“How can we apprehend the ocean today? How do we imagine our future in relation to the vast maritime domain? Are we able to develop empathy towards this main source of life? Can we escape the systematic exploitation of the ocean? These essential questions need to be addressed…”
Our Ocean Guide, MAP Office, Lightbox Publishing
“Our Ocean Guide” is the brain-child of artist duo MAP Office (Valérie Portefaix and Laurent Gutierrez) in collaboration with Lightbox, and is a totally non-profit project created to raise awareness among the international art community on the environment issues related to the sea.
“Our Ocean Guide” should not be confused for a navigation guide, the type of book you take on your boat to be able to survive at sea, to find valuable passage through the right winds and currents, to read the stars when your compass fails.
Most people have an obstinate tendency to observe the world from land, the build and its infrastructure, the planned and its controlled space, the domesticated and its economy. “Our Ocean Guide” started with a simple ambition: to develop a process through which to show what MAP Office has been learning from their compulsive exploration of islands, and to communicate this in a printed format. The guide is a room where we invited contributors from multiple horizons – scientists, oceanographers, activists, anthropologists, artists, poets, architects, cooks, farmers, fishermen – to share their research, their actions, their dreams.
Addressing the ocean from the perspective of multiple locations that need to be discovered reinforces the fact that very little is known about it. Already in endangered from massive exploitation of its resources, the ocean is a fragile biome which has already reached its maximum level of resilience. Our Ocean Guide tends to foster empathy towards this essential and original materiality that is the main body of water and component of Our Planet.
“Our Ocean Guide” was born from friendship with the aim to draw the attention of the international art community towards the ocean. This is a not-for profit project: all revenues will be donated to the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society for the sake of marine life.
Read a sample of the book here.
If you want to read “Our Ocean Guide” and help us raise funds for Sea Shepherd write us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org
My Art Guides will take a little summer break and will be back on 21 August. Have a great summer and enjoy your readings!
- Floating City, Sandu’ao, China, 2016. Photo by MAP Office, courtesy of the artists
- Seaweed washed ashore in Tromsø, Norway. Photo by Wyn-Lyn Tan