Emergent Strategies from the Deep traces maritime undercurrents and navigates the flux of the sea, opening as an archive of passageways and its ever evolving ripple effects. This exhibition traces underwater memory, the sea’s life and corporality in an exhibition that activates stories, experiences and forms of critical knowledge narrated by water.

The sea is a map. The sea routes re-memorize the timeless vortex that whirl past, future, present making space for echoing underwater reverberations and reminding us that nothing is permanent: histories,        are always in fluxus. 

In the beginning we set out to ask: 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, hydro-poetics 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 beings in the Mediterranean context?

From here unfolds the interdisciplinary and collective conversations between artists, scholars, chefs, technicians, scientists and other activists from all over the world, who came together to engage with these questions at a residency in the Calabria region in Southern Italy. For two weeks in June 2021, during a heatwave among other fluctuating conditions, we deliberated on ways of translating what it means to be in relationship to the sea and its life flows.

The artists-in-residence, whose work will come together in this presentation, have in common not only the thread of the sea as a fluid archive, but also a way of understanding the interconnectedness between the water and all things living. How we understand the sea is how we understand ourselves.

The work presented takes up the challenge of navigating the Mediterranean on wavelengths not necessarily flowing against dominant narratives, but rather as a powerful undercurrent disrupting the way stories about identity, trade, war, migration, colonialism, and degradation of the marine environments have historically been imagined.