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SubMerge

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posted on 2024-05-27, 23:20 authored by Megan BeckwithMegan Beckwith, Dr Alison Bennett, Ramana Dienes-Browning
Alison Bennett & Megan Beckwith, with Ramana Dienes-Browning, SubMerge, anaglyph video installation 2023. in ‘sensorial’, Blue Mountains Cultural Centre, 16 September – 12 November 2023, SubMerge points to an experience of merging with one’s environment, of losing a sense of the body as a boundary whilst SCUBA diving. This work proceeds from Dean Walsh’s concept of the ‘water body’, where the density of the body of the scuba diver matches the density of the surrounding water. In a dialogue with Bennett in ‘The SubMerge Project: Autistic Embodiment and the Extended Bodymind.’ (Artlink 42, no. 2 (2022): 92–98.), Walsh explains that “at the point of ‘the squeeze’, when the waterbody equals the water volume around us, I have a profound experience of extended cognition. Not only are my senses merged with the environment but I am ‘sensing’ with the environment. For example, at this point of pressure, whale song is literally felt through the water, as if water and body are a single entity.” We “seek to communicate an awareness of merged entanglement and extended sensorium, not only for autistic embodiment but for all waterbodies and bodies of water beyond a therapeutic function. The experience of ‘merging’ water and body may assist deeper environmental and social conversations between neurotypical and neuro-atypical people, between artist and environmentalist, between neuroqueers and our wider communities. At its heart is a desire to enhance inter-species and inter-environmental relations. […] SubMerge facilitates the embodied awareness that we are inseparable from our environment, and that cognition is diffused beyond the boundaries of the skin. It is this direct experience of empathy and connectedness that is required in a time of environmental crisis. We are queer-kin, a thing amongst things, water within water” (Bennett & Walsh 2022).

Funding

Blue Mountains Cultural Centre;;

History

Add to Elements

  • Yes

NTRO Output Type

  • Curated Exhibition, Event or Festival

NTRO Output Category

  • Curated Exhibition, Event or Festival : Exhibition/event

Place

Katoomba, NSW, Australia

Venue

Blue Mountains Cultural Centre

NTRO Publisher

In Sensorial at the Blue Mountains Cultual Centre

Start Date

2023-09-16

End Date

2023-11-12

Medium

3D Stereoscopic Anaglyph Animation Installation

Research Statement

SubMerge explores merging with one’s environment and losing the body’s boundary while SCUBA diving. Created in collaboration with Dr Alison Bennett, Dr Megan Beckwith and Ramana Dienes-Browning. SubMerge builds on artist Dean Walsh’s concept of the ‘water body,’ where the diver's body density matches the surrounding water. Walsh describes the profound experience of extended cognition, as ‘sensing the self and environment as a single entity’. SubMerge facilitates the embodied awareness that we are inseparable from our environment, and that cognition is diffused beyond the boundaries of the skin. It is this direct experience of empathy and connectedness that is required in a time of environmental crisis. We are queer-kin, a thing amongst things, water within water” (Bennett & Walsh 2022). The audience experiences the projected illusion while lying on a bed with a weighted blanket and wearing 3D anaglyph glasses. Looking up at the ceiling, they view 3D stereoscopic images of deep-sea life that appear to float down towards them, creating a feeling of immersion.

Size or Duration of Work

2 months

Affiliation

Megan Beckwith, University of Melbourne