Editor’s note: In the summer of 2011, Israeli artist Maayan Strauss traveled on a container ship from Haifa, Israel, to New Jersey. She joined a crew of 27 men for a three-week journey as the only passenger, photographing on board in ports as well as at sea. This experience was the starting point for an unusual artist residency program – Container Artist Residency – in collaboration with ZIM Integrated Shipping Services. The program situates artists within a vital, yet generally unobserved global infrastructure, and introduces a new model for art practice.
From the Container Artist Residency website:
Container takes artists on board commercial container carriers along existing international shipping routes. Hosting artists in the ships’ available cabins, this backstage pass provides firsthand encounter with maritime shipping. Container challenges the traditional idea of studio residencies and invites artists to work within a unique intersection of industry, culture and technology. The residency’s geographic location can only be defined in relation to the various shipping routes and the nexus of destinations that is the backdrop of global trade. Anchored in a context yet without a fixed physical location, Container foregrounds global commerce as the artist’s own immediate work environment.