International Waters, 4 min 20 secs extract from 20 minute video.

In August 2016, Rebecca Moss was selected for the 23 Days at Sea artist residency programme, run by Access Gallery in Vancouver. Her proposal was to examine the absurdities of the shipping industry. Travelling by container ship, Moss would cross the Pacific Ocean and arrive in Shanghai 23 days later. However, one week into the residency, the shipping company Hanjin was declared bankrupt, meaning that the individuals and cargo were stranded at sea on a ship which was unable to pay to get into any docks. Moss, the only artist on board, and the crew, dropped anchor 13 km from the coast of Japan, in international waters, and waited for over a fortnight for further instruction.

International Waters is a single channel video work made in response to being stuck at anchor. It premiered during the 57th Venice Biennale, 2017. The work tells the story of the bankruptcy from the perspective of the people on board the stationary ship, and combines interviews and news reports from this time. Access Gallery and the artist also published a log book of this experience, which can be found here.

All images © Rebecca Moss, 2022