correspondence

Correspondence from …

Deep Anatomy”, Dean's Blue Hole, Long Island, Bahamas

Preliminary Provocations…

  • "Transcendence", a documentary on the psychology of extreme sports, such as the diving competition taking place during the Bahama's program, the PhD thesis of Dr Eric Brymer from the Faculty of Health at Queensland University of Technology about extreme sports psychology. 

Programmed Papers, Panels & Performances…

dEEP ANATOMY
April 27-May 10, 2015-04-22 Long Island, The Bahamas

An interdisciplinary symposium, between performance studies and freediving for Fluid States Psi#21, and Vertical Blue 2015.

This cluster uses the unique geography of The Bahamas and the Vertical Blue  free-diving championship (‘the Wimbledon of Free-diving’, NY Times) as a site for provocative intersections between the local community, athletes, and performance studies academics. The programme and curation of the event examines performance and free-diving both as integrated processes: where action and intellect combine, and a ‘deep anatomy’ occurs. This key theme applies Richard Sennet’s discussions on craft to the work of the athlete and the performance artist, where a physical act or process is invested with deep ethical values through material consciousness and care-full action.

By engaging with a so called ‘extreme sports’ it will be possible to look at an activity that society marginalises and defines as dangerous with this label. The cluster attempts to discuss a contemporary condition that is preoccupied with physical limitations and irrational mental constructs such as fear and terror, recognizing the pervasive impact this has across society. Free-divers disregard these inhibitors in order to reach great depths, conquering mental and physical boundaries to redefine the limits of human performance. An alliance with this sport helps the performance studies community to critique the limitations that are imposed on our physical and mental lives by the performance cultures that we inhabit.

By locating the event in a place such as Long Island, there is a proximity to and a distance from Western culture that will emphasise certain paradoxes. In these islands (Baha-mar, “shallow sea) of flat unthreatening depths and long sands, the sudden abyss of Dean’s Blue Hole is an invitation to look beneath the surface of things, and dive into places beyond the reach of breath.

CONTRIBUTIONS

  • Denise Batchelor – One Breath [read more]
  • Mick Douglas – Sampling.Salting.Sounding [read more]
  • Sara Malou Strandvad – Performing Water: a sociology of freediving [read more]
  • Sally J Morgan – In the Hollow of Your Hand [read more]
  • Amelia Taverner – Cast Aways [read more]
  • Sam Trubridge – Many Breaths (to lift an anchor from the sea bed) [read more]
  • Tracy C Davis – visiting correspondent [read more]
  • Jess Richards – visiting correspondent [read more]

ONE BREATH, Denise Batchelor (NZ)
Whitecliffe College of Art and Design, Auckland.

For thousands of years, freedivers have gathered food, harvested resources, and reclaimed things lost to the deep. The ongoing video project One Breath will begin at Deep Anatomy, exploring various branches of this contemporary community today and engaging with free-diving as a competitive, commercial, and recreational pursuit that crosses various cultures worldwide. Inspired by her brother’s forty plus years as a free-diving paua (abalone) fisherman, Batchelor juxtaposes ‘still-framed’ video imagery with recordings of oral stories and oceanic sounds, evoking a deep sense of connection to breath and rhythm. One Breath examines the physical, psychological, and perhaps even metaphysical associations with the discipline of free-diving.Upon returning to New Zealand, Batchelor will relate this story to the story of a NZ diver who has dived the North Island’s Wairarapa coast for over 40 years.

Denise Batchelor is an award-winning artist with vast experience filming the natural world, including the breathing rhythms of various marine and land-based animalia. A graduate of Whitecliffe College of Art and Design (Auckland, NZ), Batchelor has exhibited her videography and photography internationally and across New Zealand, most recently for The Performance Arcade 2015. She was the 2013 Auckland Regional Parks Artist-In-Residence, and is currently exhibiting video work at the Dowse Museum in Wellington, NZ. Her work is also in various private and public collections, including the Wallace Arts Trust.

www.denisebatchelor.com

www.youtube.com/watch?v=fPgMW8si4Aw

 

SAMPLING.SALTING.SOUNDING, Mick Douglas (Australia)
RMIT University, Melbourne

This contribution to Deep Anatomy is part of a series of performance works entitled ‘Circulations’ that are linked through an exploration of salt: as matter, as substance of social and economic exchange, as a material invested with symbolic and ritual significances in different cultures, and as an element in the hydrological cycle that is essential to life.

The work will occur as a live performance research and presentation process over the 14 days of Deep Anatomy: dialoguing with, and responding to, the three-act structure of the Vertical Blue competition. This will be done along three lines of performance practice enquiry: sampling, salting, and sounding. The work will focus on investigative modes on competition days, and will use public modes of encounter/experience on the ‘incursion’ days (DAY 4, 8, and 13). This cyclical approach seeks to build an accumulative performance work over three iterations, in three parts, guided by a dramaturgy of cycles.

Mick Douglas is an artist and initiator of projects across art, performance, and design. His work has been presented in Australia, New Zealand, India, Pakistan, throughout Europe and North America. Socially engaged large-scale public projects include W-11 Tram: an art of journeys commissioned by the cultural festival of the 2006 Commonwealth games in Melbourne, and the ongoing Tramjatra: imagining Melbourne and Kolkataby tramways. His solo durational projects Container Walk, Carriage, and Return have been presented in The Performance Arcade 2013-2015. Recent collective process-driven projects include Shuttle through the North American deserts, and PPPPP practice in Melbourne. Mick is director of the Fluid States cluster in Melbourne Australia, Performing Mobilities.

http://www.mickdouglas.net/

 

PERFORMING WATER: A Sociology of Freediving, Sara Malou Strandvad (Denmark)
Roskilde University, Roskilde

 Experiencing ourselves in water, through free-diving, reconfigures our understandings of what we are capable of. Relaxing to perform under water reveals that body and mind cannot be separated, and that our bodily performances become reconfigured by the water; in some way this natural element ‘performs’ us and thus becomes a non-human actor. The project Performing Water is a site-specific sociological study that aims to trace emotions, sensations, and experiences of being underwater. The findings will be presented as a lecture performance at the Deep Anatomy Symposium.

The study has begun in cold Danish winter with a literature review and an auto-ethnography of introductory free-diving. Based on these theoretical and empirical inspirations, a number of hypotheses about the attractions of free-diving are established and will be tested at Long Island. To do so, interviews will be carried out with athletes and others interested in free-diving during Vertical Blue and the Deep Anatomy incursions. Based on this collection of stories of being under water, Strandvad will give a presentation at the Deep Anatomy Symposium delivering her ‘preliminary results’; bringing together her theoretical inspirations and empirical material to produce a ‘polyvocal’ sociology of free-diving.

Sara Malou Strandvad is a sociologist and associate professor at the program of Performance Design at the Department of Communication, Business, and Information Technologies, Roskilde University. She works at the intersections of sociology of art, cultural studies, organization studies, and with inspiration from science and technology studies. Her research has primarily been concerning a socio-material approach in cultural production studies. Other focus areas have been creative work, the notion of talent and aesthetic valuations. Besides her academic qualifications, Sara has been on the national Danish underwater rugby team since 2005.

 

IN THE HOLLOW OF YOUR HAND, Sally J Morgan (NZ)
Massey University, Wellington

The artist works towards producing a video work that examines her terror of falling backward into water that stems from an experience of nearly drowning at the age of three. Conceived as a video/live broadcast, the work will involve the artist being submerged, at the hands of another woman, backward, into water.

Sally J Morgan is an internationally exhibited artist based in New Zealand. Her artwork has been exhibited in France, Belgium, Switzerland, the Netherlands, Germany, Brazil, Japan, the UK, USA, and New Zealand. She has had artworks selected for international festivals at London’s ICA; Belluard/Bollwerk Fribourg, Switzerland; The Performance Arcade, New Zealand; and DRINT, Utrecht, the Netherlands. Her work is held in a number of collections and she has upcoming performances at Te Tuhi in Auckland, Syracuse University, New York, and the IN>Time Performance Festival, Chicago.

http://creative.massey.ac.nz/about/our-people/pro-vice-chancellors-office-faculty/professor-sally-j-morgan/

 

CAST AWAYS, Amelia Taverner (Canada/NZ)
Massey University, Wellington

Cast Aways is a work that critiques our love of disposable fashion and our attitudes towards the people who make it and wear it. By working with washed up garments from the beach I hope to put life back into the clothing and the bodies that wore them. These recovered items come from shipwrecked refugee boats travelling from Haiti to the USA. Cast Aways is a work in three phases: the discarded, unification, and revival.

Amelia Taverner has a BFA Honours in Theatre Production and Design from York University in Toronto. She is passionate about costume design and construction. She has designed costumes for various productions in Toronto. Recent credits include costume design and construction for The Film Series by Carol Brown in Auckland, NZ, and wardrobe management forSleep/Wake by The Playground NZ at La MaMa, New York. In June, she will begin her Master’s in Design at Massey University, Wellington, focusing on costume design sustainability.

 

MANY BREATHS (to lift an anchor from the sea bed), Sam Trubridge (NZ)
Massey University, Wellington

This work attempts to use a collective action to retrieve an anchor that has laid on the Long Island seabed for many years, covered in coral and weed. Deep Anatomy participants and members of the island community will be invited to fill plastic bubbles with their breath and attach them to a growing cluster of bubbles affixed to its shank. Thus, piece by piece, the individual breaths will lift the anchor from the sea-bed and return it to the surface. An anchor is a boat’s connection with the earth through the sea-floor. It creates a link between the floating fluid state above and the safety and security of terra firma below: holding a boat fast in storms, and keeping it in harbour. Upon retrieving it from the seabed we will clean it in preparation for its next voyage – removing the accumulations to reveal the pitted and corroded metal underneath. This work will then be sent as a gift (or ‘vessel’) between the Long Island cluster for Fluid States, and the next cluster in Santorini, Greece. We hope that this might also help develop links between Long Island’s Greek population, who arrived on the island 150 years ago.

Sam Trubridge is a performance designer, artist, and director for The Playground NZ. He has created performance art and theatre works for venues and events in New Zealand, Czech Republic, Spain, Brazil, Italy, UK, and the USA. This includes The Restaurant of Many Orders (UK, NZ, Italy) and with sleep scientist Philippa Gander Sleep/Wake for The Auckland Festival 2009. In 2010 he extended this collaboration with The Waking Incubator: a trans-disciplinary symposium with arts practitioners and sleep scientists. He is associate editor (Oceania) for World Scenography, a survey of performance design from 1975-2015. Until recently he lectured in Performance Design and Spatial Design at Massey University (NZ) and programmed Massey’s Print Factory Performance Laboratory. He currently directs the annual Performance Arcade on Wellington Waterfront and is studying toward a Phd in Creative Practises at Massey University. He is the director and convenor for Deep Anatomy.

SCHEDULE

Friday, 24th April – 4pm beach clean up

 

DEEP ANATOMY
Schedule of Events

 

Saturday, 25th April                                                                                                                             .

5.00pm Athlete welcome and registration, Vertical Blue 2015     

6.00pm                 Opening address / Briefing / Vessel delivery from the Fluid States New Delhi cluster convenor, Rustom Bharucha

7.00pm                 Drinks and fun

 

Sunday, 26th April                                                                                                                                .

Orientation, and preparations

 

Monday, 27th April                                                                                                                                              .

9-1pm   Day 1, Act 1: Vertical Blue
                                Dean’s Blue Hole.

 

Tuesday, 28th April                                                                                                                                              .

9-1pm   Day 2, Act 1: Vertical Blue

                                Dean’s Blue Hole

 

Wednesday, 29th April                                                                                                                       .

9-1pm   Day 3, Act 1: Vertical Blue

                                Dean’s Blue Hole

5pm                       ‘Intersection’ Talks: at Lloyds Bar

These events are held to provide opportunity for discussion and dialogue around Deep Anatomy and the Vertical Blue competition. It is called the 'Intersection Talks' because they will be held at the crossroads next to the Blue Hole, and because of the intention to bring together various communities to find more out about each other: the athletes, the artists, local Long Islanders, and other visitors to the island. Everyone is welcome to attend, and join in the discussion afterwards.

 

Each of the invited speakers will have 6 minutes and 40 seconds to talk, in the famous Pecha Kucha format: http://www.pechakucha.org/

Speakers are welcome to choose up to 20 images to attend their talk as a slideshow. The slides will change every 20 seconds to complete the 6'40" duration for the presentation. It is short, concise, and fun!

 

Thursday, 30th April                                                                                                                                            .

Mick Douglas, performance part 1 - Sampling-Salting-Sounding  (location and time tba)

 

Friday, 1st May                                                                                                                                      .

9-1pm   Day 4, Act 2: Vertical Blue

                                Dean’s Blue Hole

 

Saturday, 2nd May                                                                                                                                               .

9-1pm   Day 5, Act 2: Vertical Blue

                                Dean’s Blue Hole

 

Sunday, 3rd May                                                                                                                                                 .

9-1pm   Day 6, Act 2: Vertical Blue

                                Dean’s Blue Hole

5pm                       ‘Intersection’ Talks: at Lloyds Bar

These events are held to provide opportunity for discussion and dialogue around Deep Anatomy and the Vertical Blue competition. It is called the 'Intersection Talks' because they will be held at the crossroads next to the Blue Hole, and because of the intention to bring together various communities to find more out about each other: the athletes, the artists, local Long Islanders, and other visitors to the island. Everyone is welcome to attend, and join in the discussion afterwards.

 

Each of the invited speakers will have 6 minutes and 40 seconds to talk, in the famous Pecha Kucha format: http://www.pechakucha.org/

Speakers are welcome to choose up to 20 images to attend their talk as a slideshow. The slides will change every 20 seconds to complete the 6'40" duration for the presentation. It is short, concise, and fun!

 

Monday, 4th May                                                                                                                                                .

Mick Douglas, performance part 2 - Sampling-Salting-Sounding  (location and time tba)

 

Tuesday, 5th May                                                                                                                                                 .

9-1pm   Day 7, Act 3: Vertical Blue

                                Dean’s Blue Hole

 

Wednesday, 6th May                                                                                                                                         .

9-1pm   Day 8, Act 3: Vertical Blue

                                Dean’s Blue Hole

 

Thursday, 7th May                                                                                                                                               .

9-1pm   Day 9, Act 3: Vertical Blue

                                Dean’s Blue Hole

6pm                       Vertical Blue Awards and Party (time and location tba)

 

Friday, 8th May                                                                                                                                      .   8.30pm: Keynote Talk – William Trubridge and Sam Trubridge

Dean’s Blue Hole

 

Saturday, 9th May                                                                                                                                                 .   Day 1: Deep Anatomy Symposium (location and times tba)
Mick Douglas, performance part 3 - Sampling-Salting-Sounding

Amelia Taverner – Cast Aways

Sam Trubridge – Many Breaths (to lift an anchor from the sea bed)

Sally Morgan – In the Hollow of Your Hand

Sunday,10th May                                                                                                                                                  .   Day 2: Deep Anatomy Symposium (location and times tba)

Forum, and preparation of the Vessel for Greece

 

 

GLOSSARY

  • Performance studies is approached as a study of how we do things, why we do things; when every collective or individual action is performed in response to our political, cultural, spatial, social, philosophic context.
  • Performance design is a leading perspective in the curation and conception of this event. It is considered a design practice where the study of space, body, action, and media, produces a fluency and literacy in the tacit languages through which performance, architecture, and culture influence audiences and broader publics.
  • Free diving is a highly specialized sport where divers test their aquatic potential in a variety of different disciplines in swimming pools or deep water. Over the 25 years since it was popularized by Luc Besson’s film The Big Blue, the limits of the sport have been extended beyond unimaginable limits. The subjects of Besson’s film were reaching 100 metres in 1976 with the use of weighted sledges and returning with air-filled balloons. Now divers like William Trubridge are reaching these same depths without the assistance of any mechanism and without fins – just an adapted breath-stroke.
  • The free diving athlete is considered as an exemplary combination of scientist and artist, using rigorous testing and study of the unknown, culminating in a ‘risk-act’ that extends the limits of human potential and challenges familiar cultural attitudes.
  • Vertical Blue: since its first event in 2008 the Vertical Blue freediving championship has presided over multiple world record and national records for athletes coming from all over the world. With the unique conditions provided by the Blue Hole and a well managed event, this championship is recognized as one of the best for freediving in the world.
  • Long Island is a narrow spit of limestone and sand, pushed up from milleniums of wave action. It is 130 kilometers wide and only 2 kilometers wide in most places. Environmental damage is significant, but as locals are beginning to care for their shorelines and ecologies, new relationships are forming with their surroundings.
  • The local community is comprised of four subsets:
    ‘Long Islanders’ – born on the Island of various descents: Greek fishermen, Loyalists from the US Civil War, their slaves, and other naturalized Bahamians. The indigenous Lucayan people were wiped out during early settlement.
    ‘Second Homers’ – foreigners who have property on the island and come several times a year over holidays, usually from USA and Canada.
    ‘Expats’ who have moved to the island for a quieter warmer lifestyle.
    Haitian refugees. A less visible part of the community, these people have come north to escape their country’s poverty and recent disasters.
  • Dean’s Blue Hole penetrates the skin of the shallow Bahamian landscape, and is essentially an opening in the beach to an underwater cave. Sand, treasures, and detritus slides into it, which is 208 metres (over 600 feet) deep. Dean’s Blue Hole is the deepest of its kind in the world. It is a ‘cenote’, a kind of underwater cavern that can be found throughout the Bahamian archipelago and the Caribbean Sea. The programme centres on The Blue Hole: which provides a natural amphitheatre and perfect environment for the usually inaccessible sport of freediving to become visible. This natural architecture will be used as a ‘sympotic’ space to incubate dialogues and collaborations for the final Deep Anatomy symposium.

 

Responses, Reflections & Reportage from the Local and Visiting Correspondents in Dean's Blue Hole, Bahamas …

correspondence

PSi#21 Fluid States - Bahamas: Deep Anatomy, Malou Strandvad Free Diver QuestionnairePSi#21 Fluid States - Bahamas: Deep Anatomy, Malou Strandvad Free Diver Questionnaire
PSi#21 Fluid States - Bahamas: Deep Anatomy, Vertical Blue championshipPSi#21 Fluid States - Bahamas: Deep Anatomy, Vertical Blue championship
PSi#21 Fluid States - Bahamas: Deep Anatomy, Depth, an interview with Daan VerhoevenPSi#21 Fluid States - Bahamas: Deep Anatomy, Depth, an interview with Daan Verhoeven
PSi#21 Fluid States - Bahamas: Deep Anatomy, Spiralling, by Sam Trubridge, Bahamas ConvenorPSi#21 Fluid States - Bahamas: Deep Anatomy, Spiralling, by Sam Trubridge, Bahamas Convenor

PSi#21 Fluid States - Bahamas: Deep Anatomy, Photos of and from ParticipantsPSi#21 Fluid States - Bahamas: Deep Anatomy, Photos of and from Participants

PSi#21 Fluid States - Bahamas:  Deep Anatomy 'Intersections' Talks - Stig SeverinsenPSi#21 Fluid States - Bahamas: Deep Anatomy 'Intersections' Talks - Stig Severinsen
PSi#21 Fluid States - Bahamas:  Deep Anatomy 'Intersections' Talks – Mick DouglasPSi#21 Fluid States - Bahamas: Deep Anatomy 'Intersections' Talks – Mick Douglas
PSi#21 Fluid States - Bahamas:  Deep Anatomy 'Intersections' Talks – Amelia TavernerPSi#21 Fluid States - Bahamas: Deep Anatomy 'Intersections' Talks – Amelia Taverner
PSi#21 Fluid States - Bahamas:  Deep Anatomy 'Intersections' Talks – Howard HoltzmanPSi#21 Fluid States - Bahamas: Deep Anatomy 'Intersections' Talks – Howard Holtzman
PSi#21 Fluid States - Bahamas: Deep Anatomy, 'Deep Blue', by Tracy C Davis, Bahamas CorrespondentPSi#21 Fluid States - Bahamas: Deep Anatomy, 'Deep Blue', by Tracy C Davis, Bahamas Correspondent
PSi#21 Fluid States - Bahamas: Deep Anatomy, 'Horizontal Blue', by Tracy C Davis, Bahamas CorrespondentPSi#21 Fluid States - Bahamas: Deep Anatomy, 'Horizontal Blue', by Tracy C Davis, Bahamas Correspondent
PSi#21 Fluid States - Bahamas: Deep Anatomy, '', by Tracy C Davis, Bahamas CorrespondentPSi#21 Fluid States - Bahamas: Deep Anatomy, 'Virtuosi', by Tracy C Davis, Bahamas Correspondent
 

 

Tags: Environment Ecology and Performance  Identities Bodies Corporealities in Performance   Performance Studies in the Americas   Phenomenology and Performance  Space Place and Performance   

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