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Book launch: Tidalectics by TBA21 at Tate Modern

Text by CLOT Magazine


The seas and oceans in the planet oceans cover two-thirds of the planet, shaping human history and culture, home to countless species. Yet we often fail to grasp the importance of these vast bodies of water. Tidalectics, Imagining an Oceanic Worldview through Art and Science, imagines an oceanic worldview with essays, research, and artists’ projects that present a different way of engaging with our hydrosphere

Tidalectics emerges from the Thyssen-Bornemisza Art Contemporary (TBA21)–Academy, an arts organisation entirely dedicated to working on climate change and the oceans. The art projects documented in the book form part of an exhibition curated by Stefanie Hessler and include a video of the infinite whites, blues and greys 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.

TBA21 Academy leads artists, scientists, and thought leaders on expeditions of collaborative discovery. Founded by Francesca von Habsburg and led by Director Markus Reymann, the Academy is dedicated to fostering a deeper understanding of the ocean through the lens of art and to engendering creative solutions to its most pressing issues. Tidalectics uniquely collects the strongest voices in oceanic thinking, bridging arts, oceanography, history, law, and environmental studies. Some artists featured in TBA21 exhibitions and the book includes Sissel Tolaas, Jana Winderen and Ariel Guzik.

TBA21 Academy commissions interdisciplinary research that catalyses engagement, stimulates new knowledge and inspires artistic production. Established in 2011, the nonprofit’s programme is informed by a belief in the power of exchange between disciplines and in the arts’ ability as a vessel for communication, change, and action.

Since its inception, TBA21 Academy has launched groundbreaking projects combining artistic, sociopolitical, scientific, economic and especially environmental concerns. As Jaques Costeau said, once it casts its spell, the Sea forever holds one in its net of wonder. TBA21 portrays the work of those truly enthralled by the magnificence our the oceans. 

Tidalectics will be presented at The Tate Modern on Monday, 10 December 2018. Curator and Tidalectics editor Stefanie Hessler and TBA21 director and co-founder Markus Reymann will present the book and the work they develop at TBA21. More information here.

(Photo courtesy and credited: Tue Greenfort, Jorit Aust (Tamoya Ohboya, 2017)
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