On the Beach: Interdisciplinary Encounters Conference (2004) Fremantle AU

Aquanaughtiness: What does 'Aquabatics as new works of live art' propose?

Sarah Jane Pell


Aquanautiness is a paper investigating the rules and rituals of 'real life' human performative understandings of the body form and its aesthetic possibility underwater. Aquabatics has been proposed as practical and theoretical research aimed at developing human movement (performance) and aesthetics underwater and so connected to the ideology of the intersection between land and sea; the body and ocean; corporeality/technology/environment. The main focus of this research lies in the practice of live art as a live(d) experience for both the performer and audience and, by harnessing existing knowledge about one person's physiological and psychological capabilities, Pell has been able to modify current technologies required for the purpose of refining production components and developing an aquatic investigation. In keeping with underwater PARIP (practice as research in performance) this paper will be delivered as video from the depths of the big blue with a dry audience on shore. Amongst the noisy breathing apparatus, this paper will address research limitations and revelations in terms of the biological/technological/environmental interface specific to conducting time-based new media arts research underwater and highlight the possibilities of new experimental and experiential modes of research. The live delivery of Aquanautiness is intended to visually entice delegates and act as a pre-curser towards future research exploring time-based practices both wet and dry by explaining some of the rules for underwater conduct and therefore, academic misconduct.

Sarah Jane Pell has what Dr. Sylvia Earle (sub-sea habitat pioneer) would call the 'urge to submerge' and she is devloping performance technologies and aesthetics underwater. Pell has become a fully-qualified commercial diver to exhibit and perform internationally, premiering Aquabatics at the National Review of Live Art UK 2003 where it was described as a 'fusion of visual installation and conceptual choreography'. Pell proposed 'Aquabatics as new works of Live Art' as research towards a PhD Visual Arts, ECU. 'Aquanaughtiness' will be her first live broadcast of aquabatic work in Australian waters.


On the Beach: Interdisciplinary Encounters Conference, Hosted by the International Centre for Language and Landscape, Edith Cowan University, Western Australian Maritime Museum & Kidogo House, Fremantle AU 10-13 Feb 2004.

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