Help us develop our program and catalyze critical ocean literacy by donating below

Skip to navigation Skip to main content


Oceans Rising

A Companion to Territorial Agency: Oceans in Transformation Book Launch Conversation


Ocean Space
Admission fee
Free of charge

Reservation is required at the following link


English with simultaneous translation


On Ocean Archive and on Ocean Space and TBA21–Academy Facebook pages

Born out of the research exhibition Territorial Agency: Oceans in Transformation "Oceans Rising" contributes to the wealth of new scholarship and expression responding to the rapidly changing world oceans. Spanning from essays to conversations, interviews, poems, and visual assemblages, the contributions give an account of the difficulties and aspirations arising from the encounters of different epistemological traditions and from reconnecting ocean sciences with the humanities, with interspecies sensibilities, and ancestral worldmaking practices deeply entangled with vast sea- and icescapes.

Oceans Rising invokes the unexpunged energy that resists past refusals, persecution, and erasures. It anticipates and experiments with the de-normalizing and re-invention of our stories, ideas, and theories of the watery world.


In line with the rules to prevent the spread of Covid-19, the capacity of Ocean Space has been reduced to guarantee a safe experience.

Participation is free but reservation is required at this link.

Masks must be worn inside Ocean Space (properly covering both nose and mouth) and hands must be sanitized with the provided sanitizer upon entrance. A temperature check will be carried out at the entrance.


Barbara Casavecchia, Pietro Consolandi, Elisa Giuliano, Astrida Neimanis, Markus Reymann, Studio Folder, Territorial Agency (John Palmesino and Ann-Sofi Rönnskog), Francesca Thyssen-Bornemisza, Mark Williams, Jan Zalasiewicz, Daniela Zyman.

BARBARA CASAVECCHIA is an Italian writer, independent curator, and educator. She teaches at Brera art academy in Milan. Contributing editor for frieze, her articles have appeared in art-agenda, ArtReview, Flash Art, La Repubblica, Mousse, Spike, and in several catalogues and art publications. In 2018, she curated the retrospective “Susan Hiller: Social Facts” at OGR, Turin. In 2020, she was a mentor of the TBA21–Academy Ocean Fellowship. She is leading The Current III, 2021–23, an interdisciplinary research project by TBA21–Academy focused on the Mediterranean Sea, titled “Thus waves, come in pairs” (after Etel Adnan).

PIETRO CONSOLANDI is an artist, writer, and curator with a background in political theory (MSc at the University of Edinburgh) and visual arts (MA at the IUAV University of Venice). His practice strives to blur the boundaries between these two disciplines. His recent works approach issues connected with the Anthropocene and the great climate acceleration, analyzing how late-stage capitalism critically strikes the world through chaotic action and irresponsible development. Primarily as part of the collective Barena Bianca, his practice uses art as a resistance tactic in Venice, highlighting how global networks of research and activism are essential to understand and tackle issues that are simultaneously ecological and sociological in nature. He was an Ocean Fellow at TBA21–Academy in 2020.

ELISA GIULIANO is a dancer, researcher, and architect. Since 2018, she has been developing a research-based project on labor systems and the control of the female body. Based on historical case studies, her research focuses on the physicality of the female workers and the patriarchal nature of capitalism. She has also examined the role of architecture as a dispositif to control bodies in the broader context of capitalist production. As a member of Open Design School, she was in charge of the research, exhibition design, and production for various projects in Matera, the European Capital of Culture 2019. She was an Ocean Fellow at TBA21–Academy in 2020.

ASTRIDA NEIMANIS writes about water, weather, and bodies from intersectional feminist perspectives. Often working in collaboration with other artists, writers, makers, and broader communities, her work has been featured in both academic publications and artistic forums such as the Shanghai Biennale, RIBOCA, and the Lofoten International Art Festival. Her most recent book is Bodies of Water (2017). She is associate professor in the Faculty of Critical and Creative Studies at the UBC Okanagan, on unceded Syilx and Okanagan territory, in Canada.

MARKUS REYMANN is director of TBA21–Academy, an organization he co-founded in 2011 with Francesca Thyssen–Bornemisza that fosters interdisciplinary dialogue and exchange surrounding the most urgent ecological, social, and economic issues facing our oceans today. Reymann leads the nonprofit’s engagement with artists, activists, scientists, and policy-makers worldwide, resulting in the creation of new commissions, new bodies of knowledge, and new policies advancing the conservation and protection of the oceans. In March 2019, TBA21–Academy launched Ocean Space, a new global port for ocean literacy, research, and advocacy. Reymann also serves as chair of Alligator Head Foundation, the scientific partner of TBA21–Academy. Alligator Head Foundation established and maintains the East Portland Fish Sanctuary and oversees a marine wet laboratory in Jamaica.

TERRITORIAL AGENCY is an independent organization that combines architecture, analysis, advocacy, and action for integrated spatial transformation of contemporary territories, founded by the architects Ann-Sofi Rönnskog and John Palmesino. Territorial Agency is engaged to strengthen the capacity of local and international communities in comprehensive spatial transformation in an age of climate change—the Anthropocene. Recent projects include “Museum of Oil” with Greenpeace, ZKM Karlsruhe, and the Chicago Architecture Biennial; “Anthropocene Observatory” with HKW Haus der Kulturen der Welt, Berlin; the Museum of Infrastructural Unconscious; North anon; Unfinishable Markermeer; Kiruna. They teach at the AA Architectural Association School of Architecture, London.

FRANCESCA THYSSEN-BORNEMISZA, Founder and chair of Thyssen-Bornemisza Art Contemporary (TBA21), is an activist, philanthropist, and patron of the arts. Driven by a belief in the power of art to serve as an agent of change, she has supported artists throughout her career in the production and creation of new work that fuels engagement with the most pressing issues of our times. TBA21 programmed a dynamic center for contemporary art in Vienna for fifteen years, and in 2019 established an office in Madrid, cooperating with the Museo Nacional Thyssen-Bornemisza to organize exhibitions from the TBA21 collection. TBA21 has partnered with institutions internationally to lend works and mount cultural programs of ambitious scale and scope. In 2011, Thyssen-Bornemisza co-founded TBA21–Academy with Markus Reymann.

MARK WILLIAMS is a professor of paleobiology at the University of Leicester, and formerly a scientist with the British Geological and British Antarctic Surveys. Williams is interested in the evolution of life, especially its current trajectory of change in the Anthropocene. He has been involved in Anthropocene research for over a decade, as a long-time member of the Anthropocene Working Group. He has written three popular science books with Jan Zalasiewicz and is working on a fourth (with Jan) that examines human impacts on the biosphere.

JAN ZALASIEWICZ is emeritus professor of paleobiology at the University of Leicester. He has been variously a field geologist, paleontologist and stratigrapher, with particular interests in mud and mudrock, long-dead plankton, ancient climates, and the geology that humans make. He has written books such as The Earth After Us, The Planet in a Pebble, and Geology: A Very Short Introduction, and (with Mark Williams) The Goldilocks Planet, Ocean Worlds, and Skeletons: The Frame of Life. With Julia Adeney Thomas and Mark Williams, he co-wrote The Anthropocene: A Multidisciplinary Approach. A member of the Anthropocene Working Group of the International Commission on Stratigraphy, he is, with Mark Williams, a co-editor of its recent summary The Anthropocene as a Geological Time Unit: A Guide to the Scientific Evidence and Current Debate.

DANIELA ZYMAN, Curator of the exhibition “Territorial Agency: Oceans in Transformation”, is the long-time artistic director of Thyssen-Bornemisza Art Contemporary (TBA21). Her research into the ocean spawned from working with TBA21–Academy, ocean-archive.org, and Ocean Space in the former Church of San Lorenzo in Venice. Before joining TBA21 in 2003, she was chief curator of MAK-Austrian Museum of Applied Art in Vienna and MAK-Center for Art and Architecture, Los Angeles. She is currently developing a new commissioned based exhibition-cum-performance with artist Walid Raad for the Museo Nacional Thyssen-Bornemisza in Madrid and finishing a publication on “Artistic Counter-research” under the framework of emerging cosmopolitics.


"Oceans Rising. A Companion to Territorial Agency: Oceans in Transformation"

Edited by Daniela Zyman, featuring a collaboration between TBA21–Academy and e-flux Architecture.

ISBN 978-3-9502064-9-4, Sternberg Press, Berlin, May 2021.

272 pages, 23 x 29,5 cm. Design: Studio Folder