Book launch and talk: TIDALECTICS

12 September 2018, 19:00–21:00

Cover image: Tidalectics Imagining an Oceanic Worldview through Art and Science  Edited by Stefanie Hessler Published by MIT and TBA21–Academy, London
Image credit: Tue Greenfort, Tamoya Ohboya. Exhibition view, Tidalectics, TBA21 2017. Photo: Jorit Aust

Welcome to the Stockholm book launch of Tidalectics: Imagining an Oceanic Worldview through Art and Science, published by MIT and TBA21–Academy. Edited by Stefanie Hessler, with foreword by Markus Reymann. The launch is part of Index’ exhibition And Tomorrow And. During the evening there will be a conversation between Editor Stefanie Hessler and exhibition curator Bronwyn Bailey-Charteris, with excerpts of the texts shared.

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-Bornesmisza 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.” The art projects documented in the book form part of an exhibition curated by the volume’s editor, and include a video of the infinite whites, blues, and grays 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. Tidalectics provides a unique collection of the strongest voices in oceanic thinking, bridging arts, oceanography, history, law, and environmental studies.

With contributions by
Nabil Ahmed, Tamatoa Bambridge, Kamau Brathwaite, Guigone Camus, Rachel Carson, Cynthia Chou, Paul D’Arcy, Tony deBrum, Elizabeth DeLoughrey, Keller Easterling, Bill Graham, Francesca von Habsburg, Stefan Helmreich, Stefanie Hessler, Cresantia Frances Koya Vaka’uta, Rosiana Lagi, Stéphanie Leyronas, Chus Martínez, Astrida Neimanis, Elizabeth A. Povinelli, Markus Reymann, Philip E. Steinberg, Khal Torabully, Lingikoni Vaka’uta, Davor Vidas, Susanne M. Winterling

Artists in the exhibition Tidalectics surveyed in the book
Atif Akin, Darren Almond, Julian Charrière, Em’kal Eyongakpa, Tue Greenfort, Ariel Guzik, Newell Harry, Alexander Lee, Eduardo Navarro, Sissel Tolaas, Janaina Tschäpe & David Gruber, Jana Winderen, Susanne M. Winterling

About the Editor
Stefanie Hessler is Curator at TBA21–Academy in London and Guest Professor and Curator for Art Theory at the Royal Institute of Art in Stockholm.