June 11, 2014


The Playground NZ in association with Vertical Blue 2015 announce the Call For Applications for Deep Anatomy – a special symposium on Long Island, The Bahamas in April 2015. Artists, academics, and athletes are invited to participate in this two-week long incubator of new dialogues between extreme sport, performance, and a Caribbean island community.

The Playground is a performing arts production company in New Zealand with a strong history of initiating and leading cross-over arts projects; such as the annual Performance Arcade on Wellington Waterfront, and the acclaimed art-science collaborations SLEEP/WAKE and The Waking Incubator. Playground director Sam Trubridge will work on Deep Anatomy with his brother William Trubridge: world-record breaking free-diver and director of the annual Vertical Blue freediving championship in The Bahamas. Dubbed by New York Times as “the Wimbledon of free-diving”, this event uses the unique geography of Dene’s Blue Hole as the site for this competition, where athletes step off the sands of a pristine Caribbean beach into 208 metres of water.

Artists, athletes, and academics from around the world are invited to submit proposals to participate in this event, which is included in Fluid States: the Performance Studies International (PSi) #21 circuit of globally dispersed conference events. Further information is included in the Call For Proposals attached below.

call for participation:                              dEEP ANATOMY

April 27 – May 10, 2015
Long Island, The Bahamas

a regional cluster for the FLUID STATES globally dispersed conference Performance Studies International (PSi) #21

The PlayGround NZ in partnership with Suunto Vertical Blue 2015

Applications are now open for participation in the Deep Anatomy cluster in the Fluid States globally dispersed conference for Performance Studies International #21/2015.


This cluster uses the unique geography of Long Island (The Bahamas) and the Vertical Blue freediving championship (‘the Wimbledon of Free-diving’, NY Times) as a site for provocative intersections between the local community, freedivers, and performance studies academics. The programme and curation of the event examines performance and freediving as integrated processes: where action and intellect combine, and a ‘deep anatomy’ occurs. This key theme applies Richard Sennet’s discussions on craft to the work of the athlete and the artist, where a physical act or process is invested with deep ethical values through material consciousness and care-full action. 


Applications are welcomed that respond to the concepts, and structure of the event: a format that reconsiders academic modes of presentation in order to embrace the specifics of place, cultures, and disciplines involved. In this way the ‘Incursion’ is proposed as a model of interaction and presentation for all proposals, defined as “a research process located within the given terrain that resists touristic/aesthetic preoccupations to dialogue with the space and its cultures through conversation, action, inter-action, presentation, construction, demonstration, exploration, and performance”.

Proposals can be for 14 days, 8 days, or 5 days, (see Phases outlined below) engaging with either the local community, the ecology and landscape of the island, or the freediving sport. In the final ‘Deep Anatomy Symposium’ dialogues and findings from the various incursions will be shared amongst all participants. A peer-reviewed publication of the Performance Research journal (provisionally titled ‘On Sea, At Sea’, Issue 21.2) will aim to publish some of these dialogues, processes, and outcomes developed in Deep Anatomy.


1. Name / Proposal Title / Duration of participation (14 days, 8 days, or 5 days) / Affiliations

2. Proposal 500 words, introducing and describing the contribution you would like to make to the Deep Anatomy project, as described above and on Page 4.

3. Biography 200 words, outlining relevant research interests and outputs.

4. 4 images at 1MB maximum each, for the proposed work, previous works/projects, and/or relevant precedents and reference material.

5. Multimedia (optional) links to Youtube, Vimeo, or WeTransfer files.

Where: theplaygroundnz@gmail.com

When: applications close September 12 2014

Notification of selection will be sent out by: October 3 2014

Registration will open from February 2015 on www.theplaygroundnz.com


The first 11 days of Deep Anatomy coincides with the three ‘acts’ of the Vertical Blue 2015 freediving championship. As this event progresses, each of its acts will introduce new researchers and presenters into the Deep Anatomy cluster, culminating in a two-day symposium after the Vertical Blue competition has resolved.

April 26  Day 0  Athlete registration, Deep Anatomy Keynote #1

April 27-29  Days 1-3  Vertical Blue Act 1 (Phase 1 starts for Deep Anatomy)

April 30  Day 4  Athlete break, Deep Anatomy incursions and Keynote#2

May 1-3  Days 5-7  Vertical Blue Act 2 (Phase 2 starts for Deep Anatomy)

May 4  Day 8  Athlete break, Deep Anatomy incursions and Keynote#3

May 5-7  Days 9-11 Vertical Blue Act 3 (Phase 3 starts for Deep Anatomy)

May 8  Day 12  Break

May 9-10  Days 13-14  Deep Anatomy Symposium

Phase 1: April 27-May 14 (14 days participation, 20 people maximum)

Phase 2: May 1-10 (10 days participation, 20 people max added to Phase 1 numbers)

Phase 3: May 5-10 (5 days participation, 20 people max added to Phase 1+2 numbers)


14 days: US$840 ($60 per day)

10 days: US$700 ($70 per day)

5 days: US$500 ($100 per day)

Deep Anatomy also welcomes participation through the following modes: Visiting

Correspondents, Visitors, and Travellers. Visiting Correspondents and other Visitors can register at the following rates: 1-5 days at US$90 per day; 6-10 days at US$60 per day; and 11-14 days at US$50 per day.

The registration fee gives participants:

(1) access for the duration of their stay to all Deep Anatomy events and the prestigious Vertical Blue freediving championship, described as ‘The Wimbledon of Freediving’ by NYTimes;

(2) a free shuttle bus running hourly between accommodation hot-spots and Dean’s Blue Hole;

(3) two catered events;

(4) limited space on 2 boat trips and other incursions developed by Deep Anatomy participants across the island;

(5) conference venue and equipment;

(6) event management; and

(7) opportunity to contribute to the peer-reviewed Performance Research Issue 21.2 ‘On Sea, At Sea’.

Athletes: registration to Vertical Blue 2015 gives athletes all the same access as a registered Deep Anatomy participant – to make a proposal, contribute to the programme, and participate or observe the process.

Long Island residents: to encourage local participation, the registration fee is waived for Long Island residents.


To The Bahamas: many major carriers fly to The Bahamas (Nassau International Airport) from across North America and select locations in Europe and the Caribbean.

To Long Island: flights depart twice daily from Nassau and can be searched for at http://www.bahamago.com/ Make sure that you book flights with Deadman’s Cay Airport as your destination on Long Island.

Pickups and departures: the Deep Anatomy / Vertical Blue Bus will stop by Deadman’s Cay Airport in its way to/from Clarence Town.


In order to make use of the Deep Anatomy / Vertical Blue Bus, accommodation solutions are recommended in the following services. Management can also help participants in arranging the sharing of apartments and villas with each other: www.winterhavenbahamas.com;
www.ellensinn.com; www.harborbreezevillas.com; www.greenwichcreeklodge.com;


The Deep Anatomy / Vertical Blue Bus, travelling daily from Deadman’s Cay – Dean’s Blue Hole – Clarence Town will pick up from all accommodation sites on this route.

Car Hire services listed on this website: www.bahamatopia.com/bahamas-car-rental.html

Taxi services are listed here: www.bahamas.com/how-to-get-around-long-island-taxis

Scooter Hire listings: www.bahamas.com/how-to-get-around-long-island-rental-scooters

About Vertical Blue: hosted by World Record holding freediver William Trubridge, the Vertical Blue competition has presided over world records and national records for athletes from all over the world since 2008 in the world’s best location for freediving: Dean’s Blue Hole.


About Dean’s Blue Hole: a naturally occurring limestone ‘cenote’, that plunges dramatically to a depth of 203m just a step off a beautiful sheltered beach on Long Island’s Atlantic coast. It provides the perfect space to watch freediving championships and world record attempts.

Spectators can stand on the beach or cliffs, sit in the shallow water, or swim out to the competition perimeter to watch the event. In these islands (Baha-mar: “shallow sea”) of flat unthreatening depths and long sands, the sudden abyss of Dean’s Blue Hole is an invitation to look beneath the surface of things, and dive into places beyond the reach of breath and sunlight. The surrounding landscape and culture of the island is included in the Deep Anatomy event, providing an array of sites for investigation and encounter between athletes, academics, the local community, and the environment.

About Long Island: one of the more remote places in The Bahamas, Long Island is commonly described as the most scenic island in this archipelago. Only a few kilometres wide at any place, this island stretches 100 km long from Cape Santa Maria in the North, to Gordons in the South.

About Deep Anatomy: is an extended symposium event that runs for 14 days, with individuals welcome to join the process at any time. The first 11 days will use Vertical Blue as an incubating space for the generation of meaningful dialogues and collaborations between three key groups (the local community, athletes, and performance academics). Dialogues and narratives that have developed over this time will then have opportunity to develop further in the ‘Deep Anatomy Symposium’ once the competition is finished. Rather than bringing a conference format into this environment, the aim is instead to engage with the ‘genius loci’ of Long Island. Thus, Dean’s Blue Hole and the many spaces of the island will be used as ‘sympotic’ environments, where activities will generate numerous dialogues and discoveries.

The programme resists defining these activities as touristic ‘excursions’, and rather will use them to seek out discursive insights and dialogues: thus initiating ‘incursions’ into the various ecologies of the island, and ‘incursions’ into a deep anatomy.

Objectives: By engaging with a so called ‘extreme sport’ it will be possible to look at an activity that society marginalises and defines as dangerous with this label. The cluster attempts to discuss a contemporary condition that is preoccupied with physical limitations and mental constructs such as fear and terror, recognizing the pervasive impact this has across society.

Freedivers disregard these inhibitors in order to reach great depths, conquering considerable mental and physical boundaries to redefine the limits of human performance. An alliance with this sport helps the performance studies community to critique the limitations that are imposed on our physical and mental lives by the performance cultures that we inhabit.


Director – Sam Trubridge

Director of Suunto Vertical Blue – William Trubridge

Associates – Jen Archer, David Goldthorpe

Sponsors – Suunto,

Supported by – Massey University

Produced by The PlayGround NZ in association with Vertical Blue 2015 

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