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.”
‘Tidalectics’ provides a unique collection of the strongest voices in oceanic thinking, bridging arts, oceanography, history, law, and environmental studies.