Accidental Gods podcast

Meeting the Ocean: Rekindling our deepest connections through art and science with Markus Reymann

Rewind 15 seconds
Fast Forward 15 seconds

How do we really create systemic change? How do we shift narratives towards a generative future? How do we bring artists, scientists, policy makers, educators, conservationists, journalists, and all the different siloed tribes together in ways that let them genuinely communicate and listen to the web of life?

This week's guest is someone who is actively working on so many levels to change all these things.  As you'll hear, Markus Reymann is a Director of a European Arts foundation, which doesn't sound nearly as exciting as it is. Because this is an arts foundation with a difference.

TBA21 says of itself that it is a leading international art and advocacy foundation and it stewards the TBA21 Collection and its outreach activities, which include exhibitions, educational offers, and public programming. The TBA21–Academy, which Markus helped set up, is the foundation’s research center, 'fostering a deeper relationship with the Ocean and other bodies of water by working as an incubator for collaborative inquiry, artistic production, and environmental advocacy. For more than a decade, the Academy has catalyzed new forms of knowledge emerging from the exchanges between art, science, policy, and conservation in long-term and collaborative engagement through fellowships and residency programs. All activity at TBA21 is fundamentally driven by artists and the belief in art and culture as a carrier of social and environmental transformation.'  

We talk a lot about social and environmental transformation on this podcast: it's what we're here for and what we believe is essential not just to creating that future we'd be proud to leave behind, but to creating any liveable future at all for most of the species on the planet.  We talk a lot, too, about systemic thinking, about paradigm shifts and about our capacity as a species to let go of our dominant narratives, and the need for someone, somewhere to bring together the scientists, the artists, the policy makers, the journalists, the educators…and do it in a way that breaks down the barriers, lets them actually understand each other - and then shows them other cultures that think differently, that have different value systems than ours ,so they can see that there are different ways of doing things that will work. 

And this, is what Markus is doing. Here is someone who understands systemic thinking and who is applying it with depth and breadth and great heart.  


Markus Reymann is Director of TBA21–Academy, a non-profit cultural organization he co-founded in 2011 that fosters interdisciplinary dialogue and exchange surrounding the most urgent ecological, social, and economic issues facing our oceans today. Markus leads the Academy’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, the Academy launched Ocean Space, a new global port for ocean literacy, research, and advocacy. Located in the restored Church of San Lorenzo in Venice, Italy, Ocean Space is activated by the itinerant Academy and its network of partners, including universities, NGOs, museums, government agencies, and research institutes from around the world.

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.

Ocean Space in Venice
Walid Raad
Anthropocene Observatory
Woods Hole Oceanographic Observatory

More episodes from "Accidental Gods"