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TIDALECTICS is an art-science portfolio, in which invited printmakers are paired with marine biology researchers, to create a print based on/inspired by the research from the scientist. I invited ten international artists to participate in the portfolio.
The portfolio edition of 14, will consist of 11 prints, 11 letterpress pages with text by the scientist on the referenced research, a forward, a colophon and titlepage. Page size of 13 x 19”. As portfolio curator and participating artist, I will print all text pages of the portfolio.
Each print will relate to the content of the research. However, I also want to have an overarching, unifying theme for the portfolio. In the past decade there has been a rich emergence of “critical ocean studies”, theorizing oceanic submersion. In the age of the Anthropocene, the ontology of the ocean as an endless amorphous reservoir has changed towards seeing it as an entity, subjected to the effects of human actions. One of these ontological oceanic imaginaries is “tidalectics”. To Barbadian poet Kamau Brathwaite the ocean signifies a “tidal dialectic”, rooted in rhythms expressing anti-colonial sentiments. It draws on the rhythmic fluidity and cyclic movements of water. The concept of tidalectics has been adopted by curator Stefanie Hessler as a starting point to formulate an oceanic worldview, that engages differently with the ocean. “The fluidity and ripples allowing us to think of hybridity, cross-cultural syncretism, incompleteness, and fragmentation.” It envisions a dynamic merging and moving between the arts, sciences, history and environmental studies. The Tidalectics Portfolio showcases an interplay between printmaking and marine biology, by presenting the visual response of the artist to the research of the scientist.
Dr. Mark Vermeij, my primary research contact, is a leading figure in current marine biology research in the Caribbean and director/lead researcher at the CARMABI Institute in Curacao, Netherlands Antilles and Associate Professor at the Institute for Biodiversity and Ecosystem Dynamics (IBED), University of Amsterdam. Mark has assisted me with contacting the scientists in this portfolio. I have paired the artists based on their preferred topic of interest.
Participating Artist-Scientists and their topic are:
1. Rene Arceo (Mexico/USA. Founder of Arceo Press, has widely exhibited in Latin America and USA) and Dr. Jasper de Goeij (Assistant Professor of Tropische Marine biologie Faculteit der Natuurwetenschappen University of Amsterdam). Sponge ecology with emphasis on the power of fundamental research as an innovative basis leading to application.
2. Pepe Coronado (Dominican Republic/USA. Founder of Coronado Press has widely exhibited in Latin America and USA) and Dr. Rita Sellaris and Maria Villalpando from (FUNDEMAR institute for marine conservation, Dominican Republic) Coral reef ecology and human impact; mapping.
3. Umberto Giovannini (Italy. Associate lecturer Central Saint Martins, University of the Arts, London UK and founder of low impact centre Opifico della Rosa, Rimini, Italy) and Dr. Amanda Spivak (Associate professor, Department of Marine Sciences, University of Georgia). Integrated understanding of coastal ecosystem ecology; role of wetlands and estuaries in global carbon cycle.
4. Tracy Hill (UK. University of Central Lancashire. European Printmaking Prize, 2018 SMTG Krakow International Printmaking Biennial) and Stuart Sandin (Director of the Center for Marine Biodiversity and Conservation, Scripps Institute of Oceanography) Population ecology in marine environment. Big data applications.
5. Jill Ho-You (Canada. Assistant Professor Alberta University of the Arts. Prix du public, Biennale Internationale d’estampe Contemporaine de Trois Rivieres 2013, ROC – National Taiwan Museum of Fine Art) and Dr Iliana Baums (Baums Lab, Penn State University) Molecular ecology and evolution of reef invertebrates
6. Eveline Kolijn (Canada. Portfolio curator and instructor Alberta University for the Arts School of Continuing Education. IMPACT 10, Guanlan Biennial 2011, 2013; Vorres Museum of Contemporary Art, Greece.) and Dr. Forest Rohwer (Principal, Rohwer Lab, San Diego State University) The role of microbes and viruses in coral reef health and disease.
7. Poli Marichal (Puerto Rico. Printmaker, media & film artist, has widely exhibited in Latin America and USA) and Dr. Antonio Mignucci-Giannoni (founder of the international conservation organization Red Caribeña de Varamientos (Caribbean Stranding Network)). Specializing in the biology, management and conservation of marine mammals- manatees.
8. Miriam Rudolph (Canada. IMPACT 10, Splitgrafic 8 Young Artist Award 2017) and Dr. Brian Lapointe (Research professor, Florida Atlantic University). Algal physiology and biochemistry, seagrass and coral reef ecology, eutrophication, marine bioinvasions and marine conservation.
9. Natasha Russell, (Scotland. Artist in residence Schmidt Ocean Institute) and Dr. Mark Vermeij (Scientific Director of CARMABI Research Station Curacao). Evolutionary and ecological dynamics of benthic marine organisms, with particular emphasis on corals, algae and, more recently, microbes.
10. Melissa Smith (Australia. Arts Tasmania Curator, 2018 Australian Triennial Print Award) and Dr. Valerie Chamberland (Research scientist at Secore International/ CARMABI- Curacao). Worldwide coral reef conservation; Coral reef ecology; Coral reproduction; Coral recruitment; Coral larval propagation, Coral reef restoration.
11. Koichi Yamamoto (USA, Associate professor of printmaking, University of Tennessee. IMPACT 10, Lodz Biennial 2016) and Dr. Gregory Folz (Atlantic Oceanographic and Meteorological Laboratory, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)). Role of the ocean in intraseasonal to decadal variability of tropical climate. Surface salinity and its connection to climate variability and the global water cycle.
In my recent conversation with Dr Mark Vermeij this May 2019, he painted a picture of the oceans that was much more multi-layered than the messages of doom we read in the media. Yes, species and corals will diminish and disappear, but with more study amazing new features about these organisms get discovered, showing that they are much more resilient than we give them credit for, and that there are also species that may thrive in the future. So, with the depressing state of environmental messages, there is also hope in the research. That would be a wonderful message for this portfolio to impart to the public.