Tuesday, August 26, 2008

The Sea and the Rhythm

Since August 15th, seven handmade floating sculptures have been making their way down the Hudson, stopping at different ports along the way so their 40 passengers, led by the artist known as Swoon, can step on shore and stage a series of musical and theatrical performances.

The trip will wrap up when the boats dock at Deitch Studios in Long Island City on September 7th. Swimming Cities of Switchback Sea is a sequel to a 2006 project on the Mississippi River by Swoon and the Miss Rockaway Armada. An exhibition at Deitch of Swoon's prints and structures will follow.

I first became aware of Swoon when we lived near the Gowanus Canal and noticed her woodcut-paper paste-ups around the neighborhood. I saw her speak at an AIGA event a few years later, and after that she had a fairly mind-blowing show at Deitch projects.

Her work is very recognizable and you can see it all over, though not quite as much as before, as she is obviously very busy these days.

Click here to see some of my Flickr photos of her paste-ups.
More info on Swimming Cities of Switchback Sea at Deitch and at switchbacksea.org.


PS - I did a graphic identity project for the Gowanus Canal when I was in school at Parsons. I did a lot of research in the archives of the Brooklyn Daily Eagle, and this is one of the more interesting photos I found:

The Gowanus had temporarily dried up, and this crowd was having a look from the Carroll Street bridge. A police officer on duty counted something like 38 guns in the mud below.

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