Isabel Lewis, O.C.E.A.N.I.C.A. (Occasions Creating Ecologically Attuned Narratives in Collective Action), 2021. Exhibition-performance “The Soul Expanding Ocean #2: Isabel Lewis”, Ocean Space, Venice.

Photo: Kinonauts
Taloi Havini, Answer to the Call, 2021. Exhibition view The Soul Expanding Ocean #1: Taloi Havini, Ocean Space, Venice.

Photo: Enrico Fiorese.
'The Current' Cycle II: Chus Martinez, Convening #2 Venice, 2019.

Photo: Enrico Fiorese
"When above…”, Territorial Agency, Ocean Space, Venice, 2020. Courtesy of TBA21–Academy. Photo: Marco Cappelletti.
Ambisonic Recording on an Academy Expedition, 2016.

Photo: Markus Reymann
‘Oceans Calling’ by Laura Anderson Barbata, Performance at UN Ocean Conference, New York, 2017.
‘The Oceanic’ Exhibition, NTU Centre for Contemporary Art Singapore, 2018.
‘The Current’ Cycle II: SUPERFLEX, Convening #1 Copenhagen, 2018.
‘The Current’ Cycle I: Ute Meta Bauer, Convening #3 Singapore, 2018.

Photo: PangolinFilmsSG

TBA21–Academy is TBA21's research center fostering a deeper relationship with the Ocean and other bodies of water through the lens of art to inspire care and action. Established in 2011, the Academy has since worked as an incubator for collaborative inquiry, artistic production, and environmental advocacy, catalyzing new forms of knowledge emerging from the exchanges between art, science, policy, and conservation.

In 2019, TBA21–Academy opened Ocean Space in Venice, a planetary center that hosts exhibitions, research, and public activities that accelerate critical ocean literacy through the arts.  Building on TBA21–Academy’s expansive work, this embassy for the Ocean fosters engagement and collective action on the most pressing issues facing the Ocean today. 

Its digital counterpart, Ocean-Archive.org, is a user-based platform in the making, conceived as a framework for collaborative research that brings together the multitude of voices and stories around the Ocean and connects those striving to nurture and protect it. Designed as a storytelling and pedagogical tool, the Archive translates current knowledge about the Ocean into a shared language that enables us to make better decisions for urgently needed policies. 

Following its commitment to the Ocean through the curatorial fellowship program The Current, in 2022, in the 20th anniversary year of the foundation, TBA21–Academy expanded its research beyond the oceanic to all bodies of water. This decade-long legacy became the foundation for Meandering, a new platform for critical water ecologies that builds on the Academy’s methodology of long-term research led by artists in dialogue with multiple disciplines and practices, such as science, policy, activism, and conservation.