Progenitor III

Deep Sea Memory 2017

A community to explore Ocean Memory
Deep Sea Memory Ocean Memory Art soniDOME Ocean Memory Challenge


A group of five collaborators who had never met before the conference were inspired to explore just what it would mean for the ocean to have memory and how that idea could transform their own practices and oceanography at large. With seed funding from NAKFI, the team planned the first Ocean Memory conference held in 2017 at the University of Washington’s historic Friday Harbor Laboratories on San Juan Island, WA, bringing together thinkers and dreamers from across the sub-fields of oceanography, cognitive science, genomics, the humanities, and visual and performing arts to begin to define Ocean Memory and understand whether it represented a bold new idea, or clever re-branding of existing knowledge. The question proved highly stimulating but formidable. A subgroup convened again the following year at the Djerassi Resident Artists Program in Riverside, CA, to put their ideas into forms that could be shared more broadly. It was clear by this time that defining and developing Ocean Memory was a line of inquiry worthy of NAKFI’s Challenge.

Seed Grant Co-PIs

Tim Broderick

Advanced Biotechnology
Underwater Human Experiences

Daniel Kohn

Art / Science Interface

Alyson Santoro

Marine Microbiology
Santoro Lab

Jody W. Deming

Microbial Oceanography
Arctic Studies
Jody Deming's Ecosystem

Margot H. knight

Fiscal Sponsor
Administration of Arts and Art-Science Retreats


Rika Anderson

Microbial Ecology & Evolution 

Neil Banas

Ecosystem modelling
Coastal and Arctic oceanography
Environmental humanities

John Baross

Deep Sea Microbiology
Origin of Life

Anna Davidson

Visual Art 
Plant Biology

Ben Fitzhugh

Indigenous Arctic Archaeology

Mandy Joye

Microbial Ecology
Organic Chemistry
Marine Ecology

Melody Jue

Ocean Literature & Media
Science Fiction
Cultural Theory

Susan Q. Lang

Water-Rock-Microbe Interactions

Christine Lee

Art, Design and Sustainability

Todd Michaels


Peter Pirolli

Cognitive neuroscience
Artificial Intelligence
Human-Computer Interactions

Patrick Rafter

Biogeochemical Cycles

Rebecca Rutstein

Visual Arts / Painting, Sculpture, Interactive Installation

Tim Weaver

Emergent Digital Practices
Ecological Memory
Bioenvironmental Engineering

Support & Fiscal Sponsor


A $100,000 grant from the National Academies Keck Futures Initiative