YoHa’s Plastic Raft Unpicking Workshop formed the basis of an installation at Power Station Arts, 11th Shanghai Biennale Workshop (11 November 2016 – 12 March 2017)
Due to the spectacular way the European migrant crisis is currently presented within media forms and art it is important to state. That this is not a project that is concerned with the morals of the migrant crisis, nor is an attempt to re-invoke the sublime of European aesthetics. This project is about a plastic boat whose journey from China to the Mediterranean sea, takes place in the seas lack of fixity, the space between different state actors and scales of administrative discipline.
The flows of seas distances it from the norms of land, it's state actors and fixed capital investments. We can think of this space in which our little plastic boat travels as a kind of placelessness, a harbour for an ecological hetrotopia that works to both, shore up or reinvigorate established forms of power and at the same time sow seeds for utopian vision at the ecological/economic margins. (for pirates etc to demonstrate the safety and order of state actors and experiment with new forms of living) This placelessness of sea, allows for different scales of the imaginary to gives birth to new social, political and physical bodies that are squeezed out from the contradictory pressures between freedom of movement for trade and control of more fixed assets, borders, shipping and undersea resources.
In Europe we can see this complex formation express itself in the migrant crisis. The rancid flesh of the dead, the knocking of drowned skulls of the Mediterranean help to make the wealth, freedom and civilisation of Europeans visible. I do not have space to explore Europe’s necropolitics of the Mediterranean here it will have to suffice that there is a whole validation process that goes on here, aesthetic, cultural, social, political and economic which could be explored by unpicking a plastic raft.