Supporting advanced research on Byzantine art and culture
via emerging technologies
The Karoussos Residency Programme at the Karoussos Center supports researchers in developing new approaches to Byzantine art and culture with cutting-edge scholarships that contribute to the understanding and preservation of cultural heritage through emerging technologies. Scholars have the opportunity to spend considerable time in one of the world's leading archives during their stay, where they will join an international community of scholars and researchers. Scholars reside at the Karousos Center in the Peloponnese region, a fully restored 18th-century Maniot residence that houses the Karousos Archives, which through virtual, hybrid, and augmented reality environments creates a pioneering path to cultural heritage on a global scale.
CURRENT PROGRAMMES 2023 -2024
FULLY FUNDED RESIDENCY
APPLICATIONS ARE NOW CLOSED
Culture Moves Europe, Goethe Institute, Creative Europe Programme
09 -30 April 2024
Number of residents
Verga, Messenian Mani, Peloponnese, Greece (https://goo.gl/maps/6PKoL8En5BWAgRoz5)
St. Spyridon Chapel lies right next to the Center of the Karoussos Archives and as a pre-revolutionary monument, it is protected by the laws of Cultural Heritage. In 2021 Karoussos Archives undertook the revival of the chapel, in order to reinstate the monument, considering its artistic and cultural values. The project transcended standards across all artistic and religious fields to initiate the groundbreaking visualization of hybrid frescoes and profound metanarratives of its cultural context. The chapel of St. Spyridon, in Verga, is a model of creative management of cultural heritage, at a global level, created in the context of the organization's action for the re-establishment of Byzantine monuments. Freed from a linear framework of knowledge production, hybrid frescoes, and their linked metanarratives open up numerous powerful possibilities for cultural initiatives. To open up these possibilities, Karoussos Archives advances on to the next phase of the chapel’s regeneration, which addresses its reintegration into modern society. For this reason, Karoussos Archives welcomes scholars who work across the fields of art, culture, and humanities to build together strategic cultural policies of cultural participation, social cohesion, and innovation, so to promote better access and wider connection in the chapel’s new cultural framework.
Back in Byzantine times, the people and the land were united. They lived in a unique environment in which agrarian, spiritual, and artistic elements were linked and subscribed to a seasonal cycle regulated by planting and harvesting, growth, and decline. As the villages were always under the protection of divine spirits, this cycle coincided with a calendar of ritual celebrations. Thus, the church served as a landmark and the beginning point for all the events in life.
Aiming to reintegrate the chapel into contemporary society and having all its metanarratives at its disposal, numerous significant questions are applied to the residency project:
Considering the new St. Spyridon church as our contemporary landmark, how might this holistic setting be transformed into our transhumanistic era?
In light of climate change, is it possible to develop a new seasonal cycle? If so, with what elements should a holistic and sustainable ecosystem be linked? What are the types of the new agrarian, spiritual, and artistic elements?
What would a post-humanistic ritual celebration look like? What would be the character of panygeries (fests) today, as they were one of the key ritual celebrations that kept the elements inextricably tied and the seasonal cycles sustainable?
Assuming that religious ideas such as miracles, epiphanies, transfiguration, and multidimensional aspects intersect with metaverse elements, how can they be expressed in a way that is consistent with our modern thinking without losing their cultural identity?
The project will be carried out via research and meetings. Residents and external experts will be invited to make presentations on their topics at each meeting, which will lead to in-depth discussions. Residents will work on identifying practices and structuring the final report between meetings. To improve collaboration among the participants, a critique coordination session will be held in which each participant will take the role of either the presenter or the mediator. All participants will deliver and present research updates on a regular basis. Public presentations of the final reports and/or work-based projects will be made.
Mentoring activities include:
Two Introductory Sessions
Two individual one-hour sessions with each one of the participants
Brainstorm and research meetings
Supervision of reports
Each resident's final report will be a research paper based on their findings. The papers will be published on the organization's website. The final papers will be presented in public.
The Membership Residency is a one-of-a-kind programme that allows scholars to enjoy the benefits of the Karousos Club both during and after their residency.
They join the club as all-inclusive members after the subscription for their residency.
English and Greek
1–2 weeks in June, September, or October each year
Number of scholars in residence during a session
By the Karoussos Archives Academic Board
Karoussos Archives supports research and creativity which can lead to advanced projects in the Byzantine realm of art and culture. Scholars seek to reimagine the creative route of Byzantine iconography by applying novel approaches via emerging technologies.
Our approach to creativity and culture has been profoundly altered by digital technologies. They offer new perspectives on how we access and preserve cultural assets, enriching creative capital and strengthening our ability to communicate and interact with our cultural identities.
The use of technology in cultural heritage produced a number of databases, visualisation tools, 3D immersive environments, multi-sensory interactions, and other simulations, which serve as platforms for aggregating digitised cultural resources and facilitating their use and display in innovative products and services.
Yet, emerging technologies have not yet identified and deployed those elements that could convey the essence of heritage, particularly in cultural heritage with monumental features, such as Byzantine art. This is due to the absence of an environment capable of synchronizing the physical and virtual frameworks and enabling integrated knowledge.
One of the major issues with Byzantine monumental art as a cultural asset is its spiritual service. Any form of access to the cultural asset (analog or digital) must include as a key structural element the production of those processes that reveal the value of this service. The dialectic between the old (context) and the new (hyper-context) must be clear and distinct in the case of the digital environment, where the cultural asset is to be reintroduced into a new framework. As a result, the production of the processes by which the cultural element declares its service should generate a completely new framework.
By examining the multidimensional aspects of these culturally expressive forms, scholars seek to reroute the creative development of Byzantine monumental art toward a flourishing contemporary continuity, introducing novel ways of building cultural analysis of Byzantine art.
Residents must work on the online platform to submit a report of their daily outcomes in any format they prefer (short text, lists, sketches, etc.).
Residents must submit their final report to the Karoussos Archives in the form of an Academic paper no later than 30 days after their residency ends.
Please keep in mind that Karoussos Archives has the ability to publish the paper in hard copy or online.
Offered by the host:
The program ensures the validity of knowledge by providing a 100-year experience in Byzantine Monumental Art:
With its unique Byzantine cultural repository, the Karoussos Archive offers leading cultural content for analysis and processing that can fully support research and ensure its integrity when introduced into new environments (digital or other).
The original worksheets from frescoes executed in Byzantine churches, photographs, and slides from the study and work process, remain deliberately unpublished so that they can be used as a first-class resource for cultural heritage research.
On-site studies of the frescoes and their prototype digital adaptations with parallel guidance and consulting.
Academic sessions held on-site
Online coaching after the residency for the completion of the final report.
The residency is held at the Karoussos Center in Verga, Messinian Mani, Peloponnese. The Maniot house, which dates from the late 1800s, became a property of the Karoussos family in 1974. This place was the artistic shelter of the late painter Iannis Karoussos. The house has recently been used as a museum as well as a location for research, lectures, roundtable discussions, and other cultural events.
Karoussos Center is located on a Mountain Taygetus hill at Verga village and offers a view of the entire Messinian Bay and the Ionian Sea. Verga village is a historic place in the Maniot area. There is a distance of about 3km from the city of Kalamata. The residence's location may necessitate the rental of a car. These costs are not covered by the Center.
The program is entirely free. To stay at the Center, however, the resident must have a Karoussos Membership card. As a result, if your application is approved, you must pay a membership annual reduced fee of 300€ (for a week's residency) or 500€ (for two weeks' residency). The annual membership has no joining fee and includes all membership benefits for one year. Breakfast and light snacks are available at the residence. There is also the possibility of providing low-cost lunch and/or dinner.
Residents will be held liable for any damage or loss that occurs on the premises of the Karoussos Center.
The programme is generally intended for interdisciplinary scholars in the early stages of their careers. Candidates should be at the postgraduate level (Masters, Ph.D., Post-Doc) in the following areas, though not limited to these: Humanities, Digital Humanities, Theology, and Arts.
The application must include:
· Cover letter
· Detailed CV
· Field research report (1,500 words) (including expected results and contribution to the overall research)
· Copy of valid passport
The above documents should be sent electronically to
One can apply for up to two weeks during the months of June, September, and October. It is possible to apply for other times of the year; this can be discussed with the host based on availability.
The necessary documents can be written in either English or Greek. Incomplete applications will be rejected.
15 April (for June residency)
15 July ( for September or October residencies)