Imagining an Oceanic Worldview Through Art and Science
The oceans cover two-thirds of the planet, shaping human history and culture, home to countless species. Yet we, as mostly land-dwelling humans, often fail to grasp the importance of these vast bodies of water. Climate change destabilizes notions of land-based embeddedness, collapses tropes of time and space, and turns our future more oceanic. Tidalectics imagines an oceanic worldview, with essays, research, and artists' projects that present a different way of engaging with our hydrosphere. Unbound by land-based modes of thinking and living, the essays and research in Tidalectics reflect the rhythmic fluidity of water.
Tidalectics emerges from the Thyssen-Bornemisza Art Contemporary (TBA21)-Academy, the only Western arts organization entirely dedicated to work on climate change and the oceans. In 2016, TBA21-Academy became the first cultural organization to gain UN observer status at the International Seabed Authority Assembly. The book presents newly commissioned work from a range of disciplines and often-neglected perspectives, alongside classic "anchor texts" by such writers as Rachel Carson. The contributors include an anthropologist from Fiji, a Norwegian scholar who specializes in maritime legal history, the author of the first comparative history of Caribbean and Pacific Island literatures, and a poet from Barbados who coined the term "tidalectics" as a play on "dialectics." The art projects documented in the book form part of an exhibition curated by the volume's editor, and include a video of the infinite whites, blues, and grays of Antarctica; a collection of oceanic smells from the Caribbean and Pacific coasts of Costa Rica; and a quartz submersible capsule designed to communicate with cetaceans. Tidalectics provides a unique collection of the strongest voices in oceanic thinking, bridging arts, oceanography, history, law, and environmental studies.
With contributions by
Nabil Ahmed, Tamatoa Bambridge, Kamau Brathwaite, Guigone Camus, Rachel Carson, Cynthia Chou, Paul D'Arcy, Tony deBrum, Elizabeth DeLoughrey, Keller Easterling, Bill Graham, Francesca von Habsburg, Stefan Helmreich, Stefanie Hessler, Cresantia Frances Koya Vaka'uta, Rosiana Lagi, St phanie Leyronas, Chus Mart nez, Astrida Neimanis, Elizabeth A. Povinelli, Markus Reymann, Philip E. Steinberg, Khal Torabully, Lingikoni Vaka'uta, Davor Vidas, Susanne M. Winterling
Artists surveyed in the book
Atif Akin, Darren Almond, Julian Charri re, Em'kal Eyongakpa, Tue Greenfort, Ariel Guzik, Newell Harry, Alexander Lee, Eduardo Navarro, Sissel Tolaas, Janaina Tsch pe & David Gruber, Jana Winderen, Susanne M. Winterling
Copublished with TBA21-Academy, London
MIT Press, 9780262038096, 240pp.
Publication Date: March 9, 2018