Floating Territories

Simultaneously a program, a laboratory and a journey, Floating Territories was an actual boat navigating the waters of the Mediterranean linking the International Art Biennials of Istanbul, Athens and Venice.

Over the course of its ten-day journey, Floating Territories invited on board more than 40 artists, curators, philosophers and cultural activists to experience and experiment with the dynamic process of the constitution of a territory, a heterotopia.

In a visionary exercise, the project articulated reflections on the general state of contradiction between the need for freedom of movement and the fear of insecurity, with a focus on the Mediterranean region, which, since the twenty-first century, has served as a border rather than a cultural link.

Floating Territories with its dense program of art projects and public discussions - onboard and expanding in the cities during its temporary stops - was imagined as a platform for collective investigation and artistic production, fundamentally anchored in the question of the relation to the Other.

Examples along the journey
Writer, poet and essayist Abdelwahab Meddeb invited the audience to a debate entitled Displacements Eschyle / Dante / Ibn Arabi. Psychoanalyst and cultural critic Suely Rolnik gave a lecture on Lygia Clark and body memories that contaminate the museum. Bouchra Khalili, video artist and co-founder of the Cinematheque de Tanger, presented a selection of video work on the boat, on the theme of migration and borders. Curators Anselm Franke and Bart de Baere initiated a series of Mood Salons: the Istanbul edition showcased a miniature version of Hannah Hurzig's Blackmarket for Useful Knowledge and Non-Knowlegde to discuss the atmospheric politics though the gesture and creation of moods; the Athens edition explored lucidity and its shadows through questioning the heritage of the Enlightenment and its rationality. Artist Alex Cecchetti transformed the boat into an editorial office for his parasite magazine the unready, embedded within other magazines. There he invited artists, performers and musicians to look at the subject of Walter Benjamin’s The Storyteller, with Suzan Philipps, Tris Vonna-Michell and Alasdair Roberts as temporary editorial staff. Curator Chiara Parisi invited a rescue team on board, legendary architect and urbanist Yona Friedman created the logbook of the journey, artist Nico Dockx followed the trip by land, recording and producing the sound piece Floating Territories, a journal, and artist Brigitte de Malau conjured up a series of edible performances. Curator Evelyne Jouanno proposed to make a film during the voyage itself: depicting a fictional catastrophic scenario of a drifting world, the project gathered an important corpus of interviews with cultural producers – artists, writers, curators – revealing the powerful voices of those who try to imagine a new world. The journey ended with a closing conference entitled Culture and Cooperation – a European perspective, culminating in a spirited debate between Gottfried Wagner, Daniel Sibony and Nicola Setari as ‘presidents’ of the European Commission.

Other participants included: Brian Dillon, Jennifer Teets, Pelin Tan, Cevdet Erek, Erden Kosova, Irene Kopelman, Mariana Castillo Deball, Bulent Tanju, Eva Meyer, Katerina Gregos, Kodwo Eshun & Anjalika Sagar, Grant Watson, Dieter Roelstraete, Michalis Paparounis, Jennifer Nelson, Konstantious Papageorgiou, August Ort’s, Christian Frosi, Stanley Brinks (ex-André Herman Düne) & Clémence Fréchard, Liam Gillick, Jalal Toufic, Pascale Cassagnau, Christian de Marliave and Muriel Teodori.

Floating Territories, A journal, 2008
A logbook of dispersed conversations between the Building Transmissions collective, Kris Delacourt, Nico Dockx, Yona Friedman, Germana Innerhofer Jaulin, Jan Mast, Jean-Michel Meyers, Helena Sidiropoulos, Chiara Parisi & Jochem Vanden Ecker, arising from the Floating Territories project. Edited by the Evens Foundation.
To order

Simultaneously a program, a laboratory and a journey, Floating Territories was an actual boat navigating the waters of the Mediterranean linking the International Art Biennials of Istanbul, Athens and Venice.

Over the course of its ten-day journey, Floating Territories invited on board more than 40 artists, curators, philosophers and cultural activists to experience and experiment with the dynamic process of the constitution of a territory, a heterotopia.

In a visionary exercise, the project articulated reflections on the general state of contradiction between the need for freedom of movement and the fear of insecurity, with a focus on the Mediterranean region, which, since the twenty-first century, has served as a border rather than a cultural link.

Floating Territories with its dense program of art projects and public discussions - onboard and expanding in the cities during its temporary stops - was imagined as a platform for collective investigation and artistic production, fundamentally anchored in the question of the relation to the Other.

Examples along the journey
Writer, poet and essayist Abdelwahab Meddeb invited the audience to a debate entitled Displacements Eschyle / Dante / Ibn Arabi. Psychoanalyst and cultural critic Suely Rolnik gave a lecture on Lygia Clark and body memories that contaminate the museum. Bouchra Khalili, video artist and co-founder of the Cinematheque de Tanger, presented a selection of video work on the boat, on the theme of migration and borders. Curators Anselm Franke and Bart de Baere initiated a series of Mood Salons: the Istanbul edition showcased a miniature version of Hannah Hurzig's Blackmarket for Useful Knowledge and Non-Knowlegde to discuss the atmospheric politics though the gesture and creation of moods; the Athens edition explored lucidity and its shadows through questioning the heritage of the Enlightenment and its rationality. Artist Alex Cecchetti transformed the boat into an editorial office for his parasite magazine the unready, embedded within other magazines. There he invited artists, performers and musicians to look at the subject of Walter Benjamin’s The Storyteller, with Suzan Philipps, Tris Vonna-Michell and Alasdair Roberts as temporary editorial staff. Curator Chiara Parisi invited a rescue team on board, legendary architect and urbanist Yona Friedman created the logbook of the journey, artist Nico Dockx followed the trip by land, recording and producing the sound piece Floating Territories, a journal, and artist Brigitte de Malau conjured up a series of edible performances. Curator Evelyne Jouanno proposed to make a film during the voyage itself: depicting a fictional catastrophic scenario of a drifting world, the project gathered an important corpus of interviews with cultural producers – artists, writers, curators – revealing the powerful voices of those who try to imagine a new world. The journey ended with a closing conference entitled Culture and Cooperation – a European perspective, culminating in a spirited debate between Gottfried Wagner, Daniel Sibony and Nicola Setari as ‘presidents’ of the European Commission.

Other participants included: Brian Dillon, Jennifer Teets, Pelin Tan, Cevdet Erek, Erden Kosova, Irene Kopelman, Mariana Castillo Deball, Bulent Tanju, Eva Meyer, Katerina Gregos, Kodwo Eshun & Anjalika Sagar, Grant Watson, Dieter Roelstraete, Michalis Paparounis, Jennifer Nelson, Konstantious Papageorgiou, August Ort’s, Christian Frosi, Stanley Brinks (ex-André Herman Düne) & Clémence Fréchard, Liam Gillick, Jalal Toufic, Pascale Cassagnau, Christian de Marliave and Muriel Teodori.

Floating Territories, A journal, 2008
A logbook of dispersed conversations between the Building Transmissions collective, Kris Delacourt, Nico Dockx, Yona Friedman, Germana Innerhofer Jaulin, Jan Mast, Jean-Michel Meyers, Helena Sidiropoulos, Chiara Parisi & Jochem Vanden Ecker, arising from the Floating Territories project. Edited by the Evens Foundation.
To order