Between 2 Breaths

Between two Breaths – A short experimental documentary exploring the world of freediving through the eyes of Amber Bourke, Australian female champion, 2021. At:

Just finished a burst of work on this piece to enter into the Shextreme Film Festival, 2021. It was fun listening to Amber’s thoughts about being in the moment and what happened when she thought she had a world record! You’ll have to watch….’the movie’!


From beneath the surface, an underwater cinematographer records the moment a large wave forms and breaks above. The event pas­­ses quickly, but in pull, that moment lasts infinitely.

Projected on one wall, a moving image shot at extremely high speeds follows the intensively slow movement of the large wave forming under the water. On the opposite wall, GPS data – tracking the cinematographer’s movements while filming – is visually reworked as a 3D animation of a small bubble, pulled by and pushing against surrounding forces.  Designed as two seamless replays of one moment, pull presents an expanded sensorium.

The sonic elements are immersive, suggesting again the multiple perspectives from which any ‘single’ event can be sensed. pull is an audiovisual exploration of time and embodied perception, using water as a force that exists outside humankind’s own short ‘moment’ in geological time. It considers the relations between our senses and the environment through differences in time and scale.

pull was one of only 4 works commissioned by Experimenta Media Arts and The Australian Network for Art and Technology. It features in Experimenta Make Sense: International Triennial of Media Arts and premiered at RMIT Gallery, Melbourne as part of the Melbourne Festival from 2 Oct – 11 Nov 2017. The work will travel around Australia until the end of 2020 to galleries including The Lock-Up, Newcastle, Tweed Heads Regional Gallery and 7 others.


On average, we take 16 breaths per minute, 960 breaths an hour, 23,040 breaths a day, 8,409,600 a year. If we live to 80, we’ll take about 672,768,000 breaths in a lifetime.

Yet…time feels infinitely longer when you hold your breath.

Using very slow underwater cinematography, the video installation hold, explores our relationship to water and breathing, which can feel both terrifying and compelling. How does time slow down as breathing changes?  Focusing on people able to hold their breath for extended periods, such as surfers and free divers, the work considers how fear gives way to a different experience of durational time. What can we understand about our most fundamental action from such extreme experience?Fragments of interviews with medical professionals, surfers and free divers drift through the soundscape. A singer, trained to sustain notes, chants a Sephardic song. The sound places us ‘in the middle’ of held durations of notes and breaths. hold explores the shifting multi temporalities of water as it changes form and as it is experienced from above and below its surface.

hold premiered at Ideas Platform, Artspace, Sydney October 3- October 27, 2019.