Psychoswimography - Exploring place through the act of swimming.
Planktos : Drifting.
In October 2014 I travelled to Santa Barbara in California to create new art work as part of a group exhibition at the BABEL Biennale Conference, the theme for sessions was "On the Beach" : Precariousness, Risk, Forms of Life, Affinity, and Play at the Edge of the World.
For two weeks prior to the exhibition I swam, explored, cycled, got sun stroke and sought out the local aquatic community to help me make sense of the power of the ocean and why the desire to submerge is so compelling. This video was made on site in the Pacific Ocean.
The Ocean Ducks are a group of local sea swimmers who meet daily for swimming in the ocean, they took me under their wings and were a crucial part in the making of this work.
Thanks to everyone who contributed -
The Ocean Ducks for all their time and support, in particular - Emilio, Helena, Dawn, Ruth, Rami, Natalia, Felipe, Sharon and Ingrid.
Alice Alldredge from the UCSB Marine Biology Department
Greg Moran from Talevi's shop and his story about his grandfather surviving the RMS Lusitania
Morgan Coffey and Ben Pitterle from Santa Barbara Channelkeeper
Holly Lohuis from Jean-Michel Cousteau’s Ocean Futures Society
The Goleta Beach lunchtime swimmers from Yardi for taking me pier jumping.
Thanks to aquacademics Steve Mentz and Stacy Alaimo for their support and swims.
Stacy Alaimo's quote in the film at 3.40
"To be astounded and astonished is to be unmoored, cut loose from an established order of things, to find oneself floating somewhere and yet unmapped, where unexpected, unrecognizable forms of life seem to demand some sort of recognition and response.”
Stacy Alaimo - "Jellyfish Science, Jellyfish Aesthetics: Posthuman Reconfigurations of the Sensible” in Thinking with Water, ed Janie MacLeod, Cecilia Chen and Astrida Neimanis. McGill-Queens University Press, Canada. 2013 - Jellyfish Science, Jellyfish Aesthetics - Thinking with Water, 2013
As part of the Psychoswimography project I arranged “A Lunchtime Invitation to Swim” to allow the participants of BABEL and the Ocean Ducks a chance for a shared experience of the Pacific and the potential to view the rest of the day from a more ‘fluid point of view’ *