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Aquatic Centre

Aquatic Centre

Produced for the Translating Ambience exhibition, Yarra Sculpture Gallery, 2019

Sound.
Light.
Public pool water (chlorine, skin, hair, dandruff, oil, sweat, blood, saliva, faeces, etc.)

Floating half naked in a state of meditation, I find myself transfixed by the  shifting shadows of water projecting over some calcium stains scattered across the walls of my local public swimming pool. Through the diffuse ambient azure hue and reverberant acoustics of the space, this focused yet abstract spectacle appears to seamlessly grounds itself to the accompanying activity of children playing, amplified aquatic exercise instructors and aerobic pop music, rhythmic splashes of lap-swimmers, and the warm embrace of water and its pungent smell/taste of chlorine.

Through such intense sensory and immersive experiences, I find my mind and body drift away from the outside world and become bound to an ambience that demands and dictates a particular pace, rhythm, mode of engagement, and state of mind.

Urban swim centres, which are designed and constructed to facilitate recreational activity, can be understood as a kind of translation of ‘natural’ aquatic spaces, which employ complex technological process and architectural structures to impose a spatial order that regulate the flow of human bodies and determine how water is  engaged with.

Through the use of sound recordings, light and water, Aquatic Centre seeks to highlight this intersection of technology, architecture, nature, and human experience.