This series is based on my first experience in a sensory deprivation tank. Pictured here is the summation and visual interpretation of this experience where I met shocking waves of physical pain, followed by intense relaxation and finally a balanced state. I have no history of chronic pain, nor recurring pain, but I’m still not certain this visceral message was directed to simply the physical body. There is a long line of emotional repression in my family, one that I’ve been endlessly unraveling over the past three decades.
These photographs were taken in my own bathtub, using minimal, indirect colored lighting. I simply created a bath using powdered milk, in order to create a dreamy atmosphere where I could camouflage myself. In the tanks, because the temperature is so close to that of our own bodies people often experience the effect of “losing” your “self” or your physical body. We become one with our atmosphere and are able to focus on the flitting pathways of the mind/spirit etc.
I stray from drawing strict conclusions about experiences like this. However, I do believe that each session is deeply unique to the person and each float is extraordinarily different from the last. The only way to understand is to experience it for yourself; to meet yourself in these boundless spaces. Sensory deprivation is largely a tool as meditation, psychedelics, exercise and other modalities of self reflection are tools. It is another realm to question existence and our individually constructed realities. Make use of the answers you develop in the tank, or get lost instead in the lack thereof through learning to ask the questions we need to contemplate most.
Ghostland is a monthly, performance based literary series with revolving themes.