- Visual Arts
UPDATE: In just a few weeks, I've surpassed my minimum goal! Thank you to all who have donated or spread the word. I'm grateful and honored to have so much support so far. *Cloud Drift* will definitely be funded and installed along the Gowanus Canal this summer. But there is still more to do! Please help me reach my new "stretch" goal, which will cover added engineering and insurance costs and decent wages for those helping me make and install the project. Every penny will go towards making Cloud Drift happen!
Cloud Drift is a series of monumental cyanotype-image flags to be flown over the Gowanus Canal in the summer of 2017 (June 21-September 21) at each of its pedestrian crossings––on Union, Carroll, Third and Ninth Streets. It is presented in partnership with Gowanus Souvenir Shop. Each flag will feature a photograph of the canal's surface with its floating debris, mucky formations and reflections of Brooklyn skies, signs and structures. Over each of the canal's bridges, an upside-down image of the water just below will fly in the sky above, transforming a dingy urban landscape into pictures of sublimely cloudy skies. These photographs will be printed as 3 x 5-foot cyanotypes on cotton canvas and attached to existing light posts.
Cyanotype is an early photographic process dating from the 1840s, which results in a blue monochromatic image––the reaction of potassium ferricyanide and ferric ammonium citrate to sunlight and water. This process is conceptually linked to the entire project. It connects the canal’s polluted present to its 19th Century industrial past. It produces a stripped down image in shades of blue and white, the essential colors of idealized skies and waterways. Its nostalgic image technology alludes to a historically romantic view of untouched landscapes as separate from built ones. While relatively stable, cyanotype images are still sensitive to ultra-violet light; by design, the flags’ images will fade over months in the summer sun.
The flags of Cloud Drift an are an outgrowth of––and perhaps a more poetic endpoint for––the photographs I have made of the canal on my regular walks between my Red Hook apartment and Gowanus studio. For passers-by, their presence might suggest a way to navigate murky waters, mark terrain created by the city’s history, signal shifts in the neighborhood, or even just call attention to their surroundings.
This public project will be presented in partnership with Gowanus Souvenir Shop and the NYC Department of Transportation Arterventions program, with additional community support from the Gowanus Canal Conservancy. I will produce the flags during a residency at BAXTER St at Camera Club of New York in the spring of 2017. Jacquard Products will donate cyanotype chemistry. Even with this support, the project is still short of critical funding.
Your TAX-DEDUCTIBLE CONTRIBUTION will help cover the remaining costs of making the flags, related public programing, and those behind-the-scenes expenses that make art happen--an engineering review, public art insurance, installation labor, hardware, et al.