Emilija Škarnulytė

Emilija Škarnulytė (b. Vilnius, Lithuania 1987) is an artist and filmmaker.

Working between documentary and the imaginary, Škarnulytė makes films and immersive installations exploring deep time and invisible structures, from the cosmic and geologic to the ecological and political. Her blind grandmother gently touches the weathered statue of a Soviet dictator. Neutrino detectors and particular colliders measure the cosmos with otherworldly architecture. Post-human species swim through submarine tunnels above the Arctic Circle and crawl through tectonic fault lines in the Middle Eastern desert.

Winner of the 2019 Future Generation Art Prize, Škarnulytė represented Lithuania at the XXII Triennale di Milano and was included in the Baltic Pavilion at the 2018 Venice Biennale of Architecture. With solo exhibitions at Tate Modern (2021), Kunsthaus Pasquart (2021), Den Frie (2021), National Gallery of Art in Vilnius (2021), CAC (2015) and Kunstlerhaus Bethanien (2017), she has participated in group shows at Ballroom Marfa, Seoul Museum of Art, Kadist Foundation, and the First Riga Biennial. In 2022, Škarnulytė participated in the group exhibition Penumbra organized by Fondazione In Between Art Film on the occasion of the 59th Venice Biennale. Her numerous prizes include the Kino der Kunst Project Award, Munich (2017); Spare Bank Foundation DNB Artist Award (2017), and the National Lithuanian Art Prize for Young Artists (2016)), and she was nominated as the candidate for the Ars Fennica art award 2023. She received an undergraduate degree from the Brera Academy of Art in Milan and holds a masters from the Tromsø Academy of Contemporary Art.

Her films are in the IFA, Kadist Foundation and Centre Pompidou collections and have been screened at the Serpentine Gallery, UK, Centre Pompidou, France, and the Museum of Modern Art, New York and in numerous film festivals including in Rotterdam, Busan, and Oberhausen. Most recently she concluded her tenures at Art Explora and Cite des Art, which occurred on the heels of another significant residency at the MAK Center for Art and Architecture. She is a founder and currently co-directs Polar Film Lab, a collective for analogue film practice located in Tromsø, Norway and is a member of artist duo New Mineral Collective, recently commissioned for a new work by the First Toronto Biennial.

Contact: skarnulyte.emilija@gmail.com


Loop video, 2023, 4K

Data is not an abstract concept. It is an object on Earth. As the limitations of data retention in normal environments become more apparent, given the exponential growth of data created, entities that control cloud servers seek more and more novel means of storage. The deep oceanic environment is paradoxical. It offers temperature control, predictable patterns, and insulation from human error and the seasonal vicissitudes of climate above mean sea level. It is also a black box. Without close human contact, subject to unknown risks, ranging from marine fouling by invertebrate lifeforms and chemical reactions to unpredictable seismic events, new vulnerabilities emerge.

Rakhne is an exploration of the meeting point of the hidden and the revealed, the artificial and the natural, constructed with computer imagery and AI-generated polyvocal music to investigate the ways in which data is constructed and mythologized in the present moment.


Written and directed by Emilija Škarnulytė

Producers Emilija Škarnulytė

Editors     Vytautas Tinteris

Sound design   Jokūbas Čižikas      

Swimmer   Emilija Škarnulytė

Production     Mirror Matter Productions