Ocean Memory Project


Blue Dreams, Immersive Video Projection on an 11′ x 35′ custom curved screen, National Academy of Sciences, Washington D.C.

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

The Ocean Memory Project is a transdisciplinary group of researchers across the arts, sciences and humanities exploring the intersection of ocean and memory. For six years the group has investigated how the ocean and its inhabitants are an interconnected system with agency and memory, where environmental changes are recorded within living things and through the dynamic processes within the ocean structure itself.

Through an initial grant from the National Academy of Sciences / Keck Futures Initiative, Rutstein was invited in 2017 to join the Ocean Memory Project at its first workshop. Since 2018, after being awarded a $500,000 Challenge Grant from the National Academy of Sciences / Keck Futures Initiative, The Ocean Memory Project has continued to explore the largely unknown world of the deep sea and memory. Transdisciplinary workshops have spurred innovative science and art projects helping us understand and communicate how changes in our global environment are recorded by the deep ocean and its inhabitants.

Rutstein has participated in the following workshops, projects and grants, and was an organizer and facilitator of the workshops with an (*)

September 2017
Friday Harbor Laboratories (University of Washington), San Juan Island, Washington

March 2018
Djerassi Residency for Artists in Woodland, California

February 2019
Boone Center for Environmental Studies, University of Southern California, Catalina Island, CA*

October 2019
Ocean Memory Expedition at Sea on UW’s RV/Rachel Carson in the Salish Sea in British Columbia

June 2020
Seed Seminar on Cognition & Genomics (virtual seminar originally planned at Virden Center at University of Delaware)*

Aug 2020-Sept 2021

Seed Grant for “Blue Dreams” video art piece

Aug 2020
Co-authored article in Scientific American

March 2021
Guest speaker on Ocean Memory Web Seminar Series

April 2021
Sounding Workshop and concert, hosted by Stanford University (virtual)

Nov 2021 – June 2022
Journeys through Water Exhibition and Guest Speaker at University of Washington

Feb 2022
Seed Seminar on Senses and Sensing (virtual)

June 2022
Seed Grant Recipient, “Senses Submerged” Workshop in Puerto Morelos, Mexico*

April 2023
Seed Seminar on Memory Loss, UGA Marine Institute, Sapelo Island, Georgia*

June 2023
Seed Grant Recipient, The Immersion Project

June 2023
Seed Grant Recipient, Losing the Architectural Memory of Sea Ice

Oct 2023
The Remembering Workshop, Friday Harbor Laboratories, (University of Washington), San Juan Island, Washington*

Nov 2023
Ocean Memory Cresting Conference (virtual)