Walking a wavy line
The Current III: Mediterraneans
July 12 – July 17, 2021

Photo: Giovanna Silva.
Photo: Giovanna Silva.
Photo: Giovanna Silva.
Photo: Giovanna Silva.
Photo: Giovanna Silva.

How do we understand a space by walking together along its boundaries, as embodied observers, and by thinking beyond them? For four days (July 12–17, 2021), we walked along the inner side of the coastal strip separating the Adriatic Sea from the Venetian lagoon. The lagoon is a basin where fresh and salty waters, wet and dry, solid and liquid constantly meet and redefine their position in accordance with the tides, seasons, winds, waves, sediments, and anthropic actions. It is a place where the fixity of maps is constantly challenged, and also an extremely diverse and fragile ecosystem that plays a key role in flood protection, prevention of soil erosion, and mitigation of climate change. And yet, the last century has seen the loss of more than half of the Mediterranean wetlands. 

Our collective walk was designed, conceived, and produced in close collaboration with the artist Giorgio Andreotta Calò, who was also our guide. Walking a wavy line is inspired by his action lacuna (2021). Commissioned by TBA21–Academy, lacuna is an exploratory walk clockwise along the entire perimeter of the lagoon that Calò carried out as a solo journey in June 2021, as if trying to close a circle, while collecting notes, images, and experiences.
As Calò describes it:

lacuna is both the large void around which such a path winds, a liquid circle gravitating around the city of Venice, and the attempt to fill it, to understand it, to observe it during a terrestrial circumnavigation, to explore it with a wandering embrace. Within the circularity of the space covered, a unity is gradually established between outside and inside, between the slow mutation of the territory and that of those who are crossing it.

Walking as a collective practice allows for different ways of sensing, listening, and communicating. Instead of studying the Venetian lagoon from afar or above, we spent time with it and thought with it, by way of closeness and proximity. In one of the first descriptions of life in this area, from the sixth century, Latin writer and statesman Cassiodorus says that its inhabitants nest among the salt marshes like waterbirds. Let’s wish we could learn from them." 
The Current III: Mediterraneans

With the working title "Mediterraneans: ‘Thus waves come in pairs’ (after Etel Adnan),” the first stream of The Current III cycle is led by Barbara Casavecchia as a transdisciplinary and transregional exercise in sensing and learning with by supporting situated projects, collective pedagogies, and voices along the Mediterranean shores across art, culture, science, conservation, and activism.
Giorgio Andreotta Calò, artist
Barbara Casavecchia, curator
Zeyn Joukhadar, writer
Matteo Rubbi, artist
Angela Rui, design curator & researcher
Meredith Root-Bernstein, interdisciplinary conservation scientist
Markus Reymann, TBA21–Academy Director
Nadia Christidi, PhD candidate & arts practitioner
María Montero Sierra, TBA21–Academy Producer & Program Coordinator
Giovanna Silva, photographer