Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Miss Rockaway Armada

So I set out today searching for information on one of my favorite street artists, Swoon, whose wheatpaste work has tickled my whimsey for a while. In my net wanderings, however, I came across a project that she has been a part of that is, to be blunt, absolutely amazing: The Miss Rockaway Armada. The concept is fairly simple: a few dozen or so artists, sculptors, musicians, builders, and dreamers collect a mountain of junk and garbage and make a few rafts and, Huck Finn style, sail them down the Mississippi river from Minneapolis to New Orleans. "Well that's cute. But why should I care?" you ask. Because they're beautiful, functional, and fabulous, that's why. Each raft, while functional as a mobile river home with electricity and motors, also contains several different art installations by the builders themselves. True to the DIY spirit, all the motors are refabbed deisel car engines that run off of used veggie oil, and no one spends any money on any of the installations. While the pictures below provide a sampling of the type of work that comes out of the armada, their website, http://www.missrockawayarmada.com/, has more information if you have river raft fever. Particularly, check out some of their non-mobile installations, which their Flicker account wouldn't let me post. But I won't hold that against them.

 If stumbled onto this page looking for Swoon's work, check out the second door from the right.

Beginning this year's barge: you have to start somewhere.

Another new raft begins for this year

1 comment:

  1. The boat pictured above I helped build. "The Garden of Bling." Dysfunctional at best- It had a sail that never sailed, speakers that never worked, an organ that never saw the light of day, and a $2000 gas engine spray painted gold. This boat was an artsy fartsy affair that never saw past the river bank of East St. Louis where it was subsequently burned down by the local fire department. Just thought I'd clear that up. Yay.


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