Water Weighs.
Tracing underwater memory, the sea’s life and its corporality

Together with the MAREBOX project, SAVVY Contemporary is pleased to announce the call for artists and interdisciplinary teams to participate in Water Weighs. Tracing underwater memory, the sea’s life and its corporality.

Developing cultural, artistic, innovative and audience-centered experiences on the topic of underwater culture, through the bridging of culture and audiovisual content, is the key objective of the MAREBOX Project.
Through this open Call for Artists, we aim to:

> Bring artistic views and practices to highlight and raise awareness of the current challenges of the Mediterranean Sea.

> Create greater openness to partnerships between arts, culture, science and the business industry with a mission to promote and protect maritime cultural and natural wealth, making it accessible to the public.

> Connect people with their past, their present and future, through the long-term survival and accessibility of our shared maritime heritage.

Various artistic practices and innovative digital experiences will form an audience centered exhibition that will be displayed in spaces around Europe, with an aim to enable the protection and promotion of European Underwater Cultural Heritage and to raise awareness on the current challenges of the sea.

This call is open for multidisciplinary teams or individuals whose work and research is concerned with the possibility of exploring the memory of the sea and the flux of its layered and complex underwater life, and in engaging with listening to echoes from the sea. The artists are expected to provide creative ideas that can be worked through a multi-disciplinary Residency Programme for the creation of artworks. Artworks created by the applicants will be displayed in exhibition spaces in Greece, Italy and Germany. A final exhibition will be curated by SAVVY Contemporary.

"The Sea is History", as Derek Walcott reminds us in his well-known poem. Sea is limitless. Sea is a Map. Sea routes re-memory the timeless bridges that link the past with the present and the future. 

The Mediterranean seabed hosts remains of human traces that cover more than 5000 years of European and World history. It is also home to huge amounts of marine debris, anthropogenic, manufactured, or processed solid material discarded, disposed of, or abandoned in the environment, being currently considered one hot spot of microplastics pollution in the world. 

Relating to the European cultural and natural maritime heritage can create a better understanding of European identities – among citizens and not-yet-citizens –, of common grounds of struggle and reciprocal and represent a common ground for environmental struggles. In the last decade, the Mediterranean Sea has been made into the deadliest border Europe ever had but we should keep in mind that in fact it is not a borderscape but a territory of multidirectional possibilities, a weave of narratives still to be listened to and of echoes getting louder. Yet it is also a space where underwater interspecies collaborations are happening and new communities are being created.

We invite artists, scientists, historians, activists, designers, coders, policymakers, and practitioners of other disciplines to submit proposals starting from the following questionings:

How does the sea function as a deep archive? How do time and space collapse into a continuum and a flowing of memories and histories across continents and eras? Can water imagery and sea as imagined space help imploding geographical and affective distance? How can we engage with liquid violence, hydropoetics of displacement, and ocean forensics? How can we read the dispersion of people and the construction of diasporas in Europe through water? Can we formulate new perspectives on marine ecologies, and the tangible effects of climate change and anthropogenic violence on the sea? What can we learn about our corporality from the sea, and its underwater cosmologies? How can we formulate new ways of fluidity and multiple being in the Mediterranean context?

Within the MAREBOX project, we encounter the sea as a time capsule that connects the past with the present and we aspire to bring to light stories narrated by the Sea through cultural expression, innovation, technology, creativity and artistic works under the core theme: Underwater Culture.

Residency Programme
The Residency Programme will take place after the selection of teams. The selected teams (preferably of 3 people each) or persons will be invited for a two-week-long residency in Calabria, organized by 3DResearch (project partner) and supported by the University of Calabria.  Every resident will be hosted in the studios and accommodations provided by the Municipality of Cosenza or the University of Calabria.

The residency will encourage critical moments of discussion and exchange during the first 3 days. Scholars, writers and professionals of various disciplines will take part.

During the residency programme, several workshops will take place along with artwork creation, tutoring and supporting the teams. Among the workshops of the residency programme, a “Creative Innovation Lab” workshop will take place, focused on the creation of an exhibition that mingles the cultural with artistic and creative sector and technology. 

The residency programme will take place around the end of May 2021. Travelling costs to the residency, accommodation and food are covered by the project (any other costs for personal expenses are not covered). The residency programme will cover the artist’s production costs (fully or partially) and will provide a living/working space. In addition to the above, all the artists will receive the needed help, in terms of materials and professional staff for the creation of the projects. Depending on their concept/idea of work, artists may be granted access to a database of digital material of third parties (photos, videos, 3D models etc.) for explicit use in the MAREBOX project.

The Exhibition
The designed exhibition will display digital technologies and replicas of artefacts jointly used to communicate the relationship between the European cultures and the Mediterranean Sea. The exhibition will be hosted in three exhibition spaces in Europe for a month – in Consenza (Italy), Alonissos (Greece), and Berlin (Germany), and it will be curated by SAVVY Contemporary. The exhibition can be potentially transferred within various locations around Europe after the project.