Ocean Memory Project

“The ocean is more ancient than the mountains, and  freighted with the memories and the dreams of Time.” – H. P. Lovecraft

Through a grant from the National Academies of Science / Keck Futures Initiative, Rutstein was invited in 2017 to collaborate in interdisciplinary workshops with a diverse group of scientists and artists exploring a new line of scientific inquiry: ocean memory.

The Ocean Memory Project has been exploring the largely unknown world of the deep sea in the context of memory. Trans-disciplinary workshops have spurred innovative science and art projects that are helping us understand and communicate how changes in our global environment are recorded by the deep ocean and its inhabitants.

We hypothesize that environmental changes are recorded in deep sea “memories” encoded via genetic and epigenetic mechanisms within organisms as well as physical traits within the dynamic structure of the ocean itself.

Rutstein has participated in all Ocean Memory workshops:

1. September 2017: Friday Harbor Laboratories (University of Washington) in the San Juan Islands, Washington
2. March 2018: Djerassi Residency for Artists in Woodland, California
3. February 2019: Boone Center for Environmental Studies on Catalina Island, CA*
4. October 2019: Ocean Memory Expedition at Sea on UW’s RV/Rachel Carson in the Salish Sea in British Columbia
5. June 2020: Seed Seminar on Cognition & Genomics (virtual seminar originally planned at Virden Center at University of Delaware)*

*Rutstein was an organizer and facilitator of the workshop.

For more information: oceanmemoryproject.com

topo VII, acrylic and gouache on paper, 12x12"