Posted on Jan 21, 2020 in Projects, The Future is Floating

The future is floating: an on the water exchange

Curated by Vanessa Kwan

Residency Dates: January 13-26, 2020


the future is floating website

Other Sights in partnership with Sydney Festival and Tribal Warrior presents: the future is floating. Canadian and Australian artists are brought together in a two-week-long exchange residency speculating on floating futures. 

How do we occupy space differently? This question lies at the heart of a conversation that began 4 years ago in Vancouver, Canada between Festival Director Wesley Enoch and Canadian arts collective Other Sights for Artists’ Projects. Bringing together two harbours across the Pacific – False Creek in Vancouver and the iconic Sydney Harbour – this project is rooted in those conversations – and in a desire to explore the complex legacies of colonial presence through the lens of artistic practice. 

Cook’s much-heralded landing at Botany Bay was a point on an ongoing trajectory that also included Canada’s West Coast. These similar, if distinct, cultural histories prompted Other Sights to propose a platform during the Sydney Festival where artists from Canada and Australia might engage in an open-ended conversation that shifts, quite literally, with the tides: a floating residency. 

Through a collaboration with Sydney Harbour-based cultural ambassadors Tribal Warrior, the future is floating brings Canadian artists Jeneen Frei Njootli, Cheryl L’Hirondelle, Cindy Mochizuki, Marianne Nicolson, Holly Schmidt, Syrus Marcus Ware and T’uy’t’tanat-Cease Wyss together with Australian artists Claire G. Coleman, Megan Cope, Keg De Souza, James Nguyen, Venessa Possum, Jen Rae, Latai Taumoepeau, Salote Tawale and Leanne Tobin in a two-week-long exchange residency. Through dialogues, artist-to-artist sessions, keynote talks, field trips and public events in the city and on the water, this program highlights artists whose work explores occupation, activism, listening and diaspora in complex, evolving ways.

Public events, including performances, talks and listening events on the water:

An Evening with Marianne Nicolson, Megan Cope & Leanne Tobin

Marianne Nicolson – an artist/activist of the Musgamakw Dzawada’enuxw First Nations, Canada – in conversation with Australian Aboriginal artists Megan Cope (Quandamooka, QLD) and Leanne Tobin (Darug, NSW), discussing their artistry, identity and the preservation of cultural knowledge. This discussion will be moderated by Clothilde Bullen, Senior Curator of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Collections and Exhibitions at Museum of Contemporary Art Australia. 

The Floating Sessions

The participating residency exchange artists invite Sydney Festival Guests to enjoy an experiential, fully immersive evening on Sydney Harbour aboard Tribal Warrior’s Mari Nawi ship. Experimental works in progress, these works feature experimental soundscapes, animated discussions, presentations and performances.

  • floating session I: the future is floating – Venessa Possum, Jen Rae, Claire G. Coleman & Syrus Ware.
  • floating session II: the pacific – T’uyt’anat – Cease Wyss,  Latai Tamoepeau, Salote Tawale, & Cindy Mochizuki. 
  • floating session III: transmissions – James Nguyen, Holly Schmidt & Keg de Souza.

the future is floating is supported by the Canada Council for the Arts, the British Columbia Arts Council and the Government of British Columbia.

Also connected to the future is floating: Invasion Day, a Foreshore Session featuring Christie Lee Charles, Senaqwila Wyss, and Jeneen Frei Njootli.