The mermaid of South Dakota

mixed media long term project

This is a kamp fantasy about building a persona, love for ocean and rockandroll.

Christie is an ecological activist and professional diver, originally from  a land-locked state of South Dakota. Following her sea-punk fantasy of transitioning into a hiperfeminine siren, she moved to Mexican Caribbean and started volunteer work with sea turtles at Centro Ecologico de Akumal. Her mermaiding in different costumes is combined with loud singing while listening to favourite songs from iPod. The contradiction between listening to music from a personal device, an action directed inward and uncontrolled expression of siren singing at the ocean shore and the contrast between Christie's everyday tomboy style and  feminine mermaid image of her is a subject of video installation, photos and video documentation. We continue to go on with this story.

For audio click here.


video, audio recordings, mixed media installation, photography, found footage, performance, undertaken during art residency in Quintana Roo, Mexico.
featuring: Christie Sandvik
with: Bart Merkus, Ralf van Oldeniel
For video and performance documentation please e-mail.

The Mermaid of South Dakota, 2014, video, film still

The Mermaid of South Dakota, 2014, video, film still 

The Mermaid of South Dakota, 2014, video, film still.

The Mermaid of South Dakota, 2014, video, film still

I am here, the mermaid whose dark hair
streams black, the merman in his armored body
We circle silently about the wreck
we dive into the hold. ...
We are, I am, you are
by cowardice or courage
the one who find our way
back to the scene
carrying a knife, a camera
a book of myths
in which
our names do not appear.

Adrienne Rich, Diving into the Wreck

Do you remember me
The ocean rolled
Time was slow
We felt an energy
The cock was crowing
The rum was flowing
A mermaid burns to sea
Beyond the sea
I long to see
I long to see

 Patti Smith, The mermaid song

Using Format