Neurathian Boatstrap, 14th Istanbul Biennial, Istanbul, TR, 2015


14th Istanbul Biennial SALTWATER: A Theory of Thought Forms drafted by Carolyn Christov-Bakargiev

“We are like sailors who on the open sea must reconstruct their ship but are never able to start afresh from the bottom. Where a beam is taken away a new one must at once be put there, and for this the rest of the ship is used as support. In this way, by using the old beams and driftwood the ship can be shaped entirely anew, but only by gradual reconstruction.”

W. V. O. Quine, Word and Object, 1960 

Neurath’s boat is a metaphor central to anti-foundational explanations of knowledge and was first formulated by Otto Neurath. It is based in part on the Ship of Theseus, which is often employed to illustrate issues of identity through changing conditions. Anti-foundationalists believe that there is no absolute truth, but rather an ongoing process of readjustment to volatile surroundings. 

As one steps aboard the ship, there is the sensation perhaps that the vessel has been reconstructed with parts from many other ships which have long since vanished. However, these borrowed parts breathe new life into an old shell.  Similarly, the void-imbued contents and processes on board the ship point to the elastic nature of the body and mind that may adapt to lost body parts, as much as to newly discovered senses, or vast new frontiers of ideation.

The project continues on the quest of previous endeavours, notably the Hypnotic Show with Raimundas Malašauskas, towards the simultaneous dematerialisation and embodiment of art in relation to visitors.



Neurathian Entrance

Old planks, various dates and dimensions

The cobbled together reduction portal to a transport medium, a vessel, an empty container, a bardo space.

Guanyin and the whale

Old boat, chladni plates, 2015

Seeing-sound through the voices of the visually impaired from the Gözder Institute: reflex-color as emotions, cityscapes frozen in memory-time, dreams that undergo sensory substitution.

Like the taste of sugar in the mouth of a mute 

Orange film

The room inside your mouth is sometimes larger than the room you sit in, but infinitely smaller than the space of mind.

Neurathian inductive knots

Naval ropes, various dimensions and times, felt

A platform for the installation of art to the mind, based on extracts from 3 novels:

Aslı Erdoğan, The City in Crimson Cloak, 1998

J.G. Ballard, The Crystal World, 1966

René Daumal, Mount Analog, 1952

Aromas with the intervention of the Institute for Art and Olfaction, Los Angeles

Falez stele

Ceramic, various dimension, organic material, 2015

Water-formed braille over eons: inverted and decipherable to the touch.

 Reading area

Menu for Z to C, consciousness performance


What you hold in your hands is a collection of interviews gathered during research with visually impaired people who are members of the Gözder, Association of Persons with Visual Impairments: memories, and the deliquescence of the senses are illuminated through your orbits.


Menu book

Paroptic menu

Digital Deliquescence

Combination menu for inductions (1,728 permutations)

Paroptic menu: after René Daumal’s experimental research into the sense of skin-vision.

Digital Deliquescence:  the crystallization of metals through the re-extension of a missing limb: makers, refugees and phantom limbs.

Blindsight steps

Installation, white felt dots, 2015 You see but may not understand, she may feel but keep silent. Each step, an inverted induction.

Forbidden pools

Video installation, color, 2015

From synaesthesia, we take the leap into paraesthesia. Our brain sees the colors our eyes have never witnessed: our imagination trails along behind.

“Whenever you are ready”

Audio, with the collaboration of Morten Norbye Halvorsen, four speakers, 2015

An inductive cyberspace, true to the  Greek word κυβερνητικός which means “skilled in steering.” The ‘voice’ opens a gap into which the psyche may enter, accompanied by harmonics of underwater propellers and dissonant sine wave nodes.



Z to C  consciousness performance.

Visitors are invited to close their eyes and to be guided into a consciousness performance. The sessions will be conducted by artist Marcos Lutyens and will explore the relationship between consciousness and embodiment. Each session is inspired by three works of literature: The City in Crimson Cloak by Asli Erdogan, The Crystal World by J.G.Ballard and Mount Analogue by René Daumal. 


Length approximately 1 hour. please be aware that the performances are in English only

 For more information and to book a session please visit:


How deep is your coffee?

 Or how far is the unknown? It is definitely closer than you think. I mean it is not only closer to you than you think it is, but it is closer to the locus of yourself than your thinking is. A strange thought, right? It springs from language and goes across the space it creates towards an unfinished destination at the speculative speed. So it is not just the space of thought that is on my mind, it is also the space of thought out of my mind reachable from accidental breaks and leaps of thinking. You may consider it a space of transpersonal imagination though.

 Assuming that there is a formless zone of non-thinking (which I would not necessary identify with the unknown) between a thinker and thinking, we might wonder how long it would take for us to reach each other there. You probably remember that to arrive to the Cartesian idea of thinking as a source of self and identity has taken at least a dozen of years for you and several hundreds for humanity. So how long does it take to escape from dead-ends of logic and mechanical propositions? Do you go backwards repeating your steps in reversal or will non-thinking teleport us from there at the highest speed? Or maybe it will happen in no time at all?

 In 1999 Graham Gussin noticed an interesting thing in the scene of arriving to Solaris (1972, Andrei Tarkovsky): one can cross space in no time at all. This discovery enabled him to construct a number of complex acts of disappearance where he would come back to the site of the destination at the same time as when he left it. However his knowledge about the world would be changed. In those days Graham Gussin was highly involved in teleportation and visiting places of transformation whose power to affect its visitors extended beyond their knowledge. In one of the trips that involved a number of different speeds and time warps I noticed that he would either focus on distant objects as if they were in the reach of the hand or would impose distances upon the most intimate objects and subjects. I am not sure whether he was more interested in distances that affect you (like in the case of producing desire and longing) or in affecting via distance (like in remote viewing or telematics), but it was definitely a distance rather than a site functioning as a locus of transformation. To put it in other words a distance was a connecting device as well as a basic premise of any cognitive practice - without it you and me were just a homogenous singularity resting in a pre-individualist state of being. And Graham was able to cross them in no time at all (or along the lines of poetic time) regardless whether those were mental, transpersonal or physical distances. Perhaps this was the reason why I’ve decided to reformulate the question “How deep is your coffee?” to “How deep is your coffee after you drank it?” after I learned more about it.

Raimundas Malašauskas, Paper Exhibition,  Sternberg Press, 2012



Collaborative contributions by Morten Norbye Halvorsen,The Institute

for Art and Olfaction, Department of Mechanical Engineering,

Northwestern University and Gözder, Association of Persons with

Visual Impairments,Turkey.


Produced with the support of Alberta Pane Gallery, Paris, Arte

Boccanera, Trento, Chambers Fine Art, Beijing / NewYork, Guillaume

Desnöes, Albertine Kopp, Giuliana andTommaso Setari, Dena Foundation

for Contemporary Art, Jacques Font and Eléonore de Saint Seine.

Thanks to Paula Mierzowsky, Ekin Özkan, Önder Bekel, Angela Lopez,

Dan Miller, David Sprecher, Julia Owen, Yi-Ping Hou, Erdim Kumkumoglu

Dahukey, Kevin Berve, Chris Candelaria. Thanks also to the Istanbul

Biennial Team.