Sensory Activation Tanks

My project is divided into three parts.

(1) THE SCULPTURE. I have one design done in google sketchup for the immersive environments (“sensory activation tanks”).The legs of the tanks should be splayed outward but I’m still figuring out how to do that in the program. I will be building a model soon out of fiberglass and aluminum (?). Greg Ponchak will be my assistant on this project.

sensory_activation_tanks_01Rather than have a loop walking path encircling the tanks, the spaces are linked with a tunnel and there will be short entrance staircases. This solves the problem of the aesthetic bulkiness, expense, and weight bearing issues of the looped path.

The framework I am using for the sound and lighting design is euphoria in one tank, dysphoria in the other (the richest material is in the extremes). I don’t intend to announce the euphoria/dysphoria–it is my internal guide only.

Here are sketches of the lighting. The bright, nearly blinding saturated blue of sky = euphoria. The pitch blackness = dysphoria. I considered having chaotic, spazzed out lighting for dysphoria but it didn’t feel right. Keeping it pitch black allows me to focus on the low-frequency body-disturbing sound design. In a meeting with Lilian Beidler, we discussed how, by moving people through the tunnel, a sonic crossfade occurs between the two rooms.


(2) THE BOOK. The book (a mock handbook for lunar living) has been getting the least amount of luv. I will be working on a table of contents soon and translating some of the stuff in my head into visuals/text. I learned from making a collage book in three weeks for theLove Library


flotation_tankI have been in flotation tanks twice now, each for 90 minutes, and am itching to return. I’ll be floating at least two times a month from now until ? Connecting with my sculpture, I’m looking at the extremes of sensory deprivation. Healing and hurting. I will no longer purely associate flotation at a spa with healing and torture with hurting. What I learned in the tank is that it is not so easy as that. I did not come out of the flotation tank skipping around with rainbows in my eyes. In fact I felt like a lot of gunk in my head got disturbed.

But this is not a bad thing.

I want to express my thanks to Melony at Gravity Spa in Beavercreek, OH for supporting my research. I highly recommend you book a 90 minute session to try it out.

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