The Current IV: Caribbean
Convening #1 “...telling of oceanic transformations”
Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic
December 8 – December 9, 2023

Design: Pardo



A two-day multidisciplinary festival curated by Yina Jiménez Suriel, Curatorial Fellow of The Current IV: Caribbean: "otras montañas, las que andan sueltas bajo el agua" [other mountains, adrift beneath the waves].

On the coasts, living beings test the aesthetic tools and strategies [1] that allow them to return to the ocean. Until a few centuries ago, these trials mainly took place on the slopes of volcanos. Then they started to appear on mountain tops and, in recent decades, they have also started to crop up on the coasts, many of them made up of caliche or ancient coral reefs, always in relief and given a certain resonance by the wind.

Convening #1: "…para contar transformaciones oceánicas" [telling of oceanic transformations] is a two-day festival conceived as an ambitious trial made up of several parts, each of which is intended to give continuity—through bodily exercises—to the tools and strategies that contribute to our reconciliation with the ocean’s constant movement.

The festival’s point of departure is the evolution of the marine channel which, until less than a million years ago, existed between the current Neiba Bay in the Dominican Republic and Port-au-Prince in Haiti, and the bodies of water it left behind—Rincón Lagoon, Lake Enriquillo, and Lake Azuéi. It will then go on to examine, through conversations, workshops, screenings and contemporary dance, the evolution of the ocean in this part of the Caribbean tectonic plate, and how certain conditions, perfect for the emergence of very particular living beings, came to arise. This area also includes mountain systems that were key spaces on the island of Ayiti/Quisqueya (Hispaniola), allowing us to trial of some of the aesthetic tools and strategies that accompanied us during the first year of our work on The Current IV (escapism, flotation, improvisation) and, at the same time, introducing others that will accompany us over the coming year (oneiric states, transmutation and repetition).

The trials proposed by Convening #1 take inspiration from certain living beings, whose bodily forms and sensory and perceptive systems embody the oceanic transformations that they have experienced over thousands of years, namely corals and Coccothrinax. The latter are a family of palms which, to date, are endemic to the Caribbean tectonic plate. The purpose is to investigate how, from our human bodily nature and sensory and perceptive capacity, we can establish relationships with oceanic-geological transformations of a scale that utterly dwarfs us.

Today we are on the coast, and soon we will be on the other mountains, adrift beneath the waves.

— Yina Jiménez Suriel

Yina Jiménez Suriel
Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic
Juan Almonte, Víctor Arcturus Estrella, Yasmín Evangelista, Nadia Huggins, Yina Jiménez Suriel, Monique Johnson, Plinio Lora, Patricia Molina, Markus Reymann, Daymé del Toro, danie valencia sepúlveda, among others.
December 8, 2023
2:30 pm
Welcome remarks
With Markus Reymann, co-director of TBA21, and Yina Jiménez Suriel, curator

2:55 pm
Coral and Ash
Screening of the film by Nadia Huggins, visual artist 

3:15 pm
Vamos a nadar hasta convertirnos en corales [Let's swim until we become corals]
Workshop with Patricia Molina, psychologist, Nadia Huggins, artist, and Yasmín Evangelista, marine biologist

How to Move Like the Ocean (Liquefaction, Lubrication & Expansion in Twelve Easy Steps) 
Film by choreographer and dancer Temitope Ajose-Cutting and writer and editor Quinn Latimer

6:15 pm
Screening of the audiovisual work by Plinio Lora, architect conducting research on the Coccothrinax palm family

December 9, 2023
9:30 am
Welcome remarks of the second day
With Markus Reymann, co-Director of TBA21, and Yina Jiménez Suriel, curator

9:55 am
Screening of the audiovisual work by Plinio Lora, architect conducting research on the Coccothrinax palm family

10:00 am
embriones de tiempo persiguiendo la vida: 
otras formas de transmutar el caos y romper con la fábrica de mundos
[embryos of time chasing life: 
other ways to transmute chaos and break with the factory of worlds]
Keynote by danie valencia sepúlveda, errorist and educator, followed by a Q&A session 

11:00 am
Keynote by Juan Almonte, paleontologist, followed by a Q&A session 

12:00 pm
Circa no future 
Screening of the film by Nadia Huggins, visual artist 

2:00 pm
Circa no future
Screening of the film by Nadia Huggins, visual artist 

2:05 pm
Improvisation workshop
With Daymé del Toro, contemporary dancer and choreographer

4:05 pm
Somos Los Cenotes, episode 4 [We Are The Cenotes, episode 4]
Formations, episode 2 
La Cueva Taina [The Taino Cave]
Screening of the films by DRSS, speleologists

4:15 pm
Workshop with Monique Johnson, volcanologist and Víctor Estrella, artist

18:15 pm
Screening of the audiovisual work by Plinio Lora, architect conducting research on the Coccothrinax palm family 

18:30 pm
El espacio que habito, soy ave marina [The space I inhabit, I am a seabird]
Contemporary dance performance directed by Daymé del Toro, staged by Erick Roque & Patricia Ortega. 
TEMITOPE AJOSE-CUTTING is a choreographer, dancer and movement director who staged works for the Royal Opera House, The Place, DanceXchange, RichMix, Dancebase and the Soho Joyce (New York), among others.

JUAN ALMONTE is the curator of the fossil vertebrate collection of the National Museum of Natural History Prof. Eugenio de Jesús Marcano, with more than 25 years dedicated to exploration and paleontological studies in the Caribbean. 

VÍCTOR ARCTURUS ESTRELLA is an actor, writer, rapper, and interdisciplinary artist trained in physical theater, masks, and comedy, graduated from the Royal Central School of Speech and Drama in London.

DRSS is a nonprofit organization and a member of the Federación Espeleológica de América Latina y el Caribe, representing the Dominican Republic in exploratory and conservation missions of submerged caves.

YASMÍN EVANGELISTA is a scientific diver, a rescue diver, and a biology student at the Universidad Autónoma de Santo Domingo where she researches coral health at spatial and temporal scales.

NADIA HUGGINS is a visual artist whose photography work merges documentary and conceptual practices, exploring belonging, identity, and memory through a contemporary approach focused on re-presenting Caribbean landscapes and the sea.

YINA JIMÉNEZ SURIEL is a curator, researcher and the Curatorial Fellow of TBA21–Academy's The Current IV, a three years research project entitled otras montañas, las que andan sueltas bajo el agua.

MONIQUE JOHNSON is an Earth scientist exploring the impacts of geological hazards in the Eastern Caribbean, including the barriers and capacities for disaster risk reduction in Caribbean Societies.

QUINN LATIMER is a California-born poet, critic, and editor whose work often explores feminist economies of writing, reading, and moving-image production.

PLINIO LORA is an architect and a biogeographical researcher of the Caribbean. His research focuses on the architectural performance of tropical architecture and the study of endemic palm species.

PATRICIA MOLINA is a clinical psychologist and yoga and meditation instructor specializing in crisis and trauma and the founder of "Surya, Holistic Health", a space for complementary therapies and care from a biopsychosocial and spiritual perspective.

PATRICIA ORTEGA is a dancer, teacher and choreographer with more than 10 years of experience in contemporary dance. She is a manager and producer of alternative spaces for the exhibition, dissemination, analysis and reflection of dance.

MARKUS REYMANN is Co-Director of TBA21. He co-founded TBA21–Academy as the foundation’s research arm for fostering a deeper relationship with the Ocean and other bodies of water.

DAYMÉ DEL TORO is a dancer, teacher, and choreographer of the National Company of Contemporary Dance and master choreographer of the National School of Dance in the Dominican Republic.

danie valencia sepúlveda is an errorist, educator, translator, cultural programmer, and independent researcher, the founder of a counter-pedagogical research platform, Permanent Circle of Independent Studies and editor-in-chief of the Terremoto magazine.
The Current IV: Caribbean: "otras montañas, las que andan sueltas bajo el agua" (other mountains, adrift beneath the waves)

Curated by Yina Jiménez Suriel, The Current IV, 2023–2025, intends to contribute to the emancipatory processes in the region that have sought to bring its inhabitants closer to the Ocean and that began in the high mountains above sea level. The project will focus on identifying, studying, and spreading the knowledge of the aesthetic strategies and tools generated from the Maroon experience in the Caribbean through the production of aesthetic thought, based on the premise that this approach will bring us closer to inhabiting the mountains that are below the level of the Caribbean Sea, as they were aesthetic practices that sought to reconcile the human body with the constant movement — the Ocean.
[1] This concept was developed through the La historia de las montañas [The History of Mountains] research project, and refers to different forms of sensory knowledge created by living beings of the human species in relation to other living beings in different parts of the world and at different times, which allow us to touch desire and thus access that which the psychoanalyst Suely Rolnik calls our vital force. Here we make a distinction between aesthetic strategies and tools, the former being intangible technologies that enable tools to operate as such.