PSi#21 Fluid States - Bahamas: Deep Anatomy, Spiralling, by Sam Trubridge, Bahamas Convenor


by Sam Trubridge

1 May 2015

Psi #21 Fluid States - Deep Anatomy
Dean's Blue Hole, Long Island, Bahamas

PDF available here

In response to Mick Douglas’ invitation ‘to sample salt and sound’ at Apartment #3, Petty’s Settlement, Long Island, The Bahamas - See Fluid States TV


In colder places we protect our bodies from the touch of the air, from the wind, and from the rain. On this hot island, a body opens its senses to the sun, the warm air, and the wet sticky sweat. It feels the relief that a breath of wind brings, even longs for rain, and feels the silky weightlessness of warm water. Bare feet find sand, hot asphalt, prickly grass, loose stones, and slides sticky over tiled floors, catching the inevitable grit, the ubiquitous sand. We are ushered in to Apartment #3 one by one, after waiting on furniture arranged in car park. Inside, we are invited to walk along a thread, following its path through the sticky afternoon air. Recorded, repeating sounds haunt the space with a looped fragment from some low-tech source: too short to be musical, too vague for any recognition, a child asks if it is a ghost. Breezes shift over the skin as fans whir overhead and an open doorway yawns its warmer air as we pass it. With eyes closed we follow the thread, like the blind free-diver waiting for their freefall to finish. This small room goes on forever, like the slow three or so minutes that it takes to cast off and return from the depths. We wait, slowly groping the floor with our toes, reaching for the line, waiting for it to suddenly end. But it goes on, weaving us on an impossibly long path, until it finally fails – and our toes swipe at nothing but the greasy tiles. And we open our eyes – to find ourselves surrounded by a spiral jetty of assorted plastics that slowly fade from blue to green – the limpid colours of these shallow waters, this shallow sea: Baha Mar. Through which slowly closes the impossibly fragile line of our passage – this blue thread that we have walked upon – a tightrope – as thin as breath. The sounds echo from megaphones laid on the floor, on the kitchen table, by the door. I have been instructed to carry a bleached white conch shell in with me, held as if an offering. As I retrace my path back it weighs heavier in my hands, for it has not yet released the burden of its significance upon me. It brings me to a pause, almost on the edge, almost upon exiting, and its unresolved weight compels my hand to bring it up to my ear, to listen for the sea. But instead of that familiar sound, the clamouring of the megaphones is channelled, condensed to create a ringing pulse– somewhere between a siren and the slow plaintive call of a submarine’s sonar. I sink in that sound, created by the spiral of the shell’s cavity that has transformed it into this call. I am in the deep again, at the bottom of the abyss, yet turning on the edge of this hot room, as Orpheus did, looking back before turning to the door and the breath outside.


Copyright –  Sam Trubridge (2015) “Spiraling”, PSi #21 Fluid States: Performances of UnKnowing LOG, ed. Marin Blazevic, Bree Hadley and Nina Gojic, Performance Studies international (PSi), 1 January 2015-31 December 2015, available

Tags: Environment Ecology and Performance  Performance Studies in the Americas   Space Place and Performance   

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