Jun 022011


Way back in February, I posted a series of whirlpool photographs made by husband, Steven David Johnson.  His obsession with whirlpools hasn’t ceased; only deepened.  Recently he purchased a wet suit (zipped into it, he closely resembles a superhero) and underwater camera in order to film whirlpools from beneath the surface.   He’s created a visual meditation on nature’s instability, layering his video imagery of a small whirlpool in the Shenandoah River’s North Fork over a soundtrack of “All Tremors Cease” by an artist named Erin Dingle (who kindly licensed her work through Creative Commons).  The resulting video meditation is dedicated to the victims of 2011’s natural disasters.




There’s something profound about two artists, a videographer and musician, who are unknown to one another, yet are able to collaborate in this very new media format, responding aesthetically to the recent disasters that have have affected our world.  We human beings (artists, musicians, whirlpool-watchers) are in this together.


—post text by Anna Maria Johnson, video by Steven David Johnson, music by Erin Dingle

  15 Responses to “Whirlpool (All Tremors Cease): Underwater Video Meditation — Steven David Johnson & Anna Maria Johnson”

  1. The underwater views of the whirlpools are fascinating. I am particularly attracted to the smooth ones, perhaps because they look so organic – like eels, or the appendages of strange creatures.

  2. This kind of goes nicely with Gary’s Thursday Night Movie this week.

    I’m curious about the music/spoken word artist Erin Dingle, too. You have any other information or links to the work?

  3. Thanks for asking about her, Doug. From the Free Music Archive, on which we found Dingle’s track, I have copied this blurb, which tells about the very interesting project that this song was part of:
    “The Monome Community, an eclectic ensemble collective of electronic artists, have come together once more, in response to Tohoku Chiho Taiheiyo-oki Jishin, the Tohoku region Pacific Ocean offshore earthquake which rocked Honshu Island Japan only days ago. Using sampled, synthesized representations of seismic event data collected from the devastating earthquakes, participants created a wide variety of remixes and compositions as a cathartic response to the sheer power of the earth.”


  4. This is stunning. Mesmerizing. A sweetly even, smooth whirlpool above turns into a violent tornado below pulling matter into it, swirling, scattering. Yet the part in the middle, simply a perfect swirl tucked neatly beside a rock. Dancing. Not destroying anything. I appreciated seeing this microscopic view from underneath.

  5. This is moving…on many different levels. Thank you for sharing it.

  6. Lovely. Imaginative. Difficult. I’d love to see a film of the underwater filming. Of Steven, the artist, dissecting the world with his lens and then later, in the studio, recreating a vision for us to see on the internet.

  7. I’m Erin Dingle, the spoken word artist who wrote the poem in this video. I just wandered across it today. What a beautiful accompaniment to my words! The music was composed by my talented friend lokey, who’s a part of the Monome Community. Your video is hypnotizing, and visually compliments what we created. Thank You 🙂

  8. hey, very cool! I’m the musician behind the instrumental, interesting to see it set to such striking visuals. This piece came about through an acoustic response compiled in the week immediately following the tragedy in japan. The monome community (http://post.monome.org) came together to assemble an album as a way of recognizing the impact that it had on all of us, even those far removed from the destruction. It was quite an experience drawing together all the contributing artists, including the dynamic ms dingle, and to see an entire work of art come together so rapidly in the week after the Tohoku Chiho Taiheiyo-oki Jishin. Thank you for continuing the reverberations of this powerful event…


    ps…see below for the link to the full album…


    • Lokey, Thanks so much for commenting and giving us insight into the work. Lovely to see writer/musician collaborations, better still to read a little of the background. Thanks for the link.


  9. Erin and Lokey, Steven and I are so pleased you discovered the project and chimed in to comment. Your sounds and words are amazing, and I look forward to seeing the work you will do in the future.

  10. Thank you so much for these links. Helps spread the word.

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