It is interested in singular encounters with the ocean and the knowledge that is inherent in those encounters. The relation of hands to the mud, ears to the breaking of the waves, feet to the feeling of sinking is what is relevant to it, rather than the ocean “in itself”, devoid of human presence.
In a series of private meetings, which are called Ocean Conversations and Demonstrations, different people’s experiences and memories of the ocean are explored. In public performances, the institute aims to reenact and share those private conversations with the public. Performance and poetry play a major role in the institute’s work. In fact, it uses microphones, speakers, light filters, reflective foils and the like for its research, considering them to be at least as appropriate for studying personal relations to oceans as microscopes or petri dishes. The central question the institute poses is: how can the ocean be summoned within the quotidian and how can poetry, an ocean poetics, be the motor for such summoning?
The process of development of the Oceanographies Institute essentially involves two simultaneous processes of becoming: the research becoming ocean and its becoming Institute. The tensions arising from those two seemingly opposing movements is, in essence, what all the work is about.