FAIR stands for:

Floating – the unique setting of the artistic research platform is determined by the facility it operates, a sailing vessel – the yacht Soma.
Artistic – art-related research is the main form of activity carried out on the platform
Interdisciplinary – the platform will execute a series of seminars with participants from various disciplines of art practice: film, photography, fine arts, media, digital arts, music, performing arts and theorists
Research – the product accomplished by the platform activities will be characterised by the qualities described in Frascati Manual: novelty; creativity; uncertainty; systematic; reproducibility and transferability

Through FAIR’s innovative approach, as a platform for artistic research, the platform will seek to stimulate an artistic perspective on another level on pressing issues of our modern world. As FAIR is positioned as a platform that can provide a quality environment for the development of an artistic product, the issue of climate change and the environment and the delicate concept of the future of this planet, as well as the social aspects related to the status of social groups migration and other aspects of socially marginalized groups and issues related to equality and gender identity. It is in this perspective of dissemination and attention to the phenomena of our present that FAIR promotes a synergistic approach, realized through a series of seminars organized around the various topics listed above.

FAIR is a small-scale creative cultural project conceived and implemented by four partner organizations participating in this consortium of three or four EU countries (Bulgaria, the Netherlands, Hungary, and Spain). The aim of FAIR is to provide an environment for artistic research related to public discourse on issues of today and tomorrow, a way to rethink pan-European values ​​and goals. Interdisciplinary artistic practices, mobility and cross-sectoral collaboration, phased by transnational teams of theorists, visual and performance artists, filmmakers, musicians and other artists, FAIR promotes international collaboration between artists, of different nationalities to share, interact, create and present.

The project also supports models for internationalization and/or strengthening their international reputation, focusing on the promotion and careers of art professionals and theorists and their recognition at the European and global levels. All FAIR Arts presented will participate in seminars and conferences, where they will work side by side with their other European counterparts, relevant organizations and stakeholders in the participating country to share experiences and approaches, to reflect on a common transnational cultural identity. and environmental reality, in order to improve the inclusive cultural aspect of artistic products, to promote professional opportunities and networking.

By validating the individual input of the participating artists and art practitioners and theorists, the platform emphasizes the shareness and need for collaboration and collectivity. New realities demand new practices, and we believe that Artistic Research is one of these practices. Through a series of on-board seminars, these iterations provide situations in which artists collectively experience new ways of artistic approaches, that create a space for collectivity and collaboration, further developed through conferences and discursive exhibitions.

FAIR’s unique “floating” quality, besides supporting dialogue between different cultures and media languages, guarantees varied activities offer for transnational dissemination and access to the realized artistic product in different locations on the European coast, but also by everyone online or through publications. The combined effect of the cultural setting of each seminar will generate artistic products available in multiple European countries, overcoming national borders, which by itself is one of the priorities of the Creative Europe Programme. 

The specifics of the sailing vessel SOMA as space, as a creative laboratory and its quality to appear at different locations, with practically zero carbon footprint, on the vast sea coast of Europe is a precondition for a significant impact on the audience, therefore an innovative and prolific way of FAIR to promote and disseminate the objectives of the project and invite transformational thinking on the shared European values and nowadays social and cultural issues through artistic means.

The participants and collaborators of FAIR activities are provided with the opportunity not only to envision and theoretically elaborate on climate issues but also to become part of the struggle to change to climate sustainable community and have the experience of working and moving from one location to another in an environmentally sustainable way, which is one of the main qualities of FAIR as well as one of the priorities of the project call.

Background and objectives

In recent decades, various theoretical studies in the field of philosophy, cultural studies and the humanities have considered the foundations of the attitude towards art and its positioning in the social context as a driving mechanism for cultural development.
Critical analysis in this direction defines areas of opposition to the status of art in a broad social context, and its function as a means of achieving knowledge. Such theoretical research related to artistic practice and artistic experience defines questions regarding the foundations of art and its role in the development of society:
Is it possible to obtain knowledge in a different than objective and empirical manner, which is characteristic of any scientific research?
Is it possible to think that the artistic practice, which largely deals with abstract topics and subjective interpretations of experience, might be a source for gaining knowledge?
An approach, which has gained more and more recognition in the last two decades might be an answer to the questions above and it is most often called Artistic Research (AR). “Artistic research” in the sense, such as research through art, or research in art, may sound paradoxical and controversial, which raises the question of whether such an approach and its result may be a prerequisite for gaining knowledge.
The phenomenon of knowledge achieved through/from/in artistic experience occurs in the recognition of the watershed between science and art, but lies beyond the conventional “frame” for knowledge. This kind of knowledge is barely recognisable or even orphaned by society, although science and art cannot be perceived as antagonistic categories, but rather as different dimensions of knowledge. Contemporary art and art, in general, have the ability to handle a matter that originates from the territory of science and philosophy, art has the ability to interpret philosophical and scientific achievements to achieve knowledge. The relationship between art and science has been a very popular topic in recent years, but insofar as it is perceived that contemporary art has the “right” to be inspired by and interpret knowledge that is the property of science and philosophy, but does not recognize the ability to generate it’s own, respectively the awareness of “artistic practice” and “artistic thought” as a specific cognitive process, this link remains unidirectional. Historically, and to a large extent in our time, the ability of art to reach its knowledge is illegitimate, despite the many theoretical studies on the subject, the acquisition of knowledge still remains a privilege of science. The paradox is that what can be defined as artistic knowledge gains legitimacy only through theoretical interpretations. This is the main issue that the proposed project addresses and it aims to raise awareness of it by developing and promoting artistic research practices and results of the same, by providing a unique environment for the implementation of such research.
The core of the Floating Artistic Interdisciplinary Research (FAIR) project is the development and operation of an artistic research platform, which is to provide a unique setting to generate artistic experience nurturing artistic research to gain artistic knowledge. This itself is defined by the need for wider ground for the implementation and dissemination of Artistic Research as the most established approach to such knowledge. Artistic Research as a form of academic-artistic approach is gaining more and more legitimacy among academic institutions and coexists with the classical forms of art-related studies, but its recognition of wider social context is in its proto-mature state.

The project FAIR addresses the need for the popularization and development of Artistic Research and is considering this need as a major cause of the platform, as such, FAIR shares the principles and theoretical outlines set out in the Vienna Declaration on Artistic Research. There are hundreds of higher education institutions, given the number of members of the above-mentioned organizations, mostly from northern and western Europe which support the Vienna Declaration On Artistic Research, but AR is not so well recognized in South and East Europe, which is another aspect that FAIR is addressing as it will mainly operate at the Mediterranean Sea.

About AR

What lies behind the term “artistic research”? The term AR describes the scope of research that presupposes real practice in the arts, AR is research that builds on the artistic experience as its object of study, and which is carried out through artistic practice. In other words, as stated in the Vienna Declaration. AR is a “practice-based, practice-driven art study that has developed rapidly over the last twenty years worldwide and is a key knowledge base for art education ”. AR can be considered as a (new) paradigm that combines models of theoretical and practical art forms. The understanding of the need for AR, as a new discipline and its positioning in the context of generally accepted practices in education, goes through the awareness of “artistic practice” and “artistic thought” as a specific cognitive process. Although AR has been developing relatively rapidly since the turn of the century, the importance of the research-based on artistic practice or guided by artistic practice has not yet been fully recognized in many countries,As a result of cooperation between organizations and transnational networks dealing with AR at the European level and beyond, the Vienna Declaration on Artistic Research (Culture Action Europe 2020) was launched in June 2020, which is the first act at a high-institutional and international level in support and legitimization of AR as a discipline. This policy paper is key, defining the importance and value of AR, and providing a framework through which this discipline can exist. The Vienna Declaration was prepared jointly by the European Association of Conservatories (AEC), CILECT / GEECT (International Association of Film and Television Schools), Culture Action Europe (CAE), International Association of Universities and Colleges of Art, Design and Media (Cumulus), The European Association for Architectural Education (EAAE), the European League of Art Institutes (ELIA), the European Platform for Artistic Research in Music (EPARM), EQ-ARTS, MusiQuE and the Society for Artistic Research (SAR), and subsequently supported by many European universities and academies of the arts. Through the Vienna Declaration, the initiating organizations are also joining forces in addressing the need for funding schemes at the European level and disciplinary innovation in the third cycle of higher education. As a declaration that constitutes processes and sets frameworks, the Vienna Declaration on Artistic research is in itself a positive sign of global activity in European cultural institutions and organizations in search of an adequate response to contemporary needs in the recognition of practice-based, practice-led research in the arts.