“Solo Land Dive: Dukan Desert” 2015, is part of a body of work that takes meditation with scuba gear as a starting point to refocus attention on our bodies, their contexts and implicitly the health of our atmosphere. The practice of breathing on land with scuba makes for a kind of assisted meditation. The mild, if not moderate discomfort of the equipment (its weight, warmth, constraints) keeps the wearer in mind of his or her physical presence. The intensification of each breath becomes a kind of involuntary meditation; one must “show up” for each exhalation when an entire apparatus is calling attention to it. The images and documents of these “land dives” allude to the absurdity of hyper-mediation and evoke an ominous survivalist impulse in the face of environmental catastrophe. In this video, I undertook a solo meditation, breathing with scuba gear in a remote desert landscape crisscrossed by all terrain vehicles. As disjunctive as the image appears, it contains the ominous implication of a “future ocean” as rising sea levels are a threat in the Persian Gulf region.
With grateful acknowledgment of:
Jim McNeal and The Dive Shop, Richmond, VA
Dylan Halpern, Tyler Kirby
Rachel Cohn and Johan Granberg