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An Ocean Mile Experience

Final Project: A remake of the video mapping project - Swimphony -

With the idea of further exploration of the swimming-water environments beyond the pool and the translation of the competitive swimming experience, I went to document an ocean mile swim that took place at the shore in Seaside Heights, NJ.

Getting the documentation: With the help of go-pro cameras, a cell phone, a digital camera, and a fellow swimmer friend who swam holding a go-pro camera in his hand, I was able to document the different angles of the event. I also recorded the sound of the ocean which I added to my repository.

The recollections: Swimmers of all ages ranging between 14 and 72 years old, attended an early Sunday morning race on the cool Atlantic ocean waters. A one-mile swim that is done parallel to the shore and can take about 15 to 35 minutes to complete, according to the swimmers' abilities

I witnessed and documented the several stages of this event, the pre-race minutes, getting reading, goggles in place, testing the water, or just chatting with the fellow swimmers. The adrenaline rush when the horn blasted to start this mile journey, hastening into the waves to reach the first buoy: swim, reach!, swim, and the joyful excitement of accomplishment once this absurdity is done, getting a personal best time that will rest in the books until the next ocean mile swim, and at the very end I found myself walking back home through the soft shimmering beach, with the sun lifting his way up to welcome the usual beachcombers that will fill up every empty space not knowing all the things that happened earlier in that vague space.

The video: I pieced it all together to create a video that tells the story about the rush, the splashes, the adrenaline, the camaraderie, the mile, the finish line, the beach, the sun, and mostly the swimmers, their determination and love for the sport. All this played collectively from the inception to the finish as a circle that will reoccur in the next ocean mile swim. I mapped it into a circle shape to be projected into my installation.

The installation: In the search for a rounded projection object that will convey the idea of this swimming cycle, I unexpectedly found a rounded blue kiddie pool at Target while I was shopping for ink. A happy acquisition that provided a surface for my video projection, and is related to the water content environment. In order to decontextualize and reconfigure this object for my installation, first, I painted the base white allowing the patterned relief to be discovered which added texture to the video projection surface, and the white color allows a better definition of the projected image.

The pictures: I also wanted to use a recollection of pictures as another medium to narrate this swimmer's tale. I manipulated each picture increasing the hue and saturation components to create a warmer spectrum environment. I arranged them around like a panorama scenario to reinforce the idea of the circle-cycle experience.

The final presentation:


For further iterations and following the constructive critique of my professor and classmates I would like to examine the interaction of a water surface as a medium for the video projection. A better decontextualization of the sculpture object to eradicate the kiddie pool connotation.

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