Call for artists for EMBracing the Ocean 2023 – 2024 programme

EMB’s artist-in-residence programme ‘EMBracing the Ocean’ provides grants for creative individuals or groups to co-create work with Ocean scientists. It aims to inspire wide reaching societal change for Ocean sustainability by expanding societies’ understanding of the Ocean’s value and the urgency of ensuring its health and resilience now and into the future.

If we are to ensure the effectiveness of scientific solutions developed within the UN Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development, society’s relationship with the Ocean must change. The arts are powerful ways to impact society and drive societal change due to their role in conveying human values, ideas, and visions; developing social, cultural, and individual identities; offering innovative approaches to communication and dialogue around complex issues; distilling information; and producing new knowledge and insights. This programme is part of EMB’s support for the Ocean Decade, and contributes to the Ocean Decade societal challenge of an inspiring and engaging Ocean where society understands and values the Ocean in relation to human wellbeing and sustainable development. The EMBracing the Ocean programme additionally supports the goals of the EU Mission Restore our Ocean and Waters (Mission Ocean) to protect and restore marine ecosystems and biodiversity, prevent and eliminate pollution in our Ocean and to make the sustainable blue economy carbon-neutral and circular. Public mobilisation and engagement are key enablers of the Mission Ocean, for which art plays an important role.

Background information

The Ocean covers 70% of the surface of our planet, forms 95% of the biosphere in terms of volume and is essential for supporting life. The Ocean regulates global climate systems and has absorbed one third of excess carbon dioxide emitted into our atmosphere since the industrial revolution, as well as the majority of Earth’s excess heat. It provides potential for a huge source of renewable energy, coastal protection, recreation and cultural well-being, as well as being an importance source of food and medicine. These benefits that the Ocean provides are dependent on the maintenance of Ocean physical, chemical, geological, and biological processes, healthy and resilient marine ecosystems, and a shift in human activities towards sustainable practices. The Ocean is too often out of sight and out of mind, and is increasingly under threat from human activities including global population growth, pollution (including CO2, nutrients, plastics, noise), climate change, and over-fishing, causing the widespread loss and degradation of marine ecosystems and biodiversity. However, there are solutions which we must embrace and scale-up to overcome global sustainability challenges. This includes the conservation and restoration of key marine ecosystems such as mangroves, coral reefs, and seagrass; reducing marine pollution; sustainably managing our fisheries and other resource use; and strengthening empathy towards our Ocean.

A key principle of the EMBracing the Ocean programme is co-creation of work between artists and their scientific collaborators. Co-creation is the process of creating something new together while exchanging and reshaping ideas. The artists and scientists are considered equal and each side benefits and learns from the process. The goal of co-created art-science projects should go beyond making complex scientific topics more accessible to the public, but also for the scientists to gain new insights into their work by collaborating with artists.

Call for artists for 2023 – 2024 programme

The European Marine Board (EMB) is looking for two new artists for the 2023 – 2024 edition of our ‘EMBracing the Ocean’ artist-in-residence programme. As we enter the third year of the UN Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development, the need to connect people to our Ocean is more important than ever. The EMBracing the Ocean programme provides 10,000 euro grants for creative individuals/groups from a wide range of disciplines to co-create artwork in collaboration with Ocean scientists to raise societal awareness of the Ocean’s value and inspire behavioural change for a sustainable future.

How to apply

You can find more information about the programme and how to apply by downloading our ‘Application Information’ document. A template for preparing submission materials is available here, and applicants are welcome to consult our FAQs. Applications can be submitted until midnight CET on 20 February 2023 using the application form.

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