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 Academy of Sciences | Keck Futures Initiative, Rutstein was invited in 2017 to join an interdisciplinary workshop of a diverse group of scientists and artists exploring a new line of scientific inquiry: ocean memory.

Since 2017, as a recipient of a $500,000 NAKFI Challenge Grant, The Ocean Memory Project has been continuing to explore 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 the following Ocean Memory related workshops, projects and grants:

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)*
6. Aug 2020-Sept 2021: Seed Grant recipient for “Blue Dreams” video art piece
7. Aug 2020: Co-authored article in Scientific American
8. March 2021: Guest speaker on Ocean Memory Web Seminar Series
9. April 2021: Sounding Workshop and concert, hosted by Stanford University (virtual)
10. Nov 2021 – June 2022: “Journeys through Water” Exhibition and Guest Speaker at University of Washington
11. Feb 2022: Seed Seminar on Senses and Sensing (virtual)
12. June 2022: Seed Seminar Grant Recipient – “Senses Submerged” Workshop in Puerto Morelos, Mexico*
13. April 2023: Seed Seminar on Memory Loss, Location TBD, Georgia*

*Rutstein was an organizer and facilitator of the workshop.

For more information: oceanmemoryproject.com