Two new artist teams have been selected for the 2023 – 2024 edition of the EMBracing the Ocean programme: Studio ThinkingHand and Sonia Levy. They both have plans for innovative projects that not only have artistic value, but which also contribute to scientific research, and are expected to have a wide audience reach. We are looking forward to their work over the coming year, increasing the visibility of past and present marine life from the deep sea to shallow lagoons.
The EMBracing the Ocean programme was launched in 2022 as an activity to support the Ocean Decade’s societal challenge of an inspiring and engaging Ocean. It provides €10,000 grants to artists to produce and disseminate new works through a co-creation process with Ocean scientists, aiming to inspire societal change for Ocean sustainability. After one year of successful and inspiring projects, a call for new artists was launched in January 2023. A total of 208 applications from 45 countries were received and evaluated by the EMBracing the Ocean committee who paid particular attention to the co-creation aspects of the projects and their potential for reaching wide audiences to raise awareness of the societal value of the Ocean and inspire behavioural change towards sustainability.
Studio ThinkingHand is an art duo formed by Rhoda Ting and Mikkel Dahlin Bojesen, based in Denmark. Combining science, technology and industry, their works make stories visible looking at life beyond the human gaze, investigating speculative futures and exploring philosophies that can move us collectively and affirmatively beyond the Anthropocene. During their residency, they will work predominately in collaboration with Professor Giuliana Panieri and other scientists from the Arctic University of Norway, to create glass cores from Ocean floor sediment from extreme environments exploring how they can act as a tool for further scientific research. The glass cores will displayed in various exhibitions together with Remotely Operated Vehicle (ROV) footage from expeditions and aims to connect audiences to life in extreme environments across deep time perspectives and explore how learning about the past can work towards speculating shifting evolutions and futures.
Sonia Levy’s inquiry-led practice considers shifting modes of engagement with more-than-human worlds. Her EMBracing the Ocean residency project will engage with the Venetian Lagoon “from below” with the aim to bring attention to the city’s submerged, life-giving and altered bio-geomorphological processes. Sonia will develop a film in collaboration with marine scientists and hold participatory workshops with local resource managers and policymakers using the submarine audiovisuals as a catalyst for co-creating strategies for the Lagoon’s management. The film will premiere at a film festival in Venice and be exhibited locally in a gallery and internationally in an art museum. A podcast series will also accompany the development of the project. The project will include a residency at the Stazione Idrobiologica Umberto D’Ancona, University of Padova and Sonia’s primary collaborator is Associate Professor Alberto Barausse.
More information about the programme and the individual projects of the artists is available here.