This is more of a performance piece than a true video.
Inspired by Lygia Clark’s (and to some extent Chris Burden’s) investigations of personal, bodily experience as an artistic act, I decided to hold water in my mouth and try not to swallow it for as long as possible.
As with Clark’s masks, or Burden’s bed performance, I attempted to take the act of routine and perception and highlight the way in which a simple, natural function can be manipulated to create an experience out of the ordinary.
As you watch the video you can see that I couldn’t actually keep myself from swallowing, so I tried only to swallow the saliva produced in the back of my throat or as little water as possible until it was all gone.
Unexpectedly, I thought the entire process took about three minutes instead of the nearly fifteen minutes that I documented. I can only attribute this to a feeling that is best described as a sort of mental sensory deprivation caused by my need to focus all intention on the interruption of a natural, unconscious act of the body.