Legal status: Private non-profit foundation based in Austria
Members and roles:
  • Francesca Thyssen-Bornemisza
    , Founder and Chairwoman, TBA21
  • Markus Reymann
    , Director of TBA21–Academy and Ocean Space
  • Renata Strenger
    , Executive assistant to the director
  • Irene Mastelli
    , Foundation Board Member
  • Udo Kittelmann
    , Foundation Board Member
  • Carlos Urroz
    , Director TBA21

History of the Committee

Established in 2011, TBA21–Academy is a contemporary art organization and cultural ecosystem fostering a deeper relationship to the Ocean through the lens of art to inspire care and action. For a decade, we have been an incubator for collaborative research, artistic production, and new forms of knowledge by combining art and science, resulting in exhibitions, research, and policy interventions.
In 2019, the Academy has launched two initiatives to share its research and practice with the wider public: the physical venue Ocean Space in Venice, and the digital platform Ocean Archive.

Current projects

While Ocean Space will be closed from October 17 to March 2022, the ongoing projects are:
Ocean/Uni– Fall Semester until December 15, 2021. Ocean /Uni is the free online pedagogical program by TBA21–Academy.
– Ocean School, training sessions with teachers. Ocean School is a free educational program for students from 6 to 19 years old.

Some recent projects

Future projects

– The second season of the podcast “Nowtilus. Stories from an urban lagoon in the 21st century” is to release on November 17, 2021.
– Call for application “Ocean Fellowship 2022” is to release in December 2021
– 2022 Exhibition program
– Special 2022 Biennale public program

What can be and is the role of our Committee within the Association?

We see Ocean Space as a shelter – as a space for dialogue and action, engrained in the cultural fabric of Venice. We strive to become the connecting tissue for cultural, scientific, and educational institutions, groups, individuals, and the public to join us in the collective vision for future cohabitation and to amplify the voices that live with the lagoon, and to better understand how human and non-human life can coexist in this ecosystem.

What does working in Venice mean for our Committee?

We aim to create a community of care and concern for the Ocean, as well as raise awareness for the broader issue of environmental injustice with sensitivity to changes in our immediate environments. We dedicate particular attention to phenomena directly affecting the lagoon: mass tourism, cruise travels, pollution, marine traffic, lagoon policies. We strive to amplify these conversations into global dialogues on ocean literacy and the climate crisis.