Fluid Ground - A journey across the Black Sea
The psychogeography of Europe. A journey across the Black Sea
from Varna, Bulgaria to Poti, Georgia, from 21st – 23rd July, 2011
"…where is that firm land, on which so firm I stand?"
Inspired by Johann Gottfried Herder ’s Journal of "My Voyage in the Year 1769", the participants in the project FLUID GROUND will board a container ship in Bulgaria – the European’s Union’s youngest member state – to travel accross the Black Sea to the Southern Caucasus – Europe’s historical and geopolitical borderland with Asia.
A former sweet water lake, surrounded by the Eurasian terra fi rma, the Black Sea is a heterotopia par excellence. Nowhere else is the uncertainty of geographical defi nition as evident as it is here. In the absence of clear continental boundary with Asia, Europe is doomed to stay a matter of pure convention (Bernard-Henri Lévy: “It’s not a certain place, it’s an idea”) or even invention (Larry Wolff). Bulgaria and Romania’s pending accession to the Schengen zone complicates the continent’s demarcation even further.
Thus a journey across the Black Sea will offer an adequate platform to examine questions pertaining to Europe’s identity and integrity. To go back to Herder, the ship, fl oating between sea and sky, will become setting for philosophical adventure, offering new horizons for thinking; the fluidity of the maritime transfer highlighting the open, oceanic nature of thought: "Oh, spirit/soul, how will thou feel, apart from this world? The firm, narrow centre is fading away.
Thou art fluttering in the skies and gliding across the sea – The world lost beneath thee! What new ways of thinking!"
The smooth, limitless sea will become a background for meditation on the impossibility of borderlines, the phantasm of an obligatory geography and the (de)construction of national identity, as well as on (artistic) mobility, dislocation and (forced) migration towards a psychogeographic reconsideration of Europe, derived from its margins.
The container vessel will temporarily be transformed into a thinktank, confronting relevant cultural, artistic, economical, social and political discourses and practices , and blending them together. We will thus bridge the gap between research, refl ection and production. The project’s participants – artists, curators and critics – will travel on the container ship alongside regular passengers, such as mariners, security staff and, possibly, smugglers. The program will combine different formats – lectures, screenings, presentations and performances – creating a situation for spontaneous artistic/scientific exploration and "wild thinking" (Claude Lévi-Strauss). The group will be accompanied by journalists and writers who will document the project’s activities in a logbook and later publish it as a catalogue.
Varna (BG), Tuesday, July 19, 2011
Departure: Varna - Beloslav (BG), Wednesday, July 20, 2011
Arrival: Poti (GEO) Friday, July 22, 2011
Company: Navigation Maritime Bulgare - www.navbul.com
Accomodation: cabins, 3 - 4 beds, full boards
Costs: 210 $
Deadline for bookings: July 7, 2011
For further information please contact:
Heinrich-Böll-Stiftung Brandenburg, Inka Thunecke, E-Mail: firstname.lastname@example.org, Phone: +49-(0)331-200 57 8-0
Art Today Association, Jakob Racek, E-Mail: email@example.com, Phone: +359 8960 27 628 or +49 177 67 22 029.