Why, hello there…

I have been writing for decades now. Disjointed email posts that I send out whenever the mood strikes. I’m going to do that here now, as I suspect that it’s all going into spam folders now. I will just start now by saying that I’ve sold 32 tickets to the moon in the last month, I’ve been living in Troy NY, arguing with spoiled rotten angels about what floats ‘safely’ and what is just unsafe. So put a propeller on a driveshaft of a car that drove to the accident. Go ahead. Bolt it to a swivel and put a hose into the river so cool the monster. Go ahead. Do it. Build a rudder out of old real estate signs. Whatever. Just make sure you argue with the guy over there about the design of the staircase that leads to nowhere on a ‘boat’ that is fashioned of detritus. Huh? Welcome to an art project that WAY too many people are going to take WAY too seriously.

Leeme splain…

You see, this girl, Swoon, she is an artist. Not like a real artist that like sells work in a gallery or something. She’s one of us. She looks like us. But, actually… she sell her artwork in a gallery. It’s all very confusing. Not like a painting. Like, if you had to paint a picture but all you had was lint and a pile of broken alarm clocks. OK, that’s a bad example. It’s more like a birdhouse that has wings or a fruit bowl filled with brass cleats off a sailing ship. Or even a dozen cotton dresses on a clothesline, doing a chorus line in the wind. Some things are just all possibility. Others require you stretch the truth to even explain them. But they all exist. Here’s a few photos….

(if’n ya click on it, it gets way bigger…)

Swoon makes boats. Well. She causes boats to be made. Like static electricity causes lightning and thunder. Same same. She makes boats that remind me of Bangkok. I give her motors like the longtails in Cambodia. Huh? I’m the propulsion guy. The boats are junk. We get along famously. Here’s a photo of a 350 Chevy with a turbo 700 trans that runs on coffee grinds and acorns:

There is a vision, I guess. You can see it:


But the vision of the boat trip is probably different for me than for others. I’m the grumpy mechanic. I’m hard to deal with. Where they battle the artistic, I conquer the science. It’s math. Reduction. Gasoline exploding and forcing pistons to turn cranks and cams and propellers. The aesthetic is accidental. On these boats you see the guts on the outsides. And you hear ’em, too. I’ve also probably worked a harder work then the other 55 people who are dedicated to see this process meander down the Hudson river this summer. Trying to manage all the nuts and bolts and gaskets… and engineering auto parts to talk to aqua parts… maddning. Here is what they did to a perfectly good steam-ship:

And here is a good example of what public art isn’t:

Brian Goggin eat your heart out. Ya see, with no restrictions to truncate vision or scale… you can literally create dreams that skim across a river that runs in both directions contemporaneously. This river, which fights the estuary tides of the Atlantic Ocean and it’s northerly source of ice melt in Newfoundland was named the Hudson River after noted douchebag navigator Henry Hudson who a million years ago piloted a craft named the Half Moon up the river to where our boat will set off before turning around and then being mutinied and set adrift in a dingy without so much as a paddle. What a waste of a good pair of boots.

But I digress.

The boats float and the motors roar. 7 vessels in total, 50 or so persons committed to drizzle down/up stream to New Amsterdam. When they park next to each other, it’s hard to figger out where one stops and the next one starts:

And this is the boat that is named after my Grandmother:
The Maria DelCarman Boucharisa

So August 15th is when the crafts desembark. Should be interesting. Thanks for lookin’…


8 Responses

  1. Awesome

  2. that is a giant pile of awesome.

  3. […] the band Dark Dark Dark and playwright Lisa D’Amour. Here’s more on the project from Chicken John. Swimming cities of Switchback Sea is a flotilla of seven intricately hand crafted vessels that […]

  4. My god its frigging brilliant in a wonderfully twisted and oblique semi-surrealistic peyote induced way! I am so envious of your voyage. I do hope you have a spare set of water wings for Dammit!

  5. “worked a harder work”

    Funny! True! Typical!

    Seems like there are some who work, and some who look like they work. Tell them to stop lookin’ for the thing. Sometimes having skills is a downer.

    Wish I could see the boats in person. That part of the Hudson is lovely.

  6. OMG its a floating Monument to the Third International! If only Tatlin were around to see. Go, you crazy Contructivists of the new age, GO!


  7. i cannot wait to welcome the piles of awesome to nyc!!!!!

  8. Hey John,
    Here’s the video I was trying to get you into:



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