Meet WaterBoy, an odd and scary performance art project by one Marque Cornblatt. WaterBoy is a series of water tanks that look much like fishbowls. Cornblatt wears them on his head while walking around as if nothing is wrong.
As a major aquaphobe (showers over baths!), I find every single moment of the above video, called "Bubble," excruciating to watch. Cornblatt calls his devices "the leading brand of self-contained, portable submergence environments." I call them a unique nightmare from which my real nightmares are likely to be generated. I'll be sleeping with a ShamWow and water wings tonight.
I have no idea how this spectacle is accomplished without Cornblatt inhaling the water and dropping to the sidewalk, thereby shattering the glass globe. I reached out to him and asked, and he was more than happy to explain how it works:
During the shooting of "bubble," both actors were supported by an experienced water-wrangling crew, enabling them to perform while keeping their heads submerged and holding their breath for extended periods of time. The most difficult part was attempting to conserve water on location by reinserting a snorkle into the bubbles between takes, often resulting in near-drowning experiences for the actors. Overcoming a fear of death is a job requirement.
I will not be applying, but thanks for the interest.
Out of morbid curiosity--and because here at DIY Weekend, we like to highlight creativity, even if it utterly terrifies us--I asked how the thing works. I should not have.
The bubbles are made using common materials. The clear plastic sphere comes from a coin-operated gumball machine. There is a small hole in the top for adding water and a large hole on the bottom which the head goes through.
The bottom hole is sealed using wetsuit-type neoprene layered with a drysuit neck gasket and glued with a combination of flexible waterproof sealants. The hole in the bottom is so tight that most people feel like they are soffocating even before the water is added. Once filled with 8-10 gallons of water, the whole unit can weight up to 80+ pounds, so there is a padded metal shoulder rig to hold everything in place.
I'm even more freaked out now than I was a little bit ago. Great. I don't even want to get into my shower now. And for those who were suspecting Cornblatt (and his alter-ego WaterBoy) are Burning Man types, you may now step forward and collect your prize.
Next up in DIY Weekend: Hacking a pinhole DIY camera.
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