Fluid Ground

  • International symposium on board of a cargo ship across the Black Sea (Varna-Batumi-Tbilisi)

    July 21-25, 2011


Inka Thunecke, director, Heinrich-Böll-Foundation (Potsdam)
Karoline Weber, media philosopher (Stuttgart)
Ulrike Grelck, art historian (Berlin)
Livia Pancu, curator at the Vector Art Center (Iasi)
Simonetta Ferfoglia
Heinrich Pichler, ‘Gangart’ Artists collective (Vienna)
Nadja Abt, artist (Berlin)
Sebastian Bodirsky, filmmaker (Berlin)
Anna Soucek, curator (Vienna)
Susanna Gyulamiryan, curator, art critic, and head of ACSL
Nini Palavandishvili, curator, GeoAIR (Tbilisi)
Jakob Racek, curator (Plovdiv)


A group of 16 artists, curators, theoreticians, and cultural activists from 8 different countries went on board of a ship, connecting the two Black Sea ports of Varna (Bulgaria) and Batumi (Georgia). The program included lectures, presentations and discussions, real-time interventions, and documentation.

The symposium across the Black Sea was based on the idea of inter-disciplinary collaboration, cross-linking artistic practice, knowledge production, research and reflection in this remote and mobile location. The freighter was temporarily transformed into a think-tank, confronting relevant cultural, artistic, economic, social, and political discourses and practices, blending them together. Thus, the journey offered an adequate platform to examine questions pertaining to Europe’s identity and integrity. The ‘think-tank’ was enriched with readers and a mobile library.



July 20
– Kick off meeting and presentations at the Graffit Gallery in Varna, Bulgaria.

July 22
– Tactic and strategic activities of partner organizations within the HEICO Project (Heritage, Identity and communication in European Contemporary Art Practices) by Inka Thuneke.
– Fluid Ground. The (psycho) geography of Europe by Jakob Racek.
– Lost in the sea. The Oceanic nature of Uncertainty by Karoline Weber.

July 23
– Vector – Peripheric Biennale and Almost Institution by Livia Pancu, curator at the ‘Vector’ Art Center, Romania.
– Inventing Transcaucasia by Susanna Gyulamiryan.
– Visual notations on the ship by Nadja Abt.

July 24
– Arrival in Batumi and transfer to Tbilisi, visiting GeoAIR and other cultural institutions in Tbilisi.

The ‘Fluid Ground’ was realized in the framework of the HEICO project and funded with support from the European Commission.
The ‘Fluid Ground’ was granted by Goethe-Institute in Bulgaria and the Austrian Embassy in Sofia.