WATER > Submersion: The Spiritual Language of Water

Jessica Tully
Submersion: The Spiritual Language of Water
Three Channel Digital Video, TRT 19 minutes

Jessica Tully
Performance Ritual
"Submersion: The Spiritual Language of Water"
45 minutes
Location: Sunken Amazon Forest, California Academy of Sciences
May 15, 2010


Submersion: The Secret Language of Water is a site-specific performance ritual and video installation that reconnects Jewish women’s four thousand year old purity rites with the contemporary water practices of the artist and her secular grandmother during the late 1970's. This newly commissioned three-channel video work and accompanying performance ritual invokes the power of water for personal well-being, spiritual embodiment and environmental balance.

Commissioned by Reboot for DAWN 2010.

A limited edition print-map of the artist's friends and family's favorite places to soak, swim, and float will be given out FREE to all viewers and participants.


For Jewish women (and men) immersion in a ritual bath to spiritually purify oneself has been practiced for four thousand years. Though monthly use of a ritual bath is less prevalent today than in other times, a broad range of Jewish women, from feminist to ultra-otharodox, participate in the ritual. The mikvah is back.

Open water swimming, diving, soaking in natural hot springs, bathhouses and even public pools can also offer a deep sense of relaxation and well-being as the negative ions on the surface of the water wash completely over your body. Commissioned by Reboot for DAWN 2010 at the California Academy of Sciences and Steinhart Aquarium, this performance ritual and installation video invoke the sensual power of water in celebration of the traditionally all-night spiritual inquiry of Shavuot.