The Way Out, as two freestanding fiberglass spaceship “sensory activation” tanks with a tunnel between them, cannot happen on my budget for this project. Add to this my lack of experience with fiberglass and resin and I am setting myself up for failure.
I decided to focus on what is stuck in my head right now: isolation/flotation tanks. Here is a rough google sketch of what I have in mind.
-The exterior will still be some sort of plastic shell and each tank will have its own entrance
-The tunnel is unlit and the participant crawls through it between the two spaces
-There will be a spectacle element (…low budget theater…) by having an usher at the exhibition opening-possibly in costume-to control the crowd, restrict time allowed in the tanks, etc.
-I will create some kind of book/pamphlet to accompany the exhibit. It will be either a mash-up of text and visuals about sensory activation or my original idea: a slim mock-self-help handbook for earthlings living on the moon that will act as a catalog of my work
Ideas I am discarding:
-The somewhat kitschy reference to a spaceship from Space 1999 (source for the shape of the outside). I’m filing this away for future use…
-Building the exterior myself-this is difficult to let go as I enjoy hands-on building. I contacted a fabricator for a quote, or I will buy pre-made tanks. This project has to be formally perfect on the outside. Did it matter that Carsten Holler didn’t build his Psycho Tank? Probably not.
-Communal experience-because it isn’t of interest to me right now and the states of euphoria and dysphoria are very individual and internal
-Large size-abandoning the communal experience means I can downsize the project
-The round tanks-if I am thinking about ergonomics, a round tank doesn’t make sense. I want people to lay on their backs to emphasize a sense of surrender to the environment. This connects to body-shaped tanks.
-Because I’m backing off on the building part of this I will be able to spend more time on lighting and sound design. I’m thinking of lining the euphoria tank with plexi so I can light the entire thing in a bright but diffused way. The dysphoria tank will remain black (or maybe red…?)
Here’s what I am looking at:
-theta rhythms in the brain (6–10 Hz): a state between wakefulness and sleep
-An Unquiet Mind by Kay Redfield Jamison
-Unusual uses of lighting in film, such as this scene from the Hammer Film “Dracula Has Risen From the Grave”:
-A major part of my research is going in the flotation tank at Gravity Spa. I am going three times a month and every time is utterly different. It is not entirely relaxing for me as I’ve heard it is for others, but is full of information. I am having lucid dreams every other night and previously had them once a year at most. If you’d like to read more on flotation check out their site. More to come on that…
Along with a model of this thing.