“A Liquid Wanting” is a 28 minute audio theater work exploring the lives of ocean beings and the ocean itself as a planetary force. Framed as a guided meditation, the work prompts listeners to dissolve, mutate and transform as they are led through imagined embodiments—from human to sea cucumber to marine snow to whale. Pleasure is enhanced through ASMR (autonomous sensory meridian response) and seductive soundscapes, and complicated by vocal and scripted interventions that alternate between the sensory and the pedagogical: immersive, factual, historic and interpreted. The listener is invited to melt into a state of becoming more-than-human, connecting to the often inaccessible oceanic environment.
Note: Best with headphones
The planet’s beings and systems at all scales are wholly interdependent with the ocean – from the conveyor belt that moves fluid and creates currents, tides and winds, to the tiny plankton— the basis of the planetary food chain. “A Liquid Wanting” at its core is about relations— between beings, between the touchable and elusive, ingested and digested, hard and soft, composed and decomposed, oceanic and microscopic. The audio work is also about relational porosity – I am not “me;” you are not “you.” Something fluid and full of slippage lies between subjects in an ever-emergent dynamic. The impetus for this work was to explore sonic, narrative, and below-conscious means of conjuring intimacies and longing. Both belonging (to this planet mistakenly called “earth,” when it should be called “ocean”) and unbelonging (in the liquid medium of ocean that cannot support human existence in a prolonged manner).
That said, this work is not a romantic fantasy; its narratives emerge from eco/biological research and does not flinch from anthropogenic harms—from the destructive “Great” Garbage Patches to sonic noise pollution, a significant contributing factor to plankton-eating whales’ incapacity to communicate and therefore find food.
In creating such a journey, we attempted to world-build a “symbiotic imaginary” in which this vast, interdependent, oceanic experience might impact one’s perspective (feeling and knowing) on the complexity, vitality, and precariousness of ocean life.