Exterritory was initiated during the summer of 2009 as response to the ongoing Israeli-Palestinian political conflict. As part of their ongoing artistic research on questions of boundaries, and hyper-national claims, artists Ruti Sela and Maayan Amir were searching for a location to screen a video compilation Wild West made out of video-works made by artists from the middle-east which articulated these questions, in a neutral space, unsaturated by any national preconditions. The exterritorial waters, a space located only 11 kilometers from the shore, served as an autonomic area that can bypass laws of territory and can allow at least temporarily the postponement of arbitrary stipulations. The first presentation of the project, to which international artists, critics and scholars were invited, was held in September 2009.
The project started off with the wish to bring together artists and thinkers from conflict areas, where such meeting is denied, or forbidden. Currently, such meetings can only take place under the auspices of third countries, mainly in Europe and The USA. The project aims to create a different location instead, both mentally and geographically: a floating platform for inter-cultural exchange outside the sovereign territory of any specific country.
In the past few months Sela and Amir, together with many other volunteers from various practices and from all over the world, have been developing the project and expanding the issues and areas that it will explore. The main goal is to create a new space for cultural exploration that will concentrate on the various aspects of the notion of Exterritory (in regard to power, law, nationality etc.). The project will take shape as a floating platform that will bring together artists, curators, activists and scholars from conflict areas and others that have any interest in exploring the notion of exterritorial freedom.