Boil the Ocean (ICA San Diego)


Custom generative animation software, sound, screens, marine debris, wall drawings, custom wood scaffolds

Sound Design: Scott Reitherman. Software: Sam Brenner. Animation: Marina Zurkow and Ewan Creed. Technology: James Schmitz. Scaffold architecture: Keith Edwards. Documentation: Phillip Rittermann

Commissioned by the ICA San Diego

Text by Guusje Sanders, curator:

Aided by the constructed marine debris island, visitors can see, smell, touch, hear and taste their presence within the ocean. The installation invites participants to re-imagine their connections to the ocean and challenge their conditioned perspectives. By slowing down in a complex space of systems, an opportunity arises to assume an ocean-centric view that encompasses the graceful, filthy, tangled, fantastic realities and imaginary churns.

This marine viewpoint is paralleled in the generative animations embedded within the debris island; they evoke a sense of leaving all temporalities behind as the animations are continuously and randomly encountering each other on-screen. The algorithmic works, like the ocean, have a life of their own beyond the audiences’ presence; however, the relationships between the installation, the ocean, and the viewer are defined by these short moments of interaction.

Zurkow questions how we can get beyond a singular set of compartmentalized, human-centric perspectives that govern one’s behavior. Instead, she offers a more expansive notion of familiarity and affection with the ocean, in the hope of better guiding future actions.