hologram installation (the first of its kind in Malta!) bringing the human body to life in 3D and the music-science fusion “Jazz for the Brain” where lights and music displayed the complexity of a stroke, and the technology being used to treat the condition. In 2018, we worked with the Valletta 2018 Foundation to feature ‘Pushing The Mouse’: a giant computer mouse that was pushed around the Triton Fountain by visitors, as well as a high-tech augmented reality experience called The Fourth Triton. Meanwhile, St Georges square was transformed by ReFraming Carbon, an artwork inspired by Malta’s rich heritage.

The latest festival 2020 was held digitally to more than 20, 000 unique online users. We converted all physical performances, music, theatre, experiments and other content to live or pre-recorded sessions streamed from a studio. It was challenging but incredibly rewarding with engagement by people from Turkey to Ireland, motivating us to run hybrid festivals from 2021 onwards!

European Researchers’ Night

Science in the City is part of the EU-wide event: ‘European Researchers’ Night’, which takes place in over 30 countries and 300 cities simultaneously. Malta’s proposal always ranks highly amongst over 100 applicants. Every country has a unique approach to European Researchers’ Night, including opening research facilities (laboratories, research centres, museum collections), letting the public use the most recent technologies and instruments with the guidance of scientists, participation in experiments, competitions and quizzes, science demonstrations and simulations, engage in debates, and to chat with researchers. In Malta, we transform Valletta and the web to engage with research. For European Researchers’ Night, everyone can be a scientist! Science in the City is proudly funded by the European Commission’s Research and Innovation Framework Programme H2020 (2014-2020) by the Marie Skłodowska-Curie actions. Directorate-General for Education and Culture. European Commission.

Elektronika Session 3 – Promotion

Discussion and presentation by Michael Bugeja. Includes dj set by Junior B. Thursday 23rd September 2021 at 6.30pm, Spazju Kreattiv, Valletta.

Elektronika Session 3 – Promotion

Homegrown Events Becoming International, Radio Presence and its Impact

Performance by Junior B

Thursday, 23rd September 2021 at 6.30pm

Space B, Spazju Kreattiv, Valletta

Elektronika is a project which was launched last February with the aim of compiling a historiography of electronic music in Malta. Earlier this summer, Elektronika entered a new phase of its data gathering initiative via oral history sessions. The first two sessions, focusing on the evolution and exploration of electronic music in Malta, were held

in July and August.

The third of such sessions will be called: ‘Session 3: Promotion (homegrown events taking on an international aspect, radio presence and its impact)‘. During this session, Mike Bugeja will interview three dj’s who were active also in promotion and broadcasting from the nineties onwards in the electronic music scene: Adrian V, Bryan S and Junior B.

The session will be followed by a dj set from Junior B.

Adrian V, Bryan S and Junior B

This project is managed by Electronic Music Malta in conjunction with the M3P Foundation and is supported by the Arts Council Malta. This event is part of the Spazju Kreattiv

The Great Offshore

The Great Offshore (Le Grand Large) is a documentary artwork, that invites us to a journey into the depth of the offshore industry.

The work gathers together documents, narratives, photographs and objects, collected during several trips in some of the most notorious tax havens : Dublin, the City of London, Zürich and Pfäffikon, Switzerland, Vaduz, Liechtenstein, the Channel Islands, Jersey & Guernsey, Wilmington Delaware, the Bahamas, the Cayman Islands, Malta, Cyprus, Amsterdam, Luxembourg.

The various documents brought back from those exploratory travels are agenced like an encyclopedia, that seeks to index and underlign the infrastructural aspects of the tax evasion industry, that is lying at the heart of the neoliberal machinery.

The project is supported by the espace multimedia gantner, the CNC/DICRÉAM, la Gaîté Lyrique, the FNAGP (Fondation Nationale des Arts Graphiques et Plastiques), H3K and the French Institute within its residency program, les collectifs.


“Offshore Tour Operator” is a situationist GPS prototype, orientated toward a computer assisted psychogeographic drift, that dictates the walk of the user through the ICIJ Offshore Leaks database addresses – including the Offshore Leaks, the Bahamas Leaks, the Panama Papers, the Paradise Papers.

The prototype exists in two version : a DIY open hardware version, using a raspberry pi 0 coupled to a GPS, and an android app.


To build your own version, all instructions and source code can be found on RYBN’s gitlab:

Hardware requirements: raspberry pi (tested: Zero w, 2B, 3B and 3b+), a GPS using UART – like the Ada Fruit Ultimate GPS – a usb sound card, a headphone, a usb battery.

By changing the configuration file, you can select the langage (English or French) and the model of raspberry pi your are using.


The “Offshore Tour Operator” exists also as an app for Android.

The application can be downloaded here :


Download the application from your browser. Once downloaded, follow the installation instuctions. Once installed, an icon OTO will appear on the smartphone app launcher.

Before to launch the OTO App, verify :

– “Location” and “Storage” are activated for the App permision

– “Battery saver” is set to “No restriction”

– GPS is activated

The GPS works much better outdoor, due to the GPS data reception. So the app has to be used outdoor.

Having a compass app on the phone is recommanded, but using a regular compass works also.

The application is an audioguide, all instructions will be given by a synthetic voice. Having a headphone to hear the instuctions outdoor is recommanded.

Comment :

For Xiaomi smartphone users, it is known the app runs slowly on MIUI 10. On the other hand, it runs perfectly on MIUI 9.


Experiment it

Once launched, and once the GPS data are received, a voice will indicate the closest offshore address to visit: the instuctions indicate the direction to follow and the distance between you and the closest target. Use your compass to orientate yourself.

Take your time, make some stops. The GPS data can take a bit of time before being refreshed.

If you arrive close to your target, an alert message will warn you that you have reached the target, and which offshore companies are domiciliated in it. Take a picture of the building that hosts the offshore activity. Check the mailbox, if you find the right one, you can let a message to interact.

Visualize your walk

A file of your gps data is recorded in the sd card,

– in your phone, in the OTO folder. The path is /sdcard/OTO/

– in the raspberry pi, in the folder /home/pi/offshore_tour_operator/

To visualize the walk, open in a browser the url with a browser, and upload the desired output file.

VC Presents ‘rajt ma rajtx… naf li rajt’


Matthew Attard

featuring works by supporting artists, including: Caesar Attard, Nanni Balestrini, Aaron Bezzina, Matyou Galea, Francesco Jodice and Pierre Portelli

curated by Elyse Tonna

/I/you saw, but I/you did not see… I know that I/you saw/

Deriving from a local oral tradition the title hints at taking on a playful yet critical approach to interpreting socio-political contexts. Whilst in Maltese, the original phrase: /rajt ma rajtx … smajt ma smajtx/ instils a code of silence behaviour commonly known as /omertà/, it also subtly hints at the complacency of individuals to act or react to ongoing happenings. Albeit slight, the intentional modification to the phrase makes a direct reference to Matthew’s dialogue with an eye-tracker in their intention of drawing with the eyes. This also

acknowledges that the eyes are involuntarily witnesses of any occurrence. Moreover, the exhibition reinforces a fictitious technosymbiosis characterisation through a creative practice that links the eye-tracker to modes of contemporary drawing.

Acting as a tool, but moreover as a silent witness of the eye, here the eye-tracker brings to the forefront widespread local realities bound with ongoing complexities related to identity and context. The ultimate underlying notion of the exhibition is that of continuing with the

exploration of eye drawing where the eye-tracker becomes the drawing equipment/collaborator, while uncovering notions of witnessing and seeing. Acting as a means of surveillance, the eye-tracker, the entity/the technology, offers undeniable proof of experience.

The exhibition will feature a number of site-specific interventions stemming from eye drawing performances manifested in particular contexts: ranging from mundane realities to unique locations. On the basis of a subjective intuition, the viewers are encouraged to

interpret, question and debate through notions of seeing.

Other artists are being invited to contribute with supporting works reinforcing multiple points of view. These include: Caesar Attard, Nanni Balestrini, Aaron Bezzina, Matyou Galea, Francesco Jodice and Pierre Portelli.

We are also pleased to invite you to a six-artist visual experiment, in parallel with Matthew Attard’s solo exhibition */rajt ma rajtx… naf li rajt/*.

*Ħars fuq ħars*

The work was developed in collaboration with: Gilbert Calleja, Charlie Cauchi, Ryan Falzon, Charlene Galea, Roxman Gatt and Alexandra Pace

Curated by Margerita Pulè

Employing the eye-tracking technology used by Matthew Attard, six artists engage with the respective acts of looking and seeing, thus unconsciously or consciously focusing their gaze in order to reflect on aspects of their artistic practice. This short research-based projectsees each artist temporarily adopt the position of the viewer, exposing

elements of their practice to the audience through their own sight trajectory, and using an eye-tracking device.

The correlations and disparities between looking and seeing are explored during the process, as are the difficulties and fallacies of attempting to record and interpret the human gaze. The recording of how the artist’s eye-movements and the subsequent information generated, in turn produce a new work, made up of fragments of saccades, elements of the artist’s practice, and digitally generated imagery.

*About Matthew Attard*

Born in Malta (1987), and currently living in Edinburgh. He is pursuing his eye drawing research as a practice-based PhD at the Edinburgh College of Art, University of Edinburgh, funded by the /Malta Arts Scholarship scheme – Ministry for Education, and Employment/.

Matthew is strongly interested in situating his work within the realm of contemporary drawing. His interests include: the extension of the line within 3D spaces, the phenomenology of perception, datafication, drawing as a cyborg in dialogue with technology, the challenging of the use of data and technology, and provocations about how we represent ourselves in this day and age.

Matthew is represented by Galleria Michela Rizzo, Venice. His work has been shown in Venice, Rome, Valletta, Genoa, London, Beijing and Los Angeles among other cities. In 2019 he was selected for a third time to exhibit during /Ten Artists to Watch/ at LACDA, Los Angeles Centre for Digital Arts. He was selected to participate in /Artissima Telephone/ at

the OGR spaces in Turin, taking place during the Artissima Art Fair. He was also part of the online project.

Matthew is currently longlisted for the Lumen Prize 2021.