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Digital initiative

Tavola: Finding perspective

Looking through the waters of the North Atlantic



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

"Finding perspective. Looking through the waters of the North Atlantic" is the second "Tavola" organized by the participants of the 2020 Ocean Fellowship.

Inspired by the Latin roots of the word ‘perspective’, per- (through) + specere (to look), themes of perspective and perception guide the enquiry of Tavola 2 beyond, beneath and around the Gulf Stream. As a historical sandbox for western science, the North Atlantic ocean has been subject to various modes of sensing and measuring, which Ocean Fellows Alexandra Boghosian and Fiona Middleton explore in relation to modes of visualising ocean circulation and seabed mapping in the North Atlantic.

By reimagining a classroom experiment, participants are invited to engage in tangibly ‘sensing’ the properties of water bodies that drive three-dimensional movement of currents such as the Gulf Stream, but which are invisible to the naked eye and can barely be imaged on the oceanic scale (contributions are welcomed - please find lab instructions here). Following dense waters, we sink to the seabed to share the story of the first seabed map of the North Atlantic, created by Marie Tharp in 1957. Its unique physiographic form, necessitated by data censorship during the Cold War and guided by Tharp’s skilled interpolation, inspired groundbreaking discoveries that continue to resonate through the earth sciences.

The impetus to map the world’s oceans continues in the GEBCO Seabed 2030 seabed mapping initiative. Vicki Ferrini, seafloor scientist and geoinformaticist at the Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory, Columbia University, joins the Tavola to share her perspective as head of the Atlantic and Indian Oceans Regional Center of Seabed 2030, to discuss the techniques used to measure and represent the ocean, and the gulf between data and information.


The "Tavola" are conceived as a space (without walls) for discussion. They are organized and promoted by the participants of the 2020 Ocean Fellowship created by TBA21—Academy within the context of Territorial Agency’s exhibition “Oceans in Transformation” at Ocean Space, in Venice, and its manifestation on Ocean Archive. Each Tavola intersects autonomously the Trajectories identified by Territorial Agency.

This event was conceived and coordinated by researchers Alexandra Boghosian and Fiona Middleton under the supervision of the two mentors Barbara Casavecchia and Louise Carver. Click here for more information about the Ocean Fellowship program.