The New Landscapes Institute (NLI) was established by curator Joni Taylor in 2014 to facilitate art, architecture and design collaborations. The NLI works in partnership with a range of cultural organisations and practitioners on creative research projects. It uses experimental spatial practices to investigate the transformation of landscapes and to engage with future ideas. Recent projects by the Institute have explored access to commons and public spaces in both urban and regional contexts. For the 23rd Biennale of Sydney, the NLI will focus on waterways bringing together artists, architects, researchers and designers to collaborate on ideas around floating architecture, archives and the unbuilt, animal-human communication, marine science and strange oceanic phenomena.
The Floating Embassy, 2022
Courtesy the artist
Commissioned by the Biennale of Sydney with generous support from Australia Council for the Arts and Create NSW and generous assistance from the City of Sydney and made possible with the support of the artists at the Newington Armory, Sydney Olympic Park Authority
Curtis Schreier, Ant Farm
DOLΦN EMB 1 (Dolphin Embassy), 1974-1975
DOLΦN EMB 2 (drawing by Curtis Schreier), 1975
hand coloured brownline
The Dolphin Embassy Viewed from Directly Astern, 1977
colour photocopy from an original drawing
Dolphin Embassy (book, unbound), 1977
screenprint on plastic mounted on paper and offset lithography on paper
University of California, Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive; Purchase made possible through a bequest of Thérèse Bonney by exchange, a partial gift of Chip Lord and Curtis Schreier and gifts from an anonymous donor and Harrison Fraker
Dolphin Embassy Sketchbooks (selected), 2004
Courtesy the artist Curtis Schreier, Ant Farm
Off-Air Australia, 1976
color 4:3 video
Courtesy the artist and Video Data Bank, School of the Art Institute of Chicago
Alexandra Morphett and Doug Michels
Dolphin Embassy Archives, 1976 – 2003
Courtesy collection of Alexandra Morphett, curated by Joni Taylor
The Floating Embassy is an ongoing, collaborative project by the New Landscapes Institute (NLI). It was inspired by Ant Farm’s Dolphin Embassy (1973- 1978), the utopian art and architecture collective’s un-built proposal for an ‘interspecies communication station’ on Australian waters in the 1970s. NLI’s project consists of a mobile pontoon currently moored at Walsh Bay, an archival display inside Pier 2/3, and a series of programs investigating how experimental spatial practices can respond to our changing oceans and waterways.
‘Designed and built as a collaboration, the mobile pontoon is site specific and facilitates creative research in response to its locations on and around water. It explores what a contemporary Floating Embassy might be today, re-situating the experiment within our current urban condition. Bringing together artists, architects, designers, marine researchers, and the public, it will host a series of discussions on water, allowing small groups to float temporarily in non-human aquatic space.
The furniture on board responds to and exaggerates the sandstone topography of the Sydney harbour shoreline and can be adapted for either ‘Exhibition, Roundtable or Contemplation / Isolation modes.’
All quotes are from New Landscape Institute The Floating Embassy project statement 2022.