a study in underwater communication
Introducing a special J.Hannah collaboration — a study on scuba signals, underwater language, and modes of unspoken communication.
Video + image stills by Greta Van Der Star
Art direction by Natasha Mead
Music by Michael A. Muller
Diving signals are a standardized set of non-verbal underwater communication, established for safety and directional instruction, ie:
Directional — stop, going up/going down, changing direction, turn around, slow down, level off
Safety — I'm okay! or Help! or I'm low on air!
Guide to Motion signals:
Swim / diver: Form a peace sign with the palm down. Index and middle finger alternate in an up and down motion.
Level off: A flat hand with palm down and fingers spread moves slowly + horizontally side to side a few times.
No - A clenched fist with a forefinger extended moves side to side.
Buddy: Fists made with both hands, forefingers extended, and hands placed together with forefingers parallel and in contact.
Hold/wait: A clenched fist held steady, typically leveled with the head or chest.
Ok: A circle is made with thumb and forefinger, extending the remaining fingers if possible.
Up/end the dive: A fist is made with one hand, thumb extended upward, and hand is moved upward to emphasize the direction of travel.