Menno Grootveld

Art on the move

an online documentary about the Stubnitz-project 1991-'94

Art on the Move
The project Stubnitz 1991 - 1994


In the year 1991 a small group of artists from Austria, Germany and Switzerland acquired a deep-sea trawler and factory ship from the decommissioned GDR fishing fleet in Rostock and began rebuilding it as an interdisciplinary and mobile laboratory and event space. The project sought to combine artistic and scientific research, as well as electronic networks and physical networking through the journey of the ship. Encompassing a broad range of emerging and contemporary artistic practices, such as media art, electronic music, experimental design and architecture, the project developed innovative strategies working on topics such as the ocean as environment, port city revitalisation, and cultural transPort (intercultural east-west exchange) within a developing European network. The projects' aim was to build an ark for the arts of the future, an environment for collaboration and exchange travelling on ocean and electromagnetic waves, which should become autonomous and self-sustainable. Those ambitious aims failed in 1994, after a short but enthusiastically received Baltic Tour visiting St.Petersburg, Malmö and Hamburg. The ship survived financial turmoil and continues today under new ownership as an event platform.

From the original project a video archive with about 140 Beta SP tapes of app. 30 minutes each has survived, plus a number of Hi8 tapes. Apart from this material we will try to revisit some of the places and people involved with the project, hoping that the documentary can cast some light on the "Wende"-years, the early period of German re-unification, immediately after the fall of the Soviet-Union and the becoming independent of its client states.

Shortlist of artists and cultural organisers originally involved (selection):
Franz Xaver, Constanze Ruhm, Peter Sandbichler, Daniela Plewe, Ulrike Gabriel, Jens Heise, Nic Baginsky, Eric Hobijn, Marc Marc, David Garcia, Andreas Broeckmann, Olaf Nicolai, Katrin von Maltzahn, Viktor Snezar, Oleg Janutschewski, Alla Mitrofanova, Ira Aktuganova, Peter Dittmer, Mare Tralla, Elke Siml, Dead Chickens, Elektronauten, Les Reines Prochaines, Virtual Nightclub Milch.