Rasa Smite and Raitis Smits are
artists, curators and cultural innovators, working with science and
emerging media technologies since the roaring mid-90s. They are key
founders of RIXC - Riga based artist collective and the center for new
media culture, co-curators of Art+Communication festivals, and chief
editors of Acoustic Space - peer-reviewed journal series.
Their art works are long-lasting ('slow'), process-based, experimental, often collaborations with other artists, networked, visionary and contextualized - as created in context with their regular festivals and reflected in the Acoustic Space publications. Through artworks, projects and events they together with RIXC have been introducing novelty themes such as 'internet radio' (1997 / 1998 - their pioneering internet radio network project Xchange was awarded with PRIX Ars Electronica in), 'acoustic space lab' (since 2001 - collaboration with radio astronomers at Irbene Radiotelescope), 'locative media' (2003 - coined this term together with Marc Tuters), 'waves' (2006 and 2008 - co-curated large-scale exhibitions in Riga and Dortmund together with Armin Medosch), spectral ecology (2007). Since 2009 they are engaged in sustainability quests, building Renewable Network - North-European cooperation platform for art and science, and focusing on themes such as 'renewable energy' (2009), 'transbiotics' (2010), 'techno-ecologies' (2011), 'art of resilience' (2012).
More recently, Rasa and Raitis organized the 5th Media Art Histories: ReNew conference in Riga, 2013, and co-curated large-scale exhibition FIELDS in Riga, May-August, 2014 together with Armin Medosch. Now out is also their book "Talk to Me" (2014) that introduces their artistic research project on human-plant communication. Their extensive art and science research project and networked sound installation "Biotricity" (created together with sound artist Voldemars Johansons) was recently exhibited in "Project Genesis" exhibition in the Ars Electronica Center (2013-2014), and new, the updated version - in the FIELDS exhibition in Riga (2014).
Rasa Smite holds PhD in sociology, and MA in visual arts. Currently Rasa Smite is Associate Professor in New Media Art programme at Liepaja University and researcher at the Art Research Lab (MPLab). She is author of the book "Creative Networks, in the Rear-View Mirror of Easter-European History" which is based on her PhD thesis, and is published by Amsterdam's Institute for Network Culture (2012).
Raitis Smits is PhD candidate at the Latvian Academy of Arts. His thesis on "New Media Art. The problematics of preservation and representation" will be defended by February 2015. He works as Docent (Assistant Professor) in Visual communication departement at the Latvian Academy of Arts.
Rasa Smite and Raitis Smits are also teaching in other universities in Latvia and Europe, as well as lecturing in media art festivals and conferences on different topics of contemporary media art.