Art and Marine Science

The relationship between art and science is more pronounced than might be obvious. To interpret the actions of the natural world requires creative design, an open mind, and the admission on the part of the researcher that what is coming next is unknown. With every study we conduct, our role is to interpret the true story of the natural world. In this way, creativity is essential for truth-telling; and as scientists, our role is to tell the truth. The role of the artist is perhaps not so different: creative interpretation of the essential. Telling the story of science can also be done with fabric and thread, pen and paper, or a camera and lens. 

Sound Science is committed to shifting the culture of science to be more equitable and inclusive. Embracing the arts and artists who are committed to our work and our story is one way of doing this – our way of sharing science so all can understand.

This summer, we are doing this in a tangible way, starting with the premiere of the Drew Xanthopoulos’ feature-length documentary “Fathom” (I’ve mentioned Drew and his film on our blog before). This week, our team is headed to the Tribeca Film Festival in New York City to watch the premiere and hold our breath as we share this intimate fieldwork experience with the world. 

Ink on paper by our friend and colleague Danielle Nelson. Danielle also designed our logo and has been an affiliate artist since our inception. Find her on instagram @dayvayen

This is an important moment for us. Indeed, it is also an emotional and vulnerable moment for us. We are a new organization with a team of scientists, who have dedicated our careers and lives to study these animals to ensure they have a permanent place on our planet. This film follows one of our first major Sound Science projects from inception to initial conclusions. This includes our struggles, our quirks, and our successes.

In short, the film represents an experience that we have lived through yet lack the skill to express fully. Drew has filled that void for us by capturing what we do, why we do it, and what we risk to share the secrets of the ocean with you. With this documentary, as well as some of the other exciting projects we are working on, we see an future ahead of us. To share this process of our research is an enormous privilege.

We hope to continue collaborating with artists long-term, starting with our own (see the piece by Danielle Nelson above). On our team, we have painters, crafters, and writers. We hope you’ll be excited to see their work as our organization grows. 

Rent Fathom from the Tribeca film festival here and watch on June 17th or watch on Apple TV+ starting on June 25th. We’re embracing social media in a whole new way this week. You’ll see a bit of a blitz in our Instagram stories and likely on Facebook. Follow along as your interest and life allow. We hope you get a chance to enjoy the film and don’t hesitate to reach out to us. 

Sound Science is a federally registered 501 c(3) non-profit. Your donations are tax-deductible and keep our organization afloat.

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