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.:: Artistic Cultural Underwater Activities ::.

Thread Status: Hello , There was no answer in this thread for more than 60 days.
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New Member
Feb 4, 2002
Hi everyone :eek:)
I'm a french student who works on Artistic and Cultural Underwater Activities : underwater concerts (Michel Redolfi), sculptures (Simon Morris), painting (Stéphane Braud) or even architecture (Jacques Rougerie).
I'm preparing a thesis about it and I need your help. I've already worked on underwater concerts with Michel Redolfi and I'm a CMAS level 2 diver.
As usual, this research will need you to tell me what you think about it but for once, the subject is rather un-usual !!!
What exactly do I need ? Well, anything you can say about it would be great !
Did you had an ACUA-experience ?
Do you think it's a new way of diving and snorkeling or is it ridiculous to think so ?
Do you think the underwater space doesn't need that kind of human intervention ?
Would you be ready to dive and visit an ACUA ?
Do you think an underwater park with sculptures would be a good idea ?

Any comments would be highly welcome as it'll help me much to prepare my thesis and perhaps have some new ideas about the subject !
Thanks for attention :eek:)
Very good idea

actually, that would be great. A lot of people in big city's (like Paris, Montreal etc...) like to dive but have a lot of trouble in winter, when they are not on holiday etc... I know that people in Montreal go at the olympic pool in winter to train but there's nothing there to see exept the other people's wife:D

So if there was such a thing as a sculpture exposition underwater or anything at all, that could be very interesting. But, be very carefull where you do that because accident will happen and some place in the world have more lawyers than common sense so just the cost of insurance could ruin you... :(

To make it really interesting, you would have to make it interactive in some way, like in you can touch the statue.

Where in the world are you anyway, if you're in Britanny (Rennes), i would be interested in giving you a hand (or fins).
Wicked cool idea!

Dude, anytime. Underwater 'amusement' park for freedivers - hell yeah !

You'd have to have some sort of entrance requirement - certification :confused: of some sort, or an fitness test type thing. Lots of safety divers, you'd have to consider depth, time spent, things people can get snagged on, currents .... oi, it's gonna be a major mission to get it set up.

We've got something similar in Cape Town ... not all that similar, but close enough. It's the Two Oceans Aquarium, you can dive (normally scuba, but they let me in ocassionally) in two of the tanks. One's a kelp forest, the other the predator exhibit. Kelp forest is great, it's got a lot of fish, kelp etc etc. Predator exhibit has got 5 Ragged Tooth sharks, Yellowtail, Shad, Kob, Pompano, Stingrays, Devil Rays, etc etc. It's a great gass to go down 5 metres and wave at the people at the windows - with no gear.

Keep us posted !

Riaan C
PS: pls Update your stats - where you're from, etc etc etc ...
COOL !!!

I'm glad to hear from you and read your comments and reactions !!!
Many interesting questions here :

-insurance, security and law troubles

-winter's divers population and their activities

-entrance requirement and certification => diving or snorkeling ?

First of all, I must tell you that most of the reactions over the forums where I posted this thread were about the underwater park. Maybe because it's the last question or the most interesting and difficult :confused: .
An underwater park is not the only way because it's permanent and requires many attention. I already worked on two concerts with Michel Redolfi, a french compositor who works on underwater music since 20 years !!! In fact, there's 4 categories of A.C.U.A : in the sea or in a swimming pool, permanent or not.
Of course, each project might be different but there's still some fundamental question about it. First of all, the security provided. For a temporary concert, it's rather easy because you can have life-guards above AND under the surface during the exposition. Permanent park is different, everything should be done to avoid accidents, included changing park's face for security's reasons. You were right to point at the cost of insurance and entrance requirement. Well, for the 2 concerts I've worked on, we didn't had any troubles and didn't asked people to sign a contract. I should ask to Michel Redolfi to know more about this point but I think the responsability goes to the organisation : the city. A.C.U.A is a crossroad between sea and concerts, so both legislation are included and I actually try to know more, at least for my country !!! International A.C.U.A might be different :duh !
Now, having a place where to dive while winter or when they're far away from the sea might be interesting but the biggest problem is the cost for this, as usual, was it usefull to mention it ? :t
Last thing, during concerts, people have to snorkel but for visit sculptures it's different. Each feeling is such different ! However, the sculptures shouldn't be deeper than 3 or 5 meters or it would be a "DIVER ONLY" exposition, wich is not impossible !!!
Anything depends on the project and the situation. As you can see, there's a lot of possibilities !
Thanks again for your replies, hope to hear again from you soon !
More and more...

No more comments from people who read this :confused:

Any idea, any suggestion, any question, any feeling are welcome :D
Wreck park..

In the Gulf of Finnland right close Helsinki there is a Wreck-Park built by Finnish museum****something
the wrecks have signs that explain their origin and some background information and floats are placed on both ends of each wreck..
That is kinda underwater amusement park...naturally built though but still..
I would not want to be responsible for freedivers entering amusement park underwater though....:D
Hey ! Cool, someone replied :eek:)

hehe, you're right ! Being responsible of freedivers who come to visit is one of the difficulty of this project :hmm
But I have a question about this place : The wrecks were already there or the Finnish Museum prepared the entire exposition ?
It's a very interesting project.
In France, we have an underwater park where "dive-signs" explains and presents faune and flora of the area. People come here to discover the natural environnement, its protection and so on...
Does anyone have more examples about the same kind of place ? It'd be interesting to know them all and how they're made.
U/W Park

I think it's a great idea! I would suggest something along the lines of a sumerged Greek city w/ colums, statues, roadways and music playing in the background. I guess it would depend on what "theme" you were going for. With todays technology the items could be manufactured and be light weight for transport and cleaning. The depths should vary to give all skill levels a chance to enjoy the park. To get the optimum use this park would probably be better in an old quarry or lake. Then it would be accesible no matter what the weather. Clear water and possibly heated would truely make it a year round attraction. Hey maybe you could call it ,"Atlantis found"! Hope this helps.
Re: Hey ! Cool, someone replied :eek:)

Originally posted by Bombata
hehe, you're right ! Being responsible of freedivers who come to visit is one of the difficulty of this project :hmm
But I have a question about this place : The wrecks were already there or the Finnish Museum prepared the entire exposition ?

The wrecks were there...I mean they just happen to be there, poor sailors created underwater themepark, by accident ;)
The water in The gulf of Finland in gentle on those wrecks, so they are well preserved!
Cool place, but rerely visited by freedivers....I sould get my butt to there next summer...Go make scubadivers freak out when they see a "lost" snorkler down in 25m..;)
Lara Lara Laffs

Hi, I just came across this thread for the first time.

I think Jay's "Atlantis" idea is a great one, despite its potential for McDonaldisation. I guess everyone must really want to dive through ruins. One of my most enjoyable snorkelling experiences was at a place called Batik Hammam in Turkey, where there are these old Roman baths that have sunk slightly so they are in about 3 feet of water. You had to be really careful not to touch the bottom (teeny tiny kicks) but the magic of snorkelling through centuries-old stone corridors and archways was truly fantastic. I don't know if many people here have played the Tomb Raider games, but I've always loved the underwater swimming bits in those (I want to know why Lara Croft never has to equalise her ears) and this place in Turkey was the closest I could get to that. So how about it, if anyone's got a few million £/$ to spare? Jay said the items should be lightweight: perhaps he could make them out of expanded poly-styron? :D

I know exactly what your talking about BryanW, the first Lara Croft game was the best. The one dive you have to do to find the hidden lever (in front of the giant egyptian statues) must have been at least a 100 m dive.. on one breath :)

They recently found the "lost" city of Alexandria, Egypt in 30 m of water off the coast of Egypt. Statues, buildings the whole works. That would be a fun dive... except the water quality and vis is really poor.
Actually I was thinking "styrofoam":D , I could probably be convinced to go freediving w/ Lara Croft, she looks alot better than the guys I went w/ this week;) .
Lara huh?

I'd help her on with a snorkel...

The thing you'll want to look at is the stuff that the now defunct National Association of Skin and Scuba Divers, NASDS, did back in the mid 70's with their parks and novice stuff at the resorts they had. I think that's one of the reason they went under, they tried to be Club Med and a training agency. The Tecktite Project and a couple other parks over Jay's and Speedo Aquile's way also will give you an idea of the cluster-hump parks can be.

Like a video game huh ?

WOW ! This place in Turkey must be a great souvenir...
I've thought about visiting that kind of place, like village or entire valleys that were covered by water after hydro-electric stopping's construction...
(Humm...don't know if it's the right way to explain this but I'm sure you understood me :) )
But usually the water is not clear enough, at least it gives a strange mood but crystal waters must be better for diving through space and history.

I know the game Tomb Raider...like many games since I played the first ever made : PONG ! I'm a hardcore gamer and actually I have troubles to concentrate on my thesis and not to waist time in front of video games :mad:
Do you think there's a relation between those two kind of immersion ?
I mean, this special way to enjoy diving AND "visiting our imagination" or exploring fantasmagoric creations have probably some relation with the immersion in video games, don't think so ?
I was fascinated by virtual reality. Since many years, we don't hear much about it, except for surgery applications and military training but the idea is still around and A.C.U.A might have some relation with it. Or at least, the interest for A.C.U.A might be increased by that kind of comparison.


I think it could be a part of my thesis : trying to understand and drag under the spotlight the relation between A.C.U.A and immersion in virtual reality. At least it's not a simple "coincidence" !
MANY THANKS FOR YOUR COMMENTS ! As you can see, it helped me to find something that might be interesting !

More comments are welcome of course, the search is not over :D
For me, video games enable me to do things I wouldn't otherwise be able to do. I'd (probably) much rather drive a car fast round a racetrack than play Gran Turismo, but I haven't got the necessary moolah. So games are a cheap substitute for reality, whereas diving is part of reality.

I think you hit on the right word with "exploring". All humans have an urge to explore. What helped make the site in Turkey so fantastic for me was the fact that I "discovered" it, as no one told me it was there in advance, also I was the only person there at the time. And it was novel. To be honest, if I went back there now I don't think it would be anything great. And if we did have a big underwater theme part with ruins and so on, I think unless there were continually more and more parts to explore, the novelty would wear off. Also, it would attract so many visitors that some of its sense of mystique would be lost (assuming it had any anyway, being totally artificial).

In other words, like in games, in order to be interesting for a long time or many visits such a place would have to give you something to do apart from just swim around in it. Or maybe I'm talking crap here - after all loads of people dive on wrecks without having to find the secret artefact and kill the shark ...

Now I'm not sure what I think :confused:

Last edited:
interesting !

Your reflexion about what an underwater park could be is really interesting Bryan !
You might be right about the necessity to change from time to time the underwater area. But, according to me, it's not such a necessity. Diving is a feeling that you can't have anywhere else. Don't you have sometimes this idea in mind : "I WANT TO DIVE !!!" ? Especially when I see people diving on television ! :duh ARGH !!!!
The kind of underwater park I think about is not a fairy tale. Like a park in the city, it could a place where it's enjoyable to walk around, forgetting every days troubles. Of course, it can be done without the help of underwater structures, especially because what you see is totally different from every day vision !
But the purpose of this park is to create a place, not transforming one. It could be installed on a sand sea-bed, without disturbing any natural activity. I have three ways to explore during my thesis. First, A.C.U.A could be a way to introduce people to the pleasure of diving and to increase and improve the popularity of the city that would be ready to follow the idea. Second, it could allow to deliver an ecological and scientific message to the visitors. Once they put their head underwater, they're more receptive to the messages. Third, it could be a new place for artistic creation and enjoying diving. Of course, sculptures and incredible structures is the subject of our discussion but there's also underwater music and painting.
You were right about the wrecks ! After all, is it fun to visit destroyed cars or buses ? Maybe a big, old airplane is fun but not like a wreck could be !
Icarus pacific, you talked about interesting project during 70's and others. I'd really like to know more about those projects (NADSD and Tecktite) , could you tell me more or is that all you know about them ?
I'm not sure of the other project Sven was talking about but the Tektite project was an underwater habitat that scientist used back in the 70's I believe. It was like Cousteau's Conshelf project, Hydrolab, Helgaland, and Sealab I,II, and III. I believe the Tektite is now in a lagoon in Key Largo, FL and is being used as an underwater hotel and pseudo training facility. Sort of the same idea thats been discussed here. It's in an enclosed area w/ different objects scattered on the bottom around it. On the otherhand there is still one operational research habitat. The Aquarius. It is located on the edge of the reef off Key Largo in 60 fsw. Six people live in it for 10 day periods. Pretty cool. Hope this helps.

This help me much ! Now I think I have to visit the Keys !!! I knew them already but it seems to be an interesting place for my subject. Do you know the Simon Morris's sculpture that lies somewhere in the Keys's Deep ?
I give you the link to his homepage : Simon Morris homepage

Well, now I'm not sure that Grand Cayman is in the Keys...

Anyway, thanks for your info, I knew about Cousteau's pre-continent experiences but not about Tecktite's ones.

By the way, another link to some pictures of an underwater hotel...
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