MS-FUSION A.I.R. -  Artist & Scientist in Residence - Initiated by Rainer Prohaska 



Travel as an artistic practice

Travelling with the MS-FUSION, passengers are experiencing a change of perspective, when looking at the Danube cultures. This change in perspective arises from the artist's differentiated perception and through the specific form of approaching selected places on the river banks.
Built especially for investigations and artistic projects, the ship offers a maximum of flexibility and a floating studio right on the river. In addition, it is a living space for the artists and a platform for content exchange during the trip on the Danube.

Installation en route to Sulina, Romania |
CARGO 2014 |  Photocredit: Volker Schmidt

The artist Rainer Prohaska has been experimenting with various mobility concepts on the Danube for 17 years. As part of these trips, a wide variety of art projects were realized together with a large number of guest artists.

In 2006, a new type of "Inland Navigation Vessel" was developed, of which two prototypes were successfully built and operated. The revised and perfected version of the last prototype will be launched in 2020 and will be called MS-FUSION.

Photo gallery | Z-Boats 2007 & CARGO 2014 |
Photocredits: Rainer Prohaska - Bildrecht
Preceding explorations along the Danube created a solid basis of experience for the MS-FUSION project.

The Z-BOATS | Dürnstein, Austria, to Ruse, Romania | 2007

CARGO | Melk, Austria, to Sulina, Romania | 2014

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About Looking Past the Danube cultures: The Danube stream and its shore-regions are one of the most exciting cultural areas in Europe.
Due to an often too wide definition of the Danube Culture in connection with unsuitable mobility concepts, past projects mostly have no connection to the Danube river itself.
When traveling with larger ships, the passengers have no influence on the route and no opportunities to approach spontaneously discovered situations. Also attempts have often been made to get closer to the river by land. There are rarely trafficable roads, so this kind of access to many river sections is not possible.
In order to be able to artistically research the actual Danube Culture with its inhabitants and phenomena, the project and the research ship MS-FUSION was developed, which will be available to artists and scientists as a floating studio.

Photocredit: Nufaru

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A special team is trained for the regular operation of the MS-FUSION (approximately 65% women), which ensures the continuation of the A.I.R. program beyond 2022.

Rainer Prohaska / Initiator, project management, funding, shipbuilding and ship command.
Carola Schmidt / Curator, artistic advice, video documentation.
Christina Gruber / Ship command, A.I.R. Program Leadership
Florian Sorgo / Shipbuilding, ship command and A.I.R. Program Support
Eleonore Grigkar / Project management, funding, sponsoring


Travel route & duration

Starting point, end point and the extent of the trips can be individually configurated.
Ideal travel time: approximately 8 weeks per 1000km of river section.

It is possible to travel the Danube in sections. The artists on board the MS-FUSION can, if shorter stays are planned, switch on designated locations. A minimum stay of 4 weeks is recommended.

Return Trip

The disassembly of the MS-FUSION takes about a day. The subsequent transfer to the dry storage facility by land takes place with a specially designed trailer and takes about two days. The return transport by land is much more ecological than the return journey on the Danube against the current.
Maximum possible travel distance:
Kelheim (River kilometer 2410) to Sulina (River kilometer 0).


The MS Fusion project is supported by an ever growing group of partner institutions, and sponsors:

  • Schallaburg & NÖ Kulturwirtschaft GmbH

  • Federal Government of Lower Austria
    Arts & Culture

  • Federal Chancellery of Austria
    Arts & Culture - Dep. 6 / Section of Fine Arts

  • Artist In Residence - Steiermark

  • Adam Mickiewicz University
    Institute of Cultural Studies / Poznań / Polen

Please contact Studio Rainer Prohaska for further information on co-operations or becoming a supporting partner of MS-FUSION.

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