FLOAT! Thinktank 21

Photographs © Thom Kubli

FLOAT! Thinktank 21 is an installation piece that comprises a floatation tank, a sound composition, an archive of audio performances by the artist, and a context table filled with books referring to the theme of weightlessness.

Drawing from experiments in brain research conducted by  John C. Lilly in the 1950’s, the floatation tank embraces the idea of sensory deprivation. Within this environment, the audience listens to an underwater sound piece that invokes zero gravity as a model for explorative political thought.  “Zero gravity can be read as a condition that is suspending prevailing reference models”.

An individual session in the tank lasts approximately 50min. The composition will frame a period of silence and sensory deprivation with a 5 min. sound intro and a short outro played via an underwater sound system. The flanking archive of audio performances comprises a series of spoken notes made by the artist after his own floatation sessions.

Material: Saltwater isolation tank, filter equipment, pedestal, 6-channel audio system, table, books, mp3-player | Audio Material: Speech | Dimensions: Apprxm. 5 x 3 x 1,7m wdh | Year: 2010


Float! Thinktank 21 was commissioned by EMPAC – The Curtis R. Priem Experimental Media And Performing Arts Center. Sensory deprivation tank technology: Andy Vendetti | Production support at EMPAC: Kathleen Forde, Emily Berçir Zimmerman, and Johannes Goebel

Special thanks to Kathleen Forde and Johannes Goebel for organizing and providing the interdisciplinary production resources. Realized with the kind support of EMPAC, Troy, New York.