The Current IV: Caribbean
Flotation #2 Curated by Yina Jiménez Suriel
Bocas del Toro, Panama
June 30 – July 7, 2024

Design: Pardo


Through the ongoing research of Dominican curator Yina Jiménez Suriel, TBA21–Academy's curatorial fellowship program The Current IV: Caribbean, "otras montañas, las que andan sueltas bajo el agua" [other mountains, adrift beneath the waves] intends to contribute to the emancipatory processes in the insular and continental Caribbean that began in the high mountains above sea level and have sought to bring its inhabitants closer to the Ocean.

As part of the program's ongoing activities between 2023 and 2025, a second research journey by a group of artists working alongside earth scientists, biologists, researchers, philosophers, and educators will take place between June 30 and July 7, 2024, at the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute (STRI) research station in Bocas del Toro, a unique archipelago system in Panama.

Flotation #2 is conceived as an intense moment of togetherness with the aim of deepening the ideas discussed and rehearsed during The Current IV in 2023 to explore new approaches to the research’s key questions. Through artist-led workshops, field visits, and transdisciplinary exchanges with the STRI scientific community in Bocas del Toro, the research will unfold around three main topics: the evolution of the Ocean in what we know today as Panama, the creation of languages to relate to geological transformations and constant movement, and freestyle~improvisation as a tool and aesthetic strategy connected to the Maroon experiences in the region. The group will also visit the Bastimentos Island National Marine Park, the first marine park in the region, which is exemplary of a conservation approach based on the Indigenous knowledge of the communities that inhabit and care for the island. The journey will conclude with a public presentation of this collaborative fieldwork and The Current IV's research at the Museum of Contemporary Art of Panama City on Saturday, July 6, 2024. 

Guest fellows invited to participate in this program include: curatorial leader Yina Jiménez Suriel, visual artists Nadia Huggins and Tessa Mars, Earth scientist Monique Johnson, artist and researcher Yewande YoYo Odunubi, geologist Jonatan Bustos Sotelo, philosopher and ecologist Anayra Santory Jorge, and TBA21 co-director Markus Reymann, among others.
Bocas del Toro and Panama City, Panama
"otras montañas, las que andan sueltas bajo el agua”
(other mountains, adrift beneath the waves)
Jonatan Bustos is a Colombian geologist with a bachelor's degree from the Universidad Nacional de Colombia. He is currently a fellow at the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute, where he investigates marine invertebrates' response to climate change scenarios by studying the record of ammonoids that lived during Cretaceous global warming events. He is also a member of the Grupo de Investigación en Paleobiología e Historia Natural at the Universidad Nacional de Colombia, a research group devoted to the study and outreach of the Colombian fossil record.

Nadia Huggins is a self-taught visual artist who primarily works with photography. In 2011, Huggins co-founded the visual arts publication ARC Magazine. Her photography was awarded the Festival Caribéen de l'image du Mémorial ACTe Jury Prize in Guadeloupe in 2015 and has been exhibited regionally and internationally. She currently resides in Saint Vincent and the Grenadines.

Yina Jiménez Suriel is a curator and researcher. Her curatorial practice is nourished by the transdisciplinary research she develops around imagination, contemporary emancipatory processes and reconciliation with the constant movement titled la historia de las montañas. She is an adjunct curator of the 14th Mercosul Biennial (2024), TBA21-Academy The Current IV's curatorial fellow and associate editor of Contemporary And (C&) magazine for Latin America and the Caribbean. She was invited to the Delfina Foundation residency program for the 2022 Summer Season and has contributed to various international art publications and artist catalogs. Yina lives and works in Santiago, Dominican Republic.

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. She has spent the last 15 years supporting communities living with geo-hazards in the Caribbean through projects with regional development agencies and collaborators towards implementing climate change adaptation and disaster risk reduction strategies. Her focus includes improving science communication and building community engagement with an exploration of interdisciplinary and participatory methods to improve understanding of how Afro-indigenous communities navigate risk at the intersection of the socio-political, historical, geological and ecological landscape.

Tessa Mars is a Haitian visual artist born and raised in Port-au-Prince. After completing a Bachelor's degree in Visual Arts at Rennes 2 University in France in 2006, she returned to live and work in Haiti. Mars is an alumna of the Rijksakademie Van Beeldende Kunsten (2020-2022) and now resides in Puerto Rico. In her practice, she proposes Storytelling and Image-making as transformative strategies for survival, resistance, empowerment and healing, investigating gender, History, and traditions, seeking to reconnect with a Haitian perspective of the world and visions of more serene possible futures.

Markus Reymann is the Co-Director of TBA21 Thyssen-Bornemisza Art Contemporary. In 2011, together with Francesca Thyssen-Bornemisza, Markus co-founded TBA21–Academy, the foundation’s research arm, fostering a deeper relationship with the Ocean and other bodies of water. Markus initiated and conducted numerous expeditions, designed in collaboration with invited artists, curators, scientists, and thinkers, to conduct cross-disciplinary field research and commission ambitious projects. Reymann also serves as Chair of Alligator Head Foundation, the scientific partner of TBA21–Academy. Alligator Head Foundation established and maintains the East Portland Fish Sanctuary and oversees a marine wet laboratory in Jamaica.

Anayra Santory Jorge is a philosophy professor at the University of Puerto Rico interested in decolonial approaches to ecology, alternatives to modern engagements and conceptualizations of (so-called) nature and biodiversity, and the methodological and thematic overlapping between philosophy and anthropology. In 2018, she published Antología del Pensamiento Crítico Puertorriqueño (CLACSO, Argentina) and Nada es igual (EEE, Puerto Rico). Jorge is an avid hiker who cherishes being a neighbor of Guaniquilla Nature Reserve and the proud mother of Ana, a doctoral student in Ann Arbor, Michigan.

Yewande YoYo Odunubi is an artist, researcher and cultural producer whose practice revolves around the inquiry: “What does the body need to dream?” Viewing the body beyond the idea of a singular fixed form, identity or function, she is interested in how we see, read, shape and practis/ce ourselves. Inspired by freestyle/improvisation as choreographic and pedagogical methodologies, Yewande is curious about what can be enacted into space through attuning to intuitive experiences and bodily rhythms, experimenting with movement, performance, film, music, text and facilitation as a means of translation and dialogue with the body’s present and imagined possibilities.
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.