Hello, my name is Emmanouela and I am 22 years old! I have just started my internship at Stone Soup coworking space and I come from the island of Rhodes, Greece. I have been living in Athens for four years now doing my studies, but I hope to stay here much longer. Studying Marketing and Communication at the Athens University of Economics and Business. At the same time, I have also enrolled in an another school where I study Interior Architecture and Design. My professional future will definitely be in the creative sector!
This summer I decided to do my internship and I couldn’t have made a better choice than Stone Soup. Stone Soup is a social enterprise promoting a great and innovative philosophy about a new way of working. Before Stone Soup, I was not familiar with the concept of cooperative workspaces and I was very interested to learn more about it. After some research and observation, I came to the conclusion that coworking spaces are the best choice for those who work alone remotely because they have a lot to offer both on a social and professional level.
My expectations at Stone Soup coworking space
The main ingredient I am bringing at Stone Soup is my digital marketing skills. More specifically, I will be cooking the website’s digital analytics and I will be creating content for social media. Digital media should mirror the cozy ambiance of the coworking space and the diverse background of its members. By communicating our everyday life through social media, more people will have the opportunity to get to know the community and the values of Stone Soup.
I am sure that during my internship, I will gain many other skills that will help me in my professional career. Improving my communication skills and my digital literacy are just some of them. I’ll also have the opportunity to get in touch with new people from different places and various cultures. I am looking forward to it!
https://www.stonesoup.io/wp-content/uploads/2021/07/Coworking-space-intern-cover-scaled.jpg17072560Emmanouela Kappouhttps://www.stonesoup.io/wp-content/uploads/2018/07/ssl300x300.pngEmmanouela Kappou2021-07-28 15:19:292021-07-28 15:19:34A new summer intern at our coworking space!
For Foteini Vergidou, 2020 was a milestone year for digital culture and contemporary art. Our new member is a curator, researcher, and project manager based in Athens.
“2020 was a year of living online and I don’t know if there will be any difference between art and digital culture from now on.”
Her curatorial practice focuses on the impact of technological advancements on human relations, on human-machine relations, and between humans and their ecosystem. She explores issues related to cultural identity, climate change, surveillance, and big data.
We had a chance to speak with her about the current digital art scene of Athens and the value of digital media for contemporary artists.
Exploring digital art: getting exposed to experiences abroad
Foteini represents a brain gain example. She obtained an MA in Interactive Media: Critical Theory and Practice from the Goldsmiths University of London. While studying she explored the contemporary art scene in London and indulged in her research interests before moving to Berlin to work in the iconic transmediale festival. She stayed in Berlin for 3 years and worked as a gallery manager in DNA Berlin. Such an international and multicultural environment equipped her with an open mind towards work-related issues. As a result, living and working abroad made her realize that there is no center of experiences and no bipolar divisions between “us” and “them”.
She returned and settled in Athens in 2015. In that year, Foteini worked as Coordinator and Project Manager for Kappatos Athens Art Residency Program. During this period, she collaborated with international artists such as Martin Creed, Roy Ascott, and Santiago Sierra. She also curated the Web Art exhibition category for the Athens Digital Arts Festival in Greece for the 11th and 12th editions. Most recently, she curated the Hysterophimia Pavilion, the Greek Pavilion for the 4th edition of The Wrong Digital Art Biennale (2019 – 2020) exploring the contemporary culture around Images, from selfies to big data.
Since 2018, she has worked as Curatorial Advisor and Project Manager for the artist Kalliopi Lemos, developing research upon themes that center around migration, human rights, and gender injustice. At the same time, she worked on different projects in Athens and abroad promoting artists through digital media.
Online culture and physical community: two sides of a common goal
For Foteini, the experiences triggered and gained abroad can be developed in one’s own country. Physical and online interaction with audiences and other creative professionals, input and output of experiences, drive a successful exposure.
Thus, community and network building play an important part in her career. It is actually the first thing she advises every new artist to pursue through physical and digital media. On one hand, this is the reason she joined a coworking space. It offers a physical chance of socialization, necessary to bring together different perspectives and ideas among professionals. On the other hand, artists can achieve digital interconnectivity and exposure through investment in up-to-date online platforms and social media like Instagram. In the last few years, digital art and media became an upcoming field in Athens. The pandemic boosted this relatively new way of promotion and highlighted the importance of the transition to online representation.
Tips for new artists: digital platforms are the future
But how can an artist take advantage of the digital media available to promote their body of work? Foteini describes a few fruitful moves they can make: network building, social media, research in up-to-date websites, platforms, funding. An artist’s online presence should include a social media account, like Instagram, where they promote their artwork. Through this medium, their physical network can interact with them and give them feedback.
Also, for Foteini the curative process is connected with a certain amount of research. Every exhibition is the result of a body of research that she deals with at a particular moment. Since 2017, she is an editor and writer at FerociousUrbanites.com, where she conducts research around issues that derive from our relation to technology. This is also an example of an up-to-date website with a strong focus on promoting Greek digital artists to an international audience. Browsing websites like this can offer artists and art lovers inspiration and information about online culture and digital art.
Since 2019, she is an active member of the TILT platform, bringing together creative people including artists, researchers, and theorists. She is always seeking collaboration with other professionals, coming often from diverse disciplines and practices, in order to develop synergies and joint projects. Her main goal is to conduct collective research, while forming an exhibition or a public intervention, in order to reveal different perspectives. The exhibition “Iasis” she curated for the TILT platform presented a body of work, artworks, educational seminars, and workshops, that investigated the political and social dimensions of global human activity. The TILT platform is an example of a network-building initiative for artists. Foteini compares it with a coworking space where members can interact and share their ideas and projects.
Picks ‘n tips for digital culture events & art-lovers
Foteini thinks that the contemporary Athenian cultural scene is experimental, as is the city itself. The pandemic has boosted the transition to online representation even though she agrees that there are limits. For example, both theatre and art exhibitions had to offer the audience an experience mediated by the Internet. Big and small institutions had to adapt to the new condition and the results are appealing to many. She points out that the initiatives to promote online culture from Onassis Foundation and the PCAI are worth “browsing”. Furthermore, digital media like Instagram are basic components of projects curated by 3137, an artist-run space in Athens. On the international side, she suggests visiting the Top Museum (Tokyo Photographic Art) and the Overkill festival.
Foteini’s expertise as a curator is to manage all these tasks! And you are welcome to contact us and get in touch! She acts as a mediator between artistic expression and public perception. Nevertheless, she is a strong supporter of the “artist’s fee”, the payment that every creator must demand in exchange for the presentation of their work. She admits that the current focus on digital art, both in Athens and internationally, can pose new challenges for artists. Her advice to them is to always seek copyright and legal support before participating in online exhibitions.
“Always reinvent yourself and be adjustable”
This is what she learned and suggests to every art worker in the post-pandemic world. There is no need for a laptop if a creative professional pursues exposure and openness, values that she found in a coworking space. For her, coworking offers inspiration through interaction without the extra layer of workplace stress. And in these crazy times, a casual chat in a safe space can be more creative than ever!
https://www.stonesoup.io/wp-content/uploads/2021/02/Digital-Art-in-Athens-Foteini-Vergidou-Curator-scaled.jpg17072560Dimitris Manoukashttps://www.stonesoup.io/wp-content/uploads/2018/07/ssl300x300.pngDimitris Manoukas2021-03-02 16:27:132021-03-02 16:27:16Digital Art in Athens and beyond: a curator’s view
Our coworking life and our safety at work were disrupted about a month ago. Since then we started working from home and avoiding social interactions to protect ourselves. Is it too soon to start thinking about the end of this social distancing experiment and imagine that our lives are going back to normal?
I guess one thing we all realised is that physical distancing really sucks! And that we take our social life for granted.
End of April we will start operating again and we want to make sure that our coworking space will be safe for all of you. We plan to be at the space 2-3 days a week for a few hours to manage member requests, play music and brew some coffee for you!
Coworking with safety at Stone Soup
We are in a fortunate situation compared to other busier coworking spaces and office environments. The number of people who use our space at any given time is usually quite low compared to the size of our workspace. That makes it possible to implement social distancing within our work environment.
However, for extra safety, we will not allow member drop-ins. We will also rearrange some of Stone Soup spaces to enable distancing ourselves (meeting rooms, kitchen) and we have installed additional disinfectants for members to use.
Some new rules will apply to make our workspace a safe environment to work at. Can we change alone or do we need the help of our members?
We are all in this together: let’s maintain the space clean
Help us keep our community safe and protected by implementing physical distancing measures and enhanced hygiene practices! We would also like to draw your attention to areas of high traffic, where lots of people engage with the same items and surfaces. Let’s be aware and protect ourselves from those areas!
Door handles: They are one of the most touched spots in the office. Use some tissue, your elbows or your hand within a sleeve to open the door. Before getting back to work, use anti-bacterial gel – especially if you’re about to eat.
Desks: Use one desk and don’t swipe seats in the coworking space. Please don’t share desk equipment and clean your phone, pens and your bag at least once per day.
Toilets: Always wash your hands after using the toilet and try not to touch the faucet or door handle on your way out.
Meeting rooms: We will reserve the meeting rooms for single-person use for virtual meetings, phone calls etc. We will charge no additional fees.
We will focus on providing a safe environment for our members and we hope that we will see you all coming back in the next weeks! If for some reason you think that continuing working from home suits you best don’t worry! Our COVID-19 mission is alive: to ensure that all our members can remain connected to their community, no matter the distance. We will continue the Virtual Coworking and you will still be able to interact with our members!
Safety rules for the protection of our coworking space
Here is a list summing up all our protective measures for how to maintain the coworking space safe and clean.
Keeping enough space between you and other people
If you can reach out and touch someone from your workstation, then your office isn’t set up for physical distancing.
Spray and wipe down your workspace before and after you use it.
Please use one desk and don’t swipe seats in the coworking space. Don’t share desk equipment and clean your phone, pens and your bag at least once per day.
Promote fresh airflow throughout the office
Open the windows and doors for at least 15mins, several times a day.
Consider taking all meetings online.
We will reserve the meeting rooms for single-person use for virtual meetings, phone calls etc. We will charge no additional fees.
Rearrange your private office plan.
Separate desks and give each member of your team their private space.
As you work, make sure you regularly wash your hands.
Door handles are one of the most touched spots in the office. Use some tissue, your elbows or your hand within a sleeve to open the door. Before getting back to work, use anti-bacterial gel – especially if you’re about to eat.
Limited use of the kitchen.
Minimize the use of the fridge. Use disposable cutlery and keep your own office mug which you will clean at the end of the day.
https://www.stonesoup.io/wp-content/uploads/2020/04/How-to-keep-our-workspace-safe.jpg13072500Olga Paraskevopoulouhttps://www.stonesoup.io/wp-content/uploads/2018/07/ssl300x300.pngOlga Paraskevopoulou2020-04-22 10:29:162020-07-05 19:20:15Protective measures for a safe coworking space
Monday to Sunday: Members access Stone Soup according to their membership type