Worldwide, 18+: Open Call for Artist-at-Sea Residency Applications for scientific voyages from Tahiti with Schmidt Ocean Institute


The Program

Background and Justification

Artists and scientists both have the ability to offer a deeper understanding of our Ocean. They are important storytellers that help people to see the ocean in new perspectives. Applying these talents to ocean science and conservation can create a new space for dialogue and understanding.  Schmidt Ocean Institute is uniquely positioned to provide collaborations between artists and some of the world’s leading marine scientists, using the Institute’s research vessel Falkor as a platform of connection and interdisciplinary reach. Our science cruises offer a range of unique technology-based ocean research that lends to artistic exploration. 

Like scientists, artists conceptualize and put together ideas in new ways. We anticipate that the cross fertilization of disciplines through our Artist-at-Sea program will result in a broader awareness of the important research occurring on Falkor and a better understanding of the complex ocean issues facing us today. We believe that by providing a platform where experts from different disciplines are brought together, cross-pollination of ideas will transform both the scientists’ and artists’ work.

Artist-at-Sea Program Applicants

Schmidt Ocean Institute is looking for artists of broad disciplines to work together with scientists and crew to take inspiration from the research occurring aboard Falkor. We are seeking artists who will use the time on the ship to cultivate their creativity and respond to the research that they are immersed in, using art to communicate science to a broad audience.

Priority will go to artists who incorporate elements of technology or cutting edge methods into their techniques or medium. Artists interested in the Artist-at-Sea program should be able to make deep and meaningful connections to the science on board, bridging the research conducted at sea with the general public. Our goal is to make people rethink the way marine science is shared and break down the complexities of ocean research. Artists will be asked to work side-by-side with the scientists and Falkor crew to develop art through close and productive collaborations. Artists immersing themselves in day-to-day ship life will be asked to tie these experiences together through conceptualization, data collection, and application.

Upcoming Projects

Investigating Life Without Oxygen in the Tropical Pacific – January 15 – February 11, 2016

In January, a team of scientists will sail from Honolulu to Tahiti in search of low-oxygen areas of the ocean called oxygen deficient zones (ODZs). The cycling of carbon and nutrients – the foundation of marine life is fundamentally different in ODZs than in oxygen-rich areas. In recent years, researchers have become increasingly concerned that deoxygenation of the oceans from greenhouse gas emissions will greatly expand the total area of ODZs over the next 100 years. This first expedition of 2016 will study how these ODZ areas are functioning to better predict the oceans of the future. During this 28 day voyage, the artist will learn about the biogeochemical processes that occur within the ocean and translate their experiences with oxygen deficit zones into their work.


Tahitian Hydrothermal Vents – Out of this World Landscape – February 17, 2016 – March 2, 2016

In February, a team of scientists will sail out of Tahiti to study the underexplored submarine vents off the Society Islands in the South Pacific Ocean. Using multibeam echosounders for mapping the bottom of the ocean, taking water samples from deep below the surface, and operating an autonomous underwater vehicle (AUV) near hydrothermal vents, scientists will be able to create detailed maps of uncharted seafloor and gas-rich plumes, as well as investigate novel forms of chemically-fueled seafloor habitat and chemosynthetic ecosystems. The artist will learn about these poorly-understood deep-sea ecosystems, the process of exploration, and illustrate these “other-worldly” systems.


Residency Details

Artist Expectations

Research vessel Falkor provides a unique platform allowing artists to engage directly with the ocean in a new and challenging way. Artists will be expected to contribute daily reflections in an online blog, and share final art pieces through Schmidt Ocean Institute’s website, as well as potential exhibition spaces. One piece of artists’ choice will be asked to be left aboard Falkor to be shared and enjoyed by those who travel and visit on Falkor in the future. Art instillations could become a part of Falkor with prior consent (e.g. wall mural).

Each artist will be asked to complete a community service or outreach project in line with their talents and passions (e.g. school visit, community presentation, remote connection from Falkor, etc.). Schmidt Ocean Institute will assist the artist before they arrive on Falkor to decide on a community project.


Professional and student artists are invited to apply. Schmidt Ocean Institute is open to all art mediums including animation, bioart, data, digital, imaging, drawing, installation, painting, printmaking, sculpture, sound, film, writing, wearables, etc. Artists of all nationalities are welcome, however, artists will be responsible for obtaining their own visa (country dependent) applicable to the countries to be visited. Applicants must be over the age of eighteen and have previous work available for review in a digital format (e.g. pictures, website, etc.).

Funding and Residency

Schmidt Ocean Institute will provide roundtrip economy travel to join Falkor wherever she is located to participate in a selected cruise or transit. When available, one shared berth and work space will be provided to the selected artist at no charge, however, no stipend or funds for materials will be provided. Artists will be expected to bring their own materials and are responsible for their transfer. Meals, airport transfers to/ from the ship, and residence will be included. Duration time aboard Falkor may be up to five weeks at sea.

Application Process and Evaluation

Application forms will be provided online. Supplemental material must be submitted via email. Artists will be selected through a committee who will rank applicants based on: application of science, art dissemination, clarity and imagination, community service / outreach plan, desire and passion, experience and justification, online portfolio or digital examples of work, response to online application questions, and use of technology.

Inspiration and examples

Artist-at-Sea Classroom Project

We welcome art teachers and students who want to use and connect with the beautiful imagery, data, and science that is collected and shared by Falkor. All undersea dives using remotely operated vehicles are made available on Schmidt Ocean Institute’s YouTube channel. Scientific data collected aboard Falkor can be viewed on our Falkor Status page. Anyone wanting to use the data and visual imagery as part of their art content or installations are welcomed to the material. Please share your projects and ideas by contacting the Schmidt Ocean Institute Communications Manager at



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