2-9 August 2020

Rucka Art Residency Centre

United ISSP and Baltic Analog Lab Summer School happened in 2020 from 2 to 9 August at Rucka Art Residency Centre in Cēsis!

Theme for this year: NATURAL PHENOMENA. The summer school will explore the fascinating natural world and its creatures around us, offering creative inspiration and new skills through four different mini workshops (both photography and analogue film) and guest lectures and discussions with invited biologists, entomologists, environmental scientists, writers and more!

The participants will be able to take part in any of the workshops and lectures offered, and will create own work based on the techniques and creative impulses obtained in the process. Three of the four workshops will focus on analog film and photography; however, the participants will be free to use their preferred medium and technique. The event will conclude with a public presentation of the created works in Rucka park and manor on Sunday 9 August.

The number of participants will be limited to 30 (countries with no current Covid travel restrictions to Latvia), selected based on submitted applications. 



The United ISSP and BAL Summer School is organised by ISSP and Baltic Analog Lab, in cooperation with Rucka Artist Residency. The event is supported by Cēsis District council and State Culture Capital Foundation.  

United ISSP and Baltic Analog Lab summer school of film and photography 

2- 9 August in Rucka, Cēsis

02.08.2020. Sunday The beginning

  • from 15:00 - Arrival to Rucka Manor, settling in

  • 18:00 - Opening; introduction to the tutors, participants and the team


3.08.2020. Monday first day 

  • Meeting with biologist Tūrs Selga – lecture “Photosynthesis and photocamera” exploring nature of plants and their cells through an eye of a microscope

  • Organic Film – 16mm film workshop with Ieva Balode (LV)

  • Baltic Sea Prints – photography workshop with Gintautas Trimakas (LT) 


4.08.2020. Tuesday second day 

  • Meeting with writer, publicist and bird photographer Rvīns Varde - "Citydweller’s birds"  a conversation about birds and their daily routines, how to observe without disturbing, etc 

  • Nature in Colours - super8 colour reversal film workshop with Vytautas Jozenas (LT)

  • The Secrets and Possibilities of a Light Trap -  photography workshop with Krista Mölder (EE)


5.08.2020. Wednesday third day

  • Meeting and a walk together with entomologist Uģis Piterāns (insects researcher)

  • Organic Film –16mm film workshop with Ieva Balode (LV)

  • Baltic Sea Prints – photography workshop with Gintautas Trimakas (LT) 


6.08.2020. Thursday fourth day

  • Meeting with photographer Aigars Jukna - Super Macro and close-up insect portraits

  • Nature in Colours - super8 colour reversal film workshop with Vytautas Jozenas (LT)

  • The Secrets and Possibilities of a Light Trap -  photography workshop with Krista Mölder (EE)


7.08.2020. Friday fifth day 

  • “Documenting Nature” - an artist talk and conversation with Robert Zhao Renhui, Institute of Critical Zoologists (Singapore) - reevaluating humankind’s relationship with nature in light of ongoing climate crisis (vis Zoom)

  • Individual work, consultations with the tutors


8.08.2020. Saturday sixth day


9.08.2020. Sunday, Last day

  • Setting up the final presentation

  • 16:00 - Public Opening, presentation of the results – pop-up exhibition, screenings, performances in Rucka manor and garden

  • Departures


Who can apply?

The summer school is designed for emerging photographers, analogue film artists and other practicing artists who wish to experiment with new techniques, exchange with international colleagues, and re-vitalise their practice and create work inspired by the subject of the summer school.

The participants must be at least 18 years old (there is no upper age limit) and be able to communicate in English, the working language of the school. 

30 participants will be admitted based on the quality of applications. Please note that we will be able to accommodate only those coming from the countries with no current Covid-related travel restrictions to Latvia - please see the current list of countries here.


Participation fee

250 EUR 
The participation fee includes tuition, dormitory accommodation and full board at Rucka Manor, as well as some of the materials (film stock, chemicals).
The participants are responsible for the extra costs of production of their work, transport to the location and incidental expenses during their stay. 

To apply

Submit an electronic APPLICATION FORM including a small portfolio of images representing your practice and motivation statement. 
Application deadline : 14 July 2020.



All the applicants will be notified about the results of the selection by 17 July. 
The participants must confirm their place by paying the advance participation fee within 3 days of notification. 

Rucka Artist Residency 


is a space created by artists for artists. It is located in Cēsis, a small medieval town an hour's drive from Riga, where a rich cultural heritage lives along numerous new creative initiatives. The region of Cēsis has historically been known for its intellectual traditions - many writers, artists and politically and socially active individuals come from this area.

Rucka Artist Residency is a space that serves as a meeting point for artists from various disciplines to create cross-disciplinary projects dealing with social and environmental issues. It is operating as an artist residency, hosting artists from all over the world, and a venue for creative gatherings, such as various summer schools and other gatherings of students and practitioners of visual communication, architecture, film and photography, and anthropology. In the past years residency has hosted Summer School of Latvian Centre for Contemporary Art, Summer School of Young Architects and Urbanists, Baltic Anthropology Summer School and others, while this year new events like Zero Waste Summer School, Summer School of Cesis University and Analogue Media Summer School will take place at Rucka. 

The residency is located in an old manor house just 10 minutes walk from the historical centre of Cēsis. Rucka manor house, which dates back to the 18th century, has been a home to wealthy German families, a railway office and, most recently, a hospital. In 2013 it was restored to serve as an artist space. The residency is surrounded by a wonderful park with lots of centuries old oak trees and an orchard. A 40 minute walk brings Rucka visitors to the banks of river Gauja and the nature trails of the Gauja National Park.

16mm film workshop with Ieva Balode (Baltic Analog Lab, LV)


The workshop will be dedicated to 16mm black and white cameraless filmmaking applying  plants on a film and plant-based organic chemicals made from plants found at Rucka Manor park. Plants will be applied to the film surface using their own chemical components, sunlight and organic chemicals found in every household – vitamin C and washing soda. Films will be produced without a camera in two environments offering two cameraless filmmaking techniques – phytography (a technique inherited from filmmaker Karel Doing) and photograms – image making in the darkroom using light, shadow and organic materials. 

Participants will be also introduced to the 16mm projector and film camera.


During the summer school participants will have the opportunity to create their own cameraless films or shoot 16mm black and white film in groups using a Bolex camera and negative film processed in organic chemicals. Filmstock will be provided. 


Ieva Balode (1987) is an artist and film curator working with the analog image. With her works she takes part in international exhibitions and festivals, presenting her work both as nstallation, as well as cinema and performance. As a film curator she is a founding member of Baltic Analog Lab - an artist collective providing a space and platform for analog film production, research and education, who have been teaching film workshops in various places in Latvia, Ireland, Finland as well as presenting film programmes at European film festivals and events. She is also director of the experimental film festival Process happening in Riga since 2017, and has been teaching at Riga Stradiņš University since 2017. 



Gintautas Trimakas (1958) is a Lithuanian photographer, a passionate practitioner of alternative photographic processes, a laureate of the Lithuanian National Culture and Art Prize and a tutor at the Vilnius Academy of Arts. Trimakas represents the so-called generation of conceptualists in Lithuania, who in the 1980s turned to the materiality of photography, creating unique imprints, objects and installations. He often dedicates his philosophical works to various creative individuals, for example, to the painters Edvard Munch and Mikalojus Konstantinas Čiurlionis or photo pioneer Henry Fox Talbot. In his series Responses he photographed shadows with an old Nokia phone, while for the series Greeting he captured the sky, only later finding out that data errors had occurred in the files. In the series Bicycle Stops he used a pinhole camera placedon the bicycle luggage rack, documenting the cityscapes in the direction of the sky. The exposure time coincided with coffee or cigarette breaks. Breaking the established rules, Trimakas continues to develop unique strategies of expression in his work, experimenting with various techniques and ways of extracting photographic images.

Analog photography workshop with Gintautas Trimakas, LT


In this experimental photography workshop, Gintautas will offer participants the opportunity to experiment with the Baltic Salt Print technique he has developed in the past years. The technique is based on historical photographic technologies - back in 1841, the pioneer of photography, Henry Fox Talbot, invented a negative and positive image extraction method that became the basis for analogue photography. The process uses a special material that gives paper a light sensitive property. Trimakas, however, resists the principles of history and photographic technology, and transforms the usual method of extracting analogue photographs by using the water of the Baltic Sea. This new technology makes it possible to create unexpected images, and at the same time, symbolically unites the Baltic countries - the photographs of the present seem to respond to the common historical memory of the three countries; the image becomes a motive for a common future. The Baltic Salt Print technique essentially questions the photographic medium itself, giving it a local specificity.


Super8 colour reversal workshop with Vytautas Juozėnas

(Spongė Lab, LT)


With a keen interest in physics and chemistry, Vytautas will provide a deep insight into analog colour film – offering a theoretical introduction to the physical as well as chemical nature of colour reversal film. Participants will have an opportunity to shoot, process and project super8 film and learn to operate both the camera and projector. The workshop will be exclusively dedicated to shooting Kodak Ektachrome reversal super8 film and hand-processing it in E6 chemistry.

During the summer school participants will have an opportunity to shoot their own super8 films in groups and process them in the darkroom with assistance of the teacher.

Vytautas Juozenas (1990) is a filmmaker and artist from Vilnius who has graduated from the Vilnius Academy of Art Photography Department. Has worked with analog film and photography for many years – both in the lab as well as teaching analog image-making in workshops in Lithuania, Berlin and Latvia. His works have been shown in European art and cinema spaces. He is also a member of the analog film collective Sponge Lab and mostly works in the camera department on film sets. Apart from his practice in visual arts and film, he is extensively involved in the Vilnius electronic music scene as a member of the sound collective Samopal Sound Systems who are organising underground techno parties, as well as building their own sound equipment starting from analog sythesizers to speakers. 




The Secrets and Possibilities

of the Light Trap

Photography workshop with Krista Mölder (EE)


The workshop will explore the phenomenon of the light trap as a philosophical metaphor and a scenographic method, referring to shadow theatre or stage. A captivating image of night butterflies or moths flying towards the light can be used to bond and juxtapose the half-tones of life as well as innate and opposing human urges.

The word “photography” comes from the Greek "drawing with the light". During the workshop, we will construct and photograph light traps as metaphorical spaces and let the light work for us, initiating a metaphorical shadow theatre. The participants will be encouraged to observe, create and record the light in various locations in the park and manor house. 

The workshop will aim to expand the thinking of the participants through finding parallels with the surrounding environment and behavior of other life forms (like moths). In this context seriality will be important – participants will be encouraged to work in contemplative series rather than create single images.


A digital camera with high light sensitivity is preferable, but you can work with any medium.


Krista Mölder (1972) is an Estonian photo artist who lives and works in Tallinn. Her works focus on universalized space and viewer experience. The artist uses references and riddle motifs to study relationships between people and the environment. Having visited Japan on several occasions, she has drawn influence from its architecture and culture.

Krista Mölder graduated from the Department of Photography of Tartu Art College in 2001, received an MA degree in photography at the University of Westminster in London in 2004, and another MA at the Department of Photography of the Estonian Academy of Arts in 2006. She was a nominee for the Köler Prize in 2016. She has taken part in exhibitions since the 2000s and had solo shows at the Tallinn Art Hall Gallery, Kumu Art Museum, Contemporary Art Museum of Estonia, at the Kanzan Gallery, Tokyo, among the few. In 2011, Mölder was invited by EU Japan Fest to participate in the project “European Eyes on Japan”.

She has been a lecturer at the Estonian Academy of Arts since 2003.