As the linden trees bloom and the second honey harvest of the year draws near, Akee Space for Culture presents a new project for this summer called Participating Bees. In the village of Aleknaičiai located in the Pakruojis district, bees and local people have been sharing the territory of a former school for at least 70 years. Around 60 linden trees have been planted for the bees to thrive, while white clover, beloved by bees, is sown and maintained in the meadows. Over time, the walls of the school building have become a habitat for wild bees. In the face of the changing climate and agricultural practices that negatively affect insect populations, the Akee area, along with homesteads, abandoned cemeteries, overgrown swimming spots and the surrounding vegetation, has become a sanctuary for local insects, contributing to the balance of local biodiversity and the continuity of beekeeping culture.
Bees are essential pollinators for many species of plants. Their ongoing decline has a significant impact on human agricultural activities, the economy, and the thriving of biodiversity. Recognizing the importance of bees, people collectively seek ways to modify their environment and activities for the benefit of bees. Currently, sustainable funding mechanisms are in place to promote the preservation of bee habitats and food sources, the quantity and nature of pesticide use is regulated, communication campaigns are implemented, and changes in legislation are enacted. Thus, bees influence the conditions of human farming, urban development and resource extraction, and participate in creating territories that are inhabited jointly by humans and bees.
In the context of interdependence, adaptation, and change, the participants of this project – architect Mindaugas Reklaitis, architect and urbanist Paulius Kliučininkas, and artist Jurgis Bernatonis – will explore the participation of buzzing bees in scenarios of biodiversity, environmental creation, and beekeeping culture in the Pakruojis district. The project period coincides with the working season of bees – throughout the summer, the participants will gather materials and use various tools from urban planning, speculative architecture, and logarithms to create and organise educational workshops for the residents and guests of the Pakruojis district. At the end of the summer, the results of the work and research will be presented at the Akee Space for Culture.
About the participants:
Mindaugas Reklaitis is an architect, producer and researcher, currently working as an exhibition architect at the National Gallery of Art in Vilnius. He has elaborated his interest on performative architecture as a critical spatial practice that can be seen in his interdisciplinary artistic activities and installations exhibited in multiple art galleries. During the project, Reklaitis will use speculative architecture methods to explore architectures created by non-human elements of the environment and their impact on human-created architecture. Non-human materialities and temporal processes found in the vicinity of the Akee administrative building and its surroundings will be interpreted in a spatial installation, revealing the equality between humans and the surrounding living and non-living nature.
Paulius Kliučininkas is an architect and urbanist focusing on exploring the connections between European and Baltic Sea region strategies, everyday living environments and lifestyles. His work revolves around architectural and urban innovation, including regional and urban planning, maritime spatial planning, urban regeneration, and the transformation of post-war neighbourhoods. During the project, Kliučininkas aims to create alternative visions of beekeeping, circular economy practices and regional lifestyles. Through the compilation of a regional atlas for Akee Space for Culture, he intends to shed light on the local natural and bio-productive environment by considering the perspectives and needs of bees in terms of biology, community, and circular economy principles.
Jurgis Bernatonis is an artist who works and resides in Vilnius. In his artistic practice, he explores various algorithmic bodies and traces of their hidden rituals. By taking part in this project, Bernatonis aims to create a space where these “invisible” bodies take on a certain form and interact with the environment in a variety of ways. His creations examine the realms of interpreting and representing digital data.
Organiser: Akee Space for Culture
Curator: Vilius Vaitiekūnas
Participants: Mindaugas Reklaitis, Paulius Kliučininkas, Jurgis Bernatonis
Communication coordinator: Viltė Visockaitė
The project is financed by the Lithuanian Council for Culture and Pakruojis District Municipality