On a changing and heating planet, the ocean offers respite. It cools and steadies temperatures to sustain habitability. It creates and regulates atmospheric conditions. The vicissitudes directed against the contemporary ocean take many forms: it is the infrastructural grid of the supply chain; it is the rapacious plundering of fish and sea life; the slow melting of the polar iceworlds and the raking of the deep-sea floor.
Paying attention to the ocean’s many waters, dark and deeply alien, perhaps can make visible what is at stake and indicate ways in which we can stay with the trouble in meaningful and ethical ways. As we wrestle with ways to understand our future on the planet and straddle the line between the expansion of the technosphere’s armature and the survival of biological life, thinking with the oceans becomes ever more urgent.
A private foundation TBA21 aims to collect and present the best of contemporary art through an ambitious program of commissions, exhibitions, and public events and to pursue urgent ecological, social, and political issues. Since 2011 the foundation has its ocean research platform TBA21–Academy.
Daniela Zyman is artistic director of Thyssen-Bornemisza Art Contemporary. She is curating “Territorial Agency: Oceans in Transformation” at the Ocean Space in Venice. Daniela was chief curator of the MAK – Austrian Museum of Applied Arts / Contemporary Art in Vienna, he also worked as the artistic director of the Künstlerhaus, Vienna and as director of A9 Forum Transeuropa, a program platform of Vienna’s Museumquartier. Daniela holds an MA in Art History from the University of Vienna and an MFA from New York’s Columbia University. She wrote her PhD on forms of artistic counter-research in the framework political ecologies. She has taught at the University of Applied Arts in Vienna and is currently lecturing at the Art Academy in Linz, and frequently authors essays for art publications.