World Water Day Symposium (2014) Ocean Views Caring and Daring
Communication towards collective goals, plans, values and dreams of governance and stewardship of water for all
Sarah Jane Pell, Ben Burke
A trans-hemisphere performance exploring convergence phenomena as bodies in drift
By 2040, all systems collide: information transfers through liquids – oceans and gases - as a ubiquitous mainframe supporting all life and intelligence. We see our planet like a brain with two hemispheres supporting one body. The ocean therefore supports synapse pathways of many bodies in drift. Ocean Synapse is a media performance philosophy-in-action event that occurs between two networked artists located in Melbourne (AU) and San Francisco (US). Trans-hemisphere exchange is enabled by digital technologies and historical counterparts and fused with the aesthetics of maritime and ocean lore. The purpose is to critique philosophical and technological convergence phenomena. We exploit poetic formats and a fictional design approach as a research tactic. The artists exchange a flurry of white paper vessels, representing the day to day deluge of information exchanged between people and neurons alike, until they each decide to share something deeper, more personal and sacred, represented by red paper vessels which they extract from their pockets and mouths and send across the ocean, as they disappear from one screen and appear on the other, having seemingly traversed the great expanse between the players. Finally, both performers submerge themselves completely in this fluid expanse which connects them, where a final ritual of convergence takes place.
Pell, S.J., Burke, B. (2014) Ocean Synapse: A Trans-hemisphere performance exploring convergence phenomena as bodies in drift,
3WDS14: Ocean Views Caring and Daring Proceedings, Igneous Inc., AU 2015 Ch(6) 471-476.
Available in full online https://issuu.com/igneous7/docs/3wds14-chap8/70 via ISSUU.
Envisioning, performance and poetic design as research approach to predict future convergence between bodies, technologies and water
Sarah Jane Pell, Ben Burke
Performance: Connectivity and Research
Throught the lens of envisioning, design fiction, performing arts and creative writing, we examine these frameworks as a research approach to explore current trends and predict future convergence between bodies, technologies and water. We focus on a new work titled 'Ocean Synapse' - a media performance philosophy-in-action event that occurs between two networked artists located in Melbourne (AU) and Oakland (US). Trans-hemiphere exchange is enabled by digital technologies and historical counterparts and fused with the aesthetics of maritime and ocean lore. By exploiting poetic formats and a fictional design approach as a research tactic, it is proposed that the work embraces flow and its impact across all bodies: ecological, biological, and technological. Building upon the premise of the ritual performance that by 2040, all systems collide: information transfers through liquids – oceans and gases - as a ubiquitous mainframe supporting all life and intelligence. We see our planet like a brain with two hemispheres supporting one body. The ocean therefore supports synapse pathways of many bodies in drift, we dive in, to critique the research approach, highlight the significance of the outcomes and contribute an understanding of the philosophical and technological convergence phenomena.
Pell, S.J., Burke, B. (2014) Envisioning, performance and poetic design as research approach to predict future convergence between bodies, technologies and water. 3WDS14: Ocean Views Caring and Daring Proceedings, Igneous Inc., AU 2015 Ch(6) 477-482. Available in full online https://issuu.com/igneous7/docs/3wds14-chap8/77 via ISSUU.
Supplementary Material: Film
Ocean Synapse was developed through a process of fluid fictional creative writing exchange between the two authors, and their real-life professional musing over their respective hybrid experimental arts practices and love for the ocean. As the exchange was manifest as two short films, we refer also the supplementary video documenting the performance of Ocean Synapse. While conceived in collaboration, the two short films were creatively developed, performed and produced independently. The first time the authors saw or heard the final piece was when it premiered live. The Waterwheel online media broadcast platform enabled the authors to collaborate from two locations, and to present their ideas side-by-side in tandem to a single audio track. Pell and Burke’s communication and co-creation from opposite sides of the globe mimics that of the characters in the film. Both parties are attempting to hone in on something intangible, some expression of internal human experience, through the use of external devices. The final resulting short films can be viewed as experimental modes of speculative design or cinematic world building, although that was less of a conscious directive, and more of a tactical resolve to exploit our art, as an expression of the post-Heideggerian bodies in drift and ourselves, searching for connection, and meaning through the love of ocean. All rights reserved Pell & Burke 2014.⇐ See full list of Publications
Ocean Synapse, Pell and Burke, multichannel film 2014
Ocean Synapse - Overview
A foreward by Zsuzsanna Soboslay
A grey bay in South Australia: a fishing boat in deeper harbour overseas. Red fingernails folding paper boats, pushed across shallows: a different paper boat folded against a coiled role on the edge of the boat, a different sea. Whirls and eddies, a merging of submergences; long hair, rope coils, red dresses, green seas.
'Ocean Synapse' was a glorius affirmation of the online interative capability offered by the Waterwheel. Sarah Jane Pell and Benjamin Burke uploaded their respective performance videos/documents and let play will. Remarkable syncronicities of colours, gestures and symbols occured.
Pell had constructed a performance involving three women, red dresses, small red paper boats, and dives below the water. Burke gets onto a fishing boat and tapes what happens, in cabin and on deck. Jumpers and compasses; edges and waves. Above and below.
The huge potential for poetry to occur in the interactions is illustrated
in the audience comments, logged as follows:
LCE: These are really lovely images
Zs: ...hair like a mermaid's
Zs: And the fisherman?
A: no fisherman, Sarah and [R] are lovers...
Zs: paper boat upside down becomes a hat and a yoni...
The timelessness of readiness, of chance. Here the continuity of camerawork, taking it all in, lets things happen. I lament how intentional "documents" miss capturing significant events: "I've eaten leaves and soil during performances and always wished someone had caught it on video." In such an event as Waterwheel provides, asynchronous interconnectedness between us and within water, and especially, despite our usual editing processes. Pell and Burke agree to "meet" online and see what happened. It is clear the delight was both theirs and ours.
Ocean Synapse Film Credits:
The first of x2 channel companion video art pieces to the short film ‘Ocean Synapse (2014) by Pell and Burke.
Staring: JOHN CLIFFORD FREDERICKS, BENJAMIN BURKE Director, camera: PAUL MORRIS Editor: PAUL MORRIS.
Filmed at the Oakland Marina, California US. The second of x2 companion video art pieces to the short film ‘Ocean Synapse (2014) by Pell and Burke.
Staring: RUTH SANCHO HUERGE, ELENA MARQUEZ, SARAH DE LA CERDE, SARAH JANE PELL Director, camera: SARAH JANE PELL Additional filming: ELENA MARQUEZ
Editor: SARAH JANE PELL. Filmed at Port Phillip Bay, Victoria AU. Score: USMAN RIAZ. Post Production: SPELLART.