The call is out for S+T+ARTS 4 Water II! Explore the hidden impacts of the oil industry on coastal and marine environments. Starting from the marine environment of Rijeka, Croatia, visionary artists are invited to uncover and address the legacy of oil operations in ports, seabeds, and ecosystems.

Application is open until 26 June 2024.

All info:

Starts4WaterII Challenge #5

In collaboration with Rijeka Port Authority, we present the fifth challenge in the framework of the open call by S+T+ARTS 4 Water II, an initiative of the European Commission which is dedicated to Water Sustainability and innovation at the nexus of Science, Technology, and the arts.

Starting from September 2024 with a budget of up to 40.000 €, the residency on the topic of “Tracing Oil. Uncovering Forgotten Spaces” invites an artist to explore the development of an innovative approach to research and presentation of traces of human activity in the port area specifically designated to transportation and servicing the oil industry.

There is specific interest in highlighting the impact of such developments on the configuration of the coast as well as the composition of seabed sediment and sea. Can artists help to further responsibility and final resolution of forgotten infrastructures and the leakages and erosions that seem invisible?


Oil found in the sea due to human activities is usually associated with tanker disasters and wartime actions. However, most oil found in the sea is there due to regular operations of the oil industry. Equipment malfunctions and human errors are the cause of continuous oil leaks from wells, refineries, and tankers. The longer such facilities exist in our environment, the greater the probability of oil leakage that leaves traces even after these facilities cease operation. These traces are visible in industrial facilities, breakwaters, and ports that are still in use or being transformed or abandoned, but also in less visible changes in soil composition and seabed, and sea chemistry, which significantly determine living conditions for marine flora and fauna.

The intersection of science, technology, and art can help us understand what happens in the space where the oil industry meets the sea to advance our understanding of these processes and act accordingly.

Starts4WaterII _ Drugo more, Petroleum PortPhoto: Velid Đekić


In the marine environment of Rijeka, the oil industry has maintained a presence since the 1880s, prompting the establishment of a petroleum port in the city centre during that era. This port was fully abandoned in 2008, while the tanker terminal, along with most oil processing operations had been relocated outside the city centre since the 1960s. Over these nearly 150 years, significant advancements in technology have occurred, enhancing safety measures. However, the fundamental processes of oil import, processing, and export of derivatives have remained consistent. Notably, our societal perspective on oil has evolved, evident in the increased focus on safety protocols and the shift of production away from public view into what could be termed ‘forgotten’ spaces.

During the residency, spanning from September 2024 to May 2025, participants will have possibilities to collaborate with experts across various disciplines, supported by Drugo more, a non-profit cultural organisation active in production of visual and new media arts and the Port of Rijeka Authority, a non-profit state institution for governance and development of port area in Rijeka, throughout the research and production phases. Unique dissemination opportunities are offered through the channels of S+T+ARTS4WATERII.

We are seeking artists or designers with experience in interdisciplinary projects. The anticipated outcome is exhibition-ready artwork, to be showcased in Rijeka and potentially be featured at Ars Electronica 2025, the UN Ocean Conference a/o the Love Tomorrow Conference. The artist is further invited to the 4WATERII summer school taking place in Croatia (for which travel costs are being granted).

Jury day: The jury day will take place between 15th and 19th July and might take place online. The jury day will offer the possibility for a project pitch by the three short-listed artists.


STARTS4WATERII open call_22


Find out more about all 20 residencies in the S+T+ARTS4WATER II CHALLENGE CATALOGUE

Co-funded by the European Union - logo

STARTS4waterII is co-funded by the European Union under the STARTS – Science, Technology and Arts initiative of DG CNECT (GA no. LC-02629312.). Views and opinions expressed are those of the author(s) only and do not necessarily reflect those of the European Union or DG CNECT. Neither the European Union nor the granting authority can be held responsible for them.

Project is co-financed by the Government Office for Cooperation with NGOs. The views expressed in this publication are the sole responsibility of Drugo more and do not necessarily reflect the opinion of the Government Office for Cooperation with NGOs.



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