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Benedict, Alice – Ocean Ontology

Story of the Box

Ocean Ontology

wood, paper, photo prints on silk organza, pine needles, sea glass

I’ve been thinking about the nature of water in all its forms: ice, liquid, vapor. We admire water so clear you cannot see it, air that seems like nothing at all. This is the ground of existence: the surroundings in which we swim. Do fish understand the ocean?

Perhaps what sustains us is always mostly invisible. So we create models, charts and hierarchies to connect personal experience with larger cycles of time, space, and flow.

Which then become added layers of existence. The navigation charts I used in this box were outdated when I got them several decades ago. Yet it was surprisingly hard to cut them up. The sand egg I made at Muir Beach a few weeks ago and photographed has now dried and spilled into the high tide line. Change and flow…

NB: Ontology:  The metaphysical study of the nature of being and existence. (Philosophy) 2) A rigorous and exhaustive organization of some knowledge domain that is usually hierarchical and contains all the relevant entities and their relations. (Computing) Question to self: What’s meant by relevant? And how are relations defined?

I made a short (just under 2 minutes) video Story for my box. Here’s a vimeo link.


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