Contained Mobility concentrates on the suspended time-space of translocal existences and the politics of mobility and containment. The project looks at the present condition emerging from the changes that occur in and around the regulations of movements to Europe. The contradictory terms of containment and mobility play with the paradox which we are presently facing. We observe that the stringent measures, which have been devised for Schengen, are being further reinforced in a post 9/11 period. For many migrants it has become virtually impossible to enter the European space in a regular way. Only the very resourceful and inventive ones will stand a chance to overcome the imposed barriers. Even though many of them would rather choose other venues, they have to recognize that Asylum is the only channel left to enter.

In theory, the European countries maintain the human right for Asylum, signed in the Geneva Convention which constitutes one of the basic conventions of a humanist culture. De facto, however, they implement legal and practical measures that make it virtually impossible to access this right. A post-human and post-humanist state characterizes cross-border mobility under these conditions. Rather than nailing people down by their status, Contained Mobility attempts to grasp this transformative moment, understand the qualities that characterize the emerging subject and bring it to the surface. The project looks at the sophisticated methods and technologies which have been developed on either side: on the part of the authorities to discipline the movement of goods and people and on the part of the passengers to outwit the restrictions and achieve mobility and security. There is an ongoing struggle between disciplining mobility and the desire for self-determination.

In two exemplary cases, Contained Mobility addresses both of these strategies and suggests their correlation. The shipping container becomes a suitable symbol for these contradictory terms as it denotes a quality of confinement and enclosure while implying, at the same time, a systematized worldwide mobility. Contained Mobility is a mise en scene of a self-defined migratory effort which speaks of this suspended, translocal, highly informed and technologized subject that can presently be discerned.

Commissioned by the Liverpool Biennial 2004.

Swiss Award at Viper International Video Festival, 2006


4' video excerpt from Europlex