Most of the materials presented in this issue of are the result of a research trip a group of curators - Jonathan Carroll, Elena Crippa, Tobi Maier and Raluca Voinea - from the Royal College of Art in London made for three weeks in September 2005, in Eastern Europe, from Istanbul to Budapest.
The trip had an interesting continuation in November 2005 when the same group, to which a few more others joined - Cecilie Gravesen, Keiko Koshihara and Emma Ridgway - traveled to Frankfurt for the "Academy Remix" symposium organized by the Staatliche Hochschule für Bildende Künste - Städelschule, Frankfurt/Main,
in co-operation with Missing Identity, Kosovo, and relations (relations - a project initiated by the German Federal Cultural Foundation).

While the research trip to Eastern Europe represents already a practice that entered normality in countries like Austria and Germany, in Great Britain this is still a subject not very much explored. However, it was not the purpose of our trip to fill this gap - the interest of each of the four curators was individual and differently motivated; although the opportunity of this trip was part of the CCA/RCA course, the destinations were chosen by the curators and the trip self-organized. What it has achieved, was individual encounters with artists and professionals from the region, which will hopefully develop on long-term collaborations.

It's worth mentioning also the UK curators' trip to Romania organized in October 2005 by Visiting Arts and supported by the Ratiu Family Foundation, as well as the event happening at the City University in London between 25 May-16 June, "Art under Construction. The Balkans in Context", coordinated by curator and theoretician Louisa Avgita.

While any presentation of contemporary art under a regional or national frame is in danger of exoticization and essentialization, the direct relationships with artists, curators and critics, wherever they may be originating from, cannot but be benefic. That's also the reason for assembling these materials here, with the hope that professional investment and personal relationships can last independently of political interest in a certain place, which can always shift under the pressure of other interests.

I would like to thank to all those who helped with suggestions, contacts, information or who warmly welcomed us in the places we've visited:
Judit Angel, Zdenka Badovinac, Nada Beros, Iara Boubnova, Luchezar Boyadjiev, Yane Calovski, Eduard Constantin, Cosmin Costinas, Ekaterina Degot, Uros Djuric, Miklos Erhardt, Zoran Eric, Catalin Gheorghe, Teresa Gleadowe, H.arta, Hristina Ivanoska, Slobodan Jovanovic, Szabolcs Kiss Pal, Anders Kreuger, Miodrag Krkobabic, Antonija Majaca, David Maljkovic, Suzana Milevska, Ivan Moudov, Edi Muka, Oliver Musovik, Simona Nastac, Vessela Nozharova, Hristijan Panev, Dan Perjovschi, Lia Perjovschi, Tadej Pogacar, Stefano Romano, Erzen Shkololli, Marko Stamenkovic, Mladen Stilinovic, Branka Stipancic, Szacsva y Pál, Krassimir Terziev, Slaven Tolj, Stevan Vukovic, WHW, Zoran & Zoran and to all the artists, critics and curators who sent materials for this issue of the magazine.