'Now Wakes the Sea', combines architecture, arts and sciences in exchange of local knowledge on global level. Artist in residencies are used as a research method. NWTS enables artist to do fieldwork and work on site with local partners to map out, collect and research the current status of coastal transitions in order to generate new perspectives. This so called embedded research contributes to public and professional awareness. The project brings together different views and opens up dialogue by comparing different coastal areas and coastal communities of countries around the Black Sea as well as The North Sea, by using various artistic and/or scientific methods. This new method of artist in residency programs connects to the international development of artist residencies as cells of knowledge, as alternative academies.
Overall public use of waterfronts is under great pressure. Urban coastal developments seem to neglect the public, social and cultural importance of urban life at these seafronts. These developments show a tendency to focus on strategies that exclude local people and migration movements from the shores and emphasizes on touristic visitors as a more interesting source of revenues. That may lead to conflicts, estrangements, loss of heritage and loss of more informal, cultural and economic uses of public coastal space.
Arts and science can express the spatial and social qualities - as well as the problems - of our coastal areas, and make them engagingly accessible to the public. These works can transform a destination normally marked by consumption and recreation into a platform for critical communication and serious reflection. This timely reflection of art and culture on spatial transition processes may act as a strong catalyst in generating public and professional awareness and connect contemporary research and new works to historic and future coastal developments.
The sea belongs to everyone and thus to no one - words that not only define the world's largest public space but also leave it unarticulated. Oceans, seas and coastal regions are under tremendous pressure, worldwide. Faced with the prospect of global warming, economic and functional interests are competing for space. The changes anticipated are not only gargantuan but also geographically, ecologically, conceptually and philosophically unique. Shifting circumstances raise questions about new land, new (coastal) landscapes, new forms of urbanization and new offshore projects of various types. But the sea has a cultural significance as well. Its infinite space, timeless aura, tidal currents and empty horizon appeal to universal feelings of freedom and adventure. As our oceans stand on the threshold of great change, opportunities are emerging for new uses, different meanings and unprecedented approaches. This is the moment for a qualitative stimulus based on the development of specific characteristics of the sea from a cultural perspective. Artists, designers, architects and scientists are at the forefront of a different kind of thinking about - and a new way of experiencing - the qualities and problems of the sea. From nature to culture... and from concept to materiality.
The project 'Now Wakes The Sea' (NWTS) is initiated by Dutch Satellietgroep and involves research based artist in residence programs for artists/architects/filmmakers in coastal transition areas in countries surrounding the Black Sea and North Sea to develop new works, select existing works and program traveling film festivals for public screenings and debates on venues, both on the coast of the Black Sea as on the North Sea. First step in the cultural exchange project is the inspiring collaboration with European Cultural Association in the context of 'Sinopale 4, International Sinop Biennial' and the celebration of 400 years of diplomatic relations between The Netherlands and Turkey, so called NLTR400, in 2012.