'Center of the Cyclone' - Deep Dialogue Chambers

Hampus Lindblad

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  • Summary

    This dream is about bringing two professional sensory deprivation tanks (flotation tanks) to the Borderlan. The tanks will be fitted with one waterproof smartphone each, enabling a live voice or video call to take place between the floating people inside.

    Full description of the concept

    The sensory deprivation tanks were invented in 1954 by John C. Lilly, a medical doctor and neuropsychiatrist who later became a controversial pioneer in the field of psychedelic science. They are basically sound-insulated tanks filled with epsom salt water that allows a person to float practically on top of the skin temperature water. The elimination of most sensory input to the brain combined with the possibility for complete muscle relaxation will after a certain period of time induce altered states of consciousness that many people find deeply relaxing (and sometimes visionary!).

    The fundamental concept for this dream project is to add an interactive element to the normally completely solitary experience of floating. The idea is that by enabling a real-time conversation to happen between the tanks, the people inside - who can be friends and strangers alike - will soon find themselves in an unusual state of both body and mind where deep dialogue is more likely to spring forth from the sharing of the moment of tranquility created by the sensory deprivation.
    Think of it as a private video or voice call with a fellow burner, but happening from within one of the most physically relaxing context bubbles known to humanity.

    The name is taken from the book "The Center of the Cyclone" written by the above mentioned scientist and isolation tank inventor Lilly.

    Here's Alan Watts talking about sensory deprivation tanks: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=22JfGLHYMtM
    A short clip with Joe Rogan talking about his experiences with sensory deprivation tanks: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KeqmKwsvM58

    About the group/Artist

    I'm one of the founders of The Borderland and currently run the auxiliary (DPW style) camp called 'Working Class Heroes'.

    How can other burners co-create with you?

    Help would be much appreciated, both in terms of the logistics side of things but more than anything in terms of acting space holder/tank host during the week itself! I would have time to do much of that myself due to my other commitments.

    The task would consist of providing guidance on how to use it properly and helping people in and out from the tanks when finished.

    Grant application details

    • No
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    • Yes
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    I will need to acquire two waterproofed smartphones and a means to attach them (most likely magnetically) to the inside of each tank. Depending on whether there will be feedback issues with live sound between the tanks I might have to buy a number of low quality headsets (airline type disposable ones unless people bring their own). As for transport two tanks will occupy a couple of cubic meters of volume in a truck, and the Epsom salt necessary will weigh over a metric tonne in total.

    What is this?

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    • Do you need electricity from the grid? How much in Watts? Approx. 2000 W for water pumps and heaters.

    • Will there be light? Some ambient LED lights will provide a nice setting around in the tanks. There might be some waterproof lighting going into the tanks as well.

    • Safety implications There are none really. It's almost impossible to drown in a flotation tank due to the extremely high concentration of salt in the liquid solution. Ear plugs and water googles will be provided for comfort as protection against irritation/pain from the salt.

    • What is your audio footprint? No. The occasional burst of muffled laughter from inside the tanks maybe.

    • Next random dream