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Layton Lachman, Abby Crain & Mara Poliak are in the Swimming Pool.

Sam Hertz is playing the tunes at the poolside.

Lisa Rybovich Crallé is making the pool toys. 

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Swimming Pool Premiered at CounterPulse, San Francisco, May 17th-19th, 2018


Concept, Direction and Performance by Mara Poliak, Layton Lachman, and Abby Crain

Sculpture Installation by Lisa Rybovich Crallé

Lighting design by Elizabeth Ardent

Sound design by Samuel Hertz

Photography/Video by Chani Bockwinkel & Editing by Ethan Folk


Space has collapsed and place has emerged in its truly monstrous dimension

  Timothy Morton

Use leaves traces in places

  Sara Ahmed


Swimming Pool is experiential co-existence in this weird world that humans keep making weirder. Swimming Pool is neither apocalyptic nor utopic. Swimming Pool is a “dark ecological loop: a strange loop, in which two levels that appear utterly separate flip into one another” (Morton). You are the live audience for the studio recording of a radio play, a sci-fi love story in seven acts. A lot happens behind the scenes. Timescales start to slip, the water keeps getting in y/our eyes, and sloshing over the edge, and we can’t tell if we are above or below the surface or somewhere else entirely.

Swimming Pool veers away from narratives of nihilism or salvation in order to learn how to live with precarity and loss. We want to open to other logics and worlds, new forms of being and continuing together. We place our bodies in the unknowable, the unmanageable, and tangle up with it, melting ourselves into being. Pleasure and desire surpass their human referents, and we can feel them like a skin that ripples and flips and changes form when anything anywhere moves.

And now we’re live on air. Doom metal by the house band and compositions by gay aliens shake the room while an amorphous cloudscape floats overhead that might be other worlds, or our collective imaginations becoming material and felt. We are bathed in eerie green light, two blobs of gel and an oil stain are about to come up for air, and a dog is dancing somewhere in the background that’s actually the surface of the water.


Swimming Pool is co-produced by CounterPulse, with support from the Kenneth Rainin Foundation and the Zellerbach Family Fund, and fiscal sponsorship by Jess Curtis/Gravity.