OLIVIA: Sailing Knowledges

OLIVIA: Sailing Knowledges
© Lina Sundberg
Public programme facilitated on the sailing boat Olivia, at Hinsholmen harbour in Gothenburg, Sweden, by the AIRC (Anti-Individualist Reading Club).

Gothenburg, Sweden.
I am an interdisciplinary spatial practitioner and researcher based in Gothenburg, Sweden.
Team members
Yana Deliyska
Pablo Encinas Alonso
Field of work
Architecture, Design, Visual Art, Multimedia, Research
Project category
Public space
Project submitted

Im a spatial practitioner and researcher specializing in critical studies in architecture and urbanism. My work focuses on understanding how societal norms, policies, and regulations shape spatial environments, particularly emphasising the performative, relational, and caring aspects of spatial organization and design, especially in domestic spaces and care infrastructures.

I recently completed my MFA in Fine Art at HDK-Valand, where my master's thesis delved into Critical Spatial Practice and Compositional Methodology. My educational background includes Architecture studies at UEM in Madrid, where I completed my second cycle in 2019. Currently, I am enrolled in a PhD Course at KTH.

My recent projects include OLIVIA for GIBCA Extended as part of the Gothenburg International Biennial of Contemporary Art in November 2023. I designed An Amniotic Device installation for the project [ASMR] Reading You To Sleep. Soft Spoken Relaxation About Affective Capitalism, 2020 by artist Gloria López Cleries within the exhibition Happily Ever After at Malmö Konstmuseum October 2023 - April 2024. In December 2023, I was invited to collaborate on a piece for artist Jason Bowman's “Talk to the Hand” show at Gallery Cora Hillebrand in Gothenburg. My project Selfhealth Universe, 2023, exhibited at Göteborg Konsthall, was awarded the Eric Ericsons Stiftelse 2023.

I have been an active member of the independent study group AIRC at SKOGEN in Gothenburg since 2021, where I lead a project focusing on spatial reading with practitioners from diverse fields.

With a strong skillset in socially engaged practices, my contributions include research and education at UEMadrid, and participation in international exhibitions and film festivals such as the Shenzhen/Hong Kong Bi-City Biennial and AMIFF21 in Harstad. I have received research scholarships and been invited as a guest lecturer at Universidad Politécnica de Madrid (UPM) and École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL).

OLIVIA, for GIBCA Extended, within the Gothenburg International Biennial of Contemporary Art.

Our environment is malleable; humans are constantly adapting it to their needs, and architecture increasingly encounters fewer obstacles in shaping the material world at will. However, paradoxically, our conventions, habits, and ideological structures are very rigid and, therefore, very resistant to change. Unfortunately, It is easier to gather the infrastructure and technological resources to move big portions of land for urban developments, than to mobilize the change of a social convention.

OLIVIA is a programme of reading sessions on a sailing boat in the Gothenburg region during its hibernation period. The architecture of a boat is associated with a series of habits that determine a strict operating schedule. During the winter months in Gothenburg, the ocean water freezes; therefore, in early autumn, boats are taken out of the water for storage during the cold months. The constellation of vessels is grouped in rows near the harbor, interrupting all activity until spring. During this period, maintenance tasks are carried out; decks are protected, and comfort elements such as fabrics and typical padded coverings are removed, making the genuine interior spaces of the boats less welcoming.

Olivia is a project that invites the activation of a boat within this climate-affected composition, thereby subtly altering the quotidian order of the entire hibernating shipyard constellation.

During this period, solid narratives are suspended. Through the Olivia programme during GIBCA Extended (Gothenburg International Biennial of Contemporary Art), we invited artists, participants, and cultural institutions to activate a space for reflection during Olivia's winter break. This approach helped us imagine other possible readings of maritime routines but also understand them from a different perspective and, therefore, expand the possibilities of engagement with this context.