Beyond Midnight (2023) 

Multimedia installation made in collaboration with Michel Droge, Carolina Valencia Gonzalez, Tristan Koepke, and Asha Tamirisa.
Video source material provided by the Schmidt Ocean Institute
Text excerpts from Undrowned: Black Feminst Lessons from Marine Mammals by Alexis Pauline Gumbs
Photo credits: Phyllis Graber Jensen

In June of 2023, Michel Droge was invited to join Co-chief Scientists Dr. Beth Orcutt of the Bigelow Laboratory for Ocean Sciences located in Boothbay Maine, (USA) and Dr. Jorge Cortés of the Universidad de Costa Rica, and an international team of scientists and artists on a month-long expedition off the Pacific Coast of Costa Rica to explore the Earth’s first-ever-discovered octopus nursery. During this excursion, they also found the fifth-known octopus nursery in the world on a seamount 30 nautical miles away. The team’s ultimate goal is to better understand the hydrogeology, microbiology, ecology, and geochemistry that may facilitate octopus nurseries while characterizing life-supporting services provided by the ecosystems on these seamounts.

As an immersive multimedia exhibition, Beyond Midnight  shares the experience of the deep sea, a place that is rarely seen by humans. The piece explores the personal and ecological potentials of observing at the edge of the unknown. In light of current demands for metals and minerals found abundantly on the sea floor and the impending risks of unregulated exploitation by mining, the vibrancy of the deep sea is shared to raise awareness of the urgent need for the protection and conservation of these delicate and vital ecosystems.

Acknowledgements: The Bates Arts Collaborative, IMPACT21st, Schmidt Ocean Institute, Bigelow Laboratory for Ocean Sciences, and The Bates Faculty Development Fund.

Somatic Proposals by Tristan Koepke
Performed January 23, 25, and 30 2024

Performers Tristan Koepke
Miguel Ángel Pacheco
Claire Kaminski
Adelle Welch
Lighting Design:  Michael Reidy

Get off center

Enter the space.
Drift, and locate the center of the space.
Find your center. Feel your center in relation to the center of the space.

Take three to five steps and get off center.


Your skin, simultaneously porous and impermeable.
A contradiction: Your skin, saturated with color, with light, the heat of a late afternoon, the salty cold of the dark floor.

Your skin, beyond itself, camouflaged, continuous. Your skin is everywhere, and you are nowhere.


Feel yourself empty. Set adrift in a sea of empty. Your form, your volume. Soft.

There is a tide. You may experience loops. Spillage. You may become an icon, but if you do, experience the empty room, and experience the emptiness in you. You are celestial. Your fingertips are everything.

My hip is empty
My elbow is empty
My throat is empty
My goals are empty
My tricep is empty
My palms are empty
My hands are small I know.

A balloon full of air in a room full of air.
A balloon full of water in a room full of water.
Not in a room at all.

Go Deep

Deep in the ocean there is pressure
It will press on your chest and your lungs will collapse.
You call it heartbreak.
It is not.
It is how what made you embraces you.
Reshapes you.
Welcomes you back.
Let it happen.


Drift, and locate the center of the space.
Find your center. Feel your center in relation to the center of the space.