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Bodies at Sea


Archives Exhibition at NCBS ( National Centre of Biological Sciences, Bangalore)

Artist and Curatorial Lead: Devika Sundar

Exhibition Design Lead: Kamini Rao / Studio Slip


"Just as the deep oceans harbor particulate records of former geological eras, water retains our more anthropomorphic secrets, even when we would forget. Our distant and more immediate pasts are returned to us in both trickles and floods."

-Astrida Neimanis, Hydrofeminism: Or, On Becoming a Body of Water

Mapping the Ocean Floor


World Ocean Floor Panorama, Bruce C. Heezen and Marie Tharp, 1977; Map, Retrieved from the Library of Congress :

Marie Tharp was a pioneer of modern oceanography and the first to map the unseen topography of the ocean floor on a global scale. "I had a blank canvas to fill with extraordinary possibilities, a fascinating jigsaw puzzle to piece together," (Tharp) 

-The Earth Institute, Columbia Climate School, Remembered: Marie Tharp, Pioneering Mapmaker of the Ocean Floor

Sonic Bodies

How do we trace the tremors and vibrations of our bodies and those hidden deep within the ocean? Can we access and recollect areas that are beyond surfaces and planes of visibility? Could sound signal blurred territories that remain indistinguishable, undetected or undiagnosed? We explore these questions through a collection of sonic bodies, immersions, resonances, voices and memories. 

Fishing for Sound, Yolande Harris


“Fishing for Sound creates a sea of spatial connections between phenomena underwater, in the mind, and from outer-space, weaving sounds from marine environments, psychotherapy and sonified navigation satellites. Common to each of these is a mass of background noise – of environment, memory and information – where listening is like fishing for sounds." - Harris 

Fishing for Sound, Video, 5 May 2020,

CODE HUMPBACK @ the Bolinas Museum 2014, Charles Lindsay, August 1, 2014,

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Emma McCormick-Goodhart, “Underwater (Un)Sound”, E-flux, Accessed 9 March 2022 

Essentially Normal Studies, Devika Sundar 


“Living with the invisible symptoms of fibromyalgia accompanies with it a strange experience of dissonance between a visible seemingly able, ‘normal’ self and the unpredictability of an imperceptible, changing body. Examining 8 years of diagnostic reports and scans, I screen and trace conflicts of invisibility, physicality and bodily experience; researching a medical environment that relies heavily on standardised scanning and testing, and examining the justification of definitive visible markers in diagnosing complex invisible illnesses.”

Essentially Normal Studies,Video,  23 Sept. 2018,

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Networks of Flow: K S Krishnan and Cone Snail Toxins

The sea holds minerals and resources that for years have been harvested for human use. The discovery and

possibilities of medicinal chemicals and toxins found within marine organisms within the sea, have created unique networks of flow that tide and spill from the ocean into the channels and streams of our own bodies. 


KS Krishnan was a scientist whose work blurred the boundaries of scientific disciplines. After decades of conducting research on Drosophila, he moved to studying pharmacological applications of cone snail toxins as potential medicinal pain relievers. Krishnan saw the ocean as harbouring endless possibilities for scientific discovery and innovation.


Map displaying collection sites for cone snails from South India, MS-003_1_3_3_3_P_0001, Archives at NCBS.

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