Week 28: Miss Rockaway Armada

Hi Everyone,

This Tuesday is another event in a year-long series of weekly conversations and exhibits in 2010 shedding light on examples of Plausible Artworlds.

This week we’ll be talking with some of the sailors and crew from Miss Rockaway Armada, “both a collection of individuals and an idea”, as they put it with their characteristic understatement.


The idea takes the form of a flotilla of rafts the 30-odd individuals cobbled together themselves out of trash and which they are using to float down the Mississippi River. How plausible does that sound for an artworld adrift on America’s major inland waterway, in wake of eighteenth-century performance artist Johnny Appleseed? “The catch,” as they disarmingly put it, “is that we don’t much about boats or rivers, and we don’t have any money.” Why would that stop anyone? “Last year we met in Minneapolis in late July with sections of our raft in tow. We pieced together our pontoons and filled them with salvaged blocks of foam. We made it beautiful and tied on anything that would float, adding it to our junk armada, our anarchist county fair, our fools ark. Our precious cargo is everything we hold dear: pieces and parts of the culture we are already creating. Our zines and puppets, sewing projects and poster campaigns, mutant bicycles and punk rock marching bands. Plus our thoughts and dreams and irrepressible energy.”

The Mississippi float is not the group’s first voyage. Under the name of The Swimming Cities of Serenissima, members of the group last year sailed on the Adriatic Sea from Slovenia to Venice on a fleet of boats homemade from junk. http://www.swimmingcities.org/

Fun? Adventure? Not only.

“We want to be a living, kicking model of an entirely different world — one that in this case happens to float.”

Can we borrow that one for Plausible Artworlds mission statement?



Week 28: Miss Rockaway Armada


Male speaker: We as [0:00:02] [indiscernible] by the way or chatting we don’t have to but if you guys don’t stop mind it’s nice because that’s just,

Male speaker: Hello? Cool.

Male speaker: It’s nice because it allows us to…

Male speaker: Hello, hello, hello?

Male speaker: Anyway it allows us to like or [0:00:34] [inaudible]

[0:00:44] [background voices]

Female speaker: Would you just pass that too?

Female speaker: [0:01:54] [inaudible]

Bob: Hey it’s Bob.

Male speaker: Hey there, everything’s okay?

Bob: Yeah perfect.

Male speaker: Super cool. Let me just check this audio for a sec. How is it really doing today?

Bob: We are good this is like the eve Bastille Day here in France.

Male speaker: All right, awesome!

Bob: Oh no, no. mute my mic though.

Male speaker: Oh it’s super cool. You know I think that the audio quality seems to be pretty good so, no worries.

Male speaker: Yeah so welcome everybody we’ve got half a dozen people on the call today, actually not even and about the same number people here. So we are going to kind of have an intimate party. by the way for you guys let you know we use this mic just to help record this it’s sort of does make it feel like a game show but that’s -. Anyway so we’ve got some of the folks from Miss Rockaway Armada hanging out here, and we want to start off by looking at we want to start off by looking at this web page that we put together about their work, the reason why we are laughing is because the picture that was up was the two, three, four, five, six and seven from down from the top which is a birthday lap dance. Can you tell us a little bit about, a little bit about this?

Female speaker: My assistant is just totally a really flamboyant birthday lap dance. There are some lamb chops that were cooked on the barbecue and a bottle of wine and then we surprised the birthday boy, and then…

Female speaker: [0:04:37] [inaudible]

Female speaker: The maitre de took off his pants and started all dancing on the birthday boy and it was fun.

Male speaker: Yeah so [0:04:54] [inaudible]. Hey just for the record it was Scott’s birthday yesterday I don’t know if that counts?


Female speaker: Oh we didn’t know about that.

Female speaker: Oh no way.

Female speaker: Just for the record to get it on the record, we will say happy birthday to Scott. Happy birthday Scott, happy birthday Scott. What oh yeah, oh

Male speaker: So yes, I wonder if they can hear me over here, maybe. Maybe, maybe not but maybe just have this pass around. Yeah so today is one of those days I wish we had like one of those like radio microphones except for the fact that we just moved out this big industrial fan that’s blowing on us and a radar, radar mic that’s just it wouldn’t do well in this environment. So we’ll just have to keep passing this back and forth artificially slightly but anyway…

Female speaker: Maybe someone [0:06:10] [inaudible]

Male speaker: Yes, someone will win one of the two PBRs the rest are [0:06:17] [inaudible] loggers. So yeah welcome you guys it’s awesome to have you back after like a year, have something?

Female speaker: Half a year.

Male speaker: Half a year, okay was it the…okay.

Female speaker: Yeah.

Male speaker: Okay, so since September so after half a year we are now half a year through this series of Plausible Art Worlds chats really run like I think like we 26 or something of 52 weeks of you know weekly events over the year. And we’ve been talking about you guys as an example of internally anyway as an example of the of what we are calling Plausible Art Worlds. Anyway for a while because of the kind of environment that you had set up. I know that many of you have a foot in different worlds you know it’s not just you know a complete session that’s why you’re like, fuck the art world or let’s just remove ourselves from life entirely and this is all you do I mean it’s a part of what you do but its seems like a pretty big part in addition to whatever other individual practices you have as artists and collective practices.

So I’m really interested to hear a little bit more about it, and I was just kind of hoping that you could share some of that with, with the people that are on the chat but also with us for you know for this recording for people to hear later and also this is a chance for us to chat and like think through some different stuff and maybe generate some questions or things that may be useful when we make the publication next year too. So, I don’t know who it feels like coming from that, I’d really like it if one of you guys or more or whatever would wouldn’t mind just to just maybe even just giving us a brief intro to the project, now pull up this page so that people know that you know just kind of talking it through, with us little bit.

Female speaker: [0:08:14] [inaudible] Yeah. I guess I’ll say that again, I don’t know if the microphone cut that or not  but it’s a project that is pretty cool and it voices many thoughts so the three of us that are here we will all give our corresponding or uncorresponding blurbs about that I guess.

Female speaker: Can I ask a question about the audience, I just want to know who we are talking to in general, how many people like this where everyone’s coming from?

Male speaker: Yeah so again sorry about this mic it is making this little artificial but I think we can handle that. Yeah you guys were just asking about the audience that you are talking to? Yeah I mean it’s like right now there are a few artists online and there’s a writer, Steven Wright who co-organizing this project with, there are possibly be other people coming in throughout but you know right now it just seems to be one of the one of the low attendance side, it’s actually one of the more intimate ones that they may be kind of nice since we are just sitting around [0:09:20] [inaudible] I don’t know drinking beer but then like as far too who will be listening to this will actually clean things up afterwards so, you know we’ll cut out something if you want us to of whatever.

Female speaker: [0:09:35] [inaudible]

Male speaker: Hey guys yeah so basically like who the audiences who we will listen to later I mean we’ll be variable, we’ll put a nice podcasts on our website but it’s probably just primarily people that would be interested.

Female speaker: Cool, so I am going first time.

Female speaker: Yeah. Anna [0:09:59] [inaudible]


Female speaker: Okay

[0:10:22] [background voices]

Female speaker: I don’t know what kind of…

Male speaker: Oh it’s okay yeah I mean if you don’t mind its maybe giving us a brief intro to this project for people that don’t know.

Female speaker: Okay I’ll do my best.

Anna: Okay so my name’s Anna and joined the [0:11:47] [inaudible] the second year that we were going down the Mississippi river on some boats that we made out of junk and I’ll do my best to give my very brief perspective on how things came together and how they just kept rolling along one way or another So the first year which was 2006 some folks mostly in New Yolk got together and developed though various ways which I wasn’t present for, but I imagine is sort of conversations in politics and sort of at night about building a boat and living on the river. As a collaborative project to me a lot of needs that a lot of people felt for a lot of reasons, since I wasn’t there I will just say that I joined them the next year because I had a long standing interest in living on a boat made out of crap that I would make and live on a river.

And when I found out that other people were doing this, it seemed like I should probably do it with them. But let’s see, this is one of the boats that was made the second year, this boat here. On the first year it was one long boat, I forget how long it was, it just 110 feet or something like that long, 130 feet long and it just cut parts that kept adding on and adding on and adding on. And then there was some [0:13:18] [inaudible] for a lot of reasons. So the next year it split into many pieces and the new boats were bought and parts were destroyed and sort of turned into a different creature. Yeah that one is the Garden of Bling, the Garden of Bling yeah it was, it was originally three people were talking about building this boat, one person wanted to have a garden and one person wanted a lot of blingy gold stuff and so they compromised and this is the Garden of Bling that came about as a result.

[0:14:01] [background voices]

 Female speaker: About what the project was? So should I like I was saying I’m having a hard time talking back and forth like I’m not very good at multitasking between different kinds of media.

[0:14:18] [background voices]

Female speaker: Me personally or?

Male speaker: Maybe you, yeah.

Female speaker: There were some people involved in this trip who have done some sort of boat trip before but this was the first thing that any of us have probably ever done along this lines. None of us really knew anything about navigating a large craft or building a large craft or could it would mean when we got there and there was this giant river and then we supposed to live on it, so it was yeah it was our first Mississippi trip.


[0:15:14] [background voices]

Female speaker: Oh okay. Sorry I thought for they were like seeing that is and it’s happening [0:15:24] [inaudible].

Female speaker: Okay, I want to hear what on the website and it says that you traveled on Mississippi and I guess you stopped and did like workshops and stuff like that? Just kind of curious that what kind of workshops and things like that did you do?

Female speaker: It was different year to year depending on who was there and what they wanted to do and what they were capable of basically pulling out of their ass. There were pretty much always had screen printing stuff going on for like kids like put stuff on our shirts and what, there were some - yeah, well I don’t know the first year they were different the second year they ended up being more like a little more junky a little more art oriented, I don’t know, the first year what did you guys do?

Female Speaker: Yeah first year along in the river would stop over in towns and mostly we’d be doing performances in the evening time so we would had all sort of instruments and commercial made and handmade instruments and we would design some flyers and put on wild crazy costumes and have some tall bikes and would roll through town at a huge parade, and we’d hang out for a couple of days and be like we are having a show, this is like whatever upcoming Thursday night 7:00pm come down and have a friend and just to get interest and get to know some of the folks in the town and sometimes on the day of show or maybe the day after we would host workshops for kids or whoever was interested.

Mostly kids from the local town would come through so yes I was definitely sub screening and wild animals was like the pretty popular one that people do or like the zeen making project or coming try and play that drum instrument that I made or try and yeah story telling lines, there was a girl that built the story telling booth and would [0:17:19] [inaudible] story telling booth and would ask people from the small towns we had visit to come and tell stories about living on the river, and she was collecting the stories for a while and she did and audio project about it.

Yeah, I got people do all sorts of weird stuff, yeah basically whoever had an idea costume making workshop, puppetry making workshops, stencil making workshops, it was like whatever you felt like doing that day. and we had a especially in the first, I was part of the first year as projects in 2006 and policy that we had body politic was very important with skill chairs. So you have and that everybody should be able to do everything, right? There are definitely certain characters that had more of a an ear for working on the mortars that could  handle the noise and the heat all the time and all the people that wanted to cook more and other people that like were more gong ho but cleaning up the toilets and things than others you know.

There are definitely certain crafts or skills or jobs that some people chose more over than the others but the general politic was that everybody should be able to do everything, everyone should like learn how to pick up and use whatever power tool you want to learn how to use, that we like people have different skills that you are able to share those skills. so be it crocheting or collage or playing accordion or playing a piano or wood cutting or I mean whatever that you had you are able to give and then be able to receive, we had very strong DIY body politics that we could make it happen and we’re trying to. Yes oh. Mutualizing confidence you have no idea. Right but I’m really so all the same level or you know trying to figure things out ourselves and sort of somewhat sustainable somewhat performatory manner. But trying to figure out trying to learn from each other what we did know and source out what we didn’t. So that we often have motor break downs and had to pull around a small town and you know have some really fascinating interactions with small timers from the motor shops and auto body shops and just learning a lot as much as we could from locals on the way, it was really fascinating for me at least. I spent a bunch a fair amount of time kind of running around, talking to people on the town to meeting them, learning their things at least having impact but yeah.


Female speaker: Of the bushing? Sorry, what did you say? Do you remember the day that we learnt the importance of a bushing? A bushing with a B? Yeah its part of a way to starter engages with the mortar and the engine wouldn’t start and we couldn’t figure out why and old mechanic from I don’t know , the last [0:20:40] [indiscernible] Iowa comes and he’s like, there is this tiny piece of metal it’s the breath of a hair and looks like a washer and it’s just its there like someone on the starter and it makes it work, you don’t have it, it doesn’t work, its tiny is a metal we would never figured it out without him.

Female speaker: Where were we?

Female speaker: We were talking on the projects so, it was a project based on a lot of ideals, I actually came into the project two weeks into the river trip so the bags were essentially they were essentially already built when I got there. I oh computer talk. Oh my God!

Male Speaker: Can you mute that for a second? And figure this out.

Female speaker: Wow makes, that’s very inspiring sort of noise band. Yeah I had been traveling around Europe for about a year and a half or so, squatting hitch hiking working on farms, all sorts of things and I actually ran into an American in Berlin named Maddy Apolis. he was this boy that was building a boat and I remember having this conversation with him, probably sometime in the spring time, he’s sitting there [0:22:28] [inaudible] crusty squatter kid from Minneapolis called Maddy Apolis and he was sitting there in this [0:22:34] [inaudible] sort of collectively run squatted bar space, and he pulls out this weird digital camera that he had. He was showing me pictures of his boat that built the year before and he’s like, ‘I got to go back to America, I’m going to go back to this boat and I’m going to take it down the river this time.’ Because he had spent like a year of his life building this thing and he had all these dreams of living in this boat and whatever.

And I just remember going home and writing in my journal, that day, ‘oh I met this boy he’s gone on his raft trip on the river and it sounds like such a dream I hope I get to do something like that someday,’ and I ended up back in the States that summer, and I started calling up a bunch of my friends from New York as I had been living in New York before them, and I was in the Midwest in Chicago, and I was calling them up and they are like, ‘hey we’re on Mississippi around the bunch of boats we built all these rafts, you’ve got to come out here and check it out.’

They were most of my closest friends that I knew from the city and I was like god you guys are all together all in one place doing this crazy wild thing , of course I’m going to come and visit you. and I showed up and I ended up staying for about two months and I was living and had been part of sort of loose network of people ever since participate in three years of raft projects. But it was a group of very young idealists who were frustrated by the way they saw life ahead of them and wanted to try to make a vision of their imagination happen for real and to many extents they did, we did and it was a very inspiring time.

Female speaker: Robin do you want to talk about, Robin do you want to talk a little bit about, you want me to talk a little bit about your experience?

Ariel: My name is Ariel by the way; I don’t think I properly introduced myself. I ended up on the Rockaway the first year kind of serendipitously and it’s like all of the things I was doing in New York just turned into being one circle of people doing this one thing and I was dating a guy [0:24:45] [indiscernible] and it was amazing, I was just flabbergasted that like that was happening, it blew my mind.


And if there was a possibility to do it again from the ground up I wanted to do it. and they resumed the project the second year and I helped from the fund raising point and was there the whole time but some of the magic, not just that the project didn’t lose it, the project didn’t lose its magic but the course of being on its course as a participant the whole time definitely changed the naivety I think I initially experienced when coming on board as a visitor and I mean we were idealists and we were naïve and we took on a lot and we did this crazy thing but there were parts that were like there parts that were scary and there were parts that were dangerous and we were very lucky in retrospect that things turned as well as they did there’s a big flood on the Mississippi in the second year, the water rose like 20 feet, the places that current increased was like a bog like full trees in the river. We almost hit a badge a few times like you know kind of almost went over down, lost control, crash landed how to get safer from hitting bridge by the coast guard. And all those people into it were very intense and very scary and very part of it and seemed to me I don’t know like in some ways like I don’t view them negatively in retrospect. But I think there are very real moments but somehow indicate like the kind of naivety smoothers hard like going into it.

I don’t think I would do a project like that again, honestly. I’ve learned to value my life in a way I didn’t when I’d started that project. I was going at it with like other ideal is on and like I really naïve idea of what nature was capable of and this hopeful like, we can get through it, there’s 20, 30 of us here, we’ll do it we are all capable people. But I don’t know in some ways I think I came out of there being really humbled by our environment and by our really armaturish understanding of it. And on the one hand I think amazing things can happen that way but I think you also have to reflect on them when they are done and realize that having that attitude indefinitely into the future is reckless. And I don’t know I think it was a very important informative and beautiful experience but like I said I don’t think I would make decisions that again, I like you know being alive.

Anna: This is Anna again; I thought that I would say something quickly about what Robin just was waiting through. The best part about the project for me was the actual being on the water and being in towns was just actual day to day of floating really slowly with 20 year 30 brand new best friends, making a village of fools and having to deal with each other in incredibly intimate ways but just also being on the water and having a piece of life that was incredibly removed from those other things giving us the time to like examine mosquito bites right stupid songs write some pretty good songs, come up with really silly puppet shows, make puppets just things that are I don’t know just so down and you move about five or ten miles an hour. Everything is really so down, and then about the crushing part, I’m grateful for that because I stayed where we crushed. I haven’t moved more than five miles from where we crashed in St. Louise.

Female speaker: For the last two years?

Anna: For the last yes since I maybe three years, so I’m grateful for that crush, something really sobering about crushing but it was actually more exhilarating than anything else. Yeah, well you see two coast guard boats with like 900 horse power between the two of them failing to save you from your own folly, or rush. So I appreciate that.

Male speaker: Where were you before that?

Anna: Me personally?

Male speaker: Yeah.

Anna: Where was I before the - kind of I didn’t I hadn’t lived anywhere for a long time before that happened those fairly homeless all over the States over the mid West and Europe a little bit I was in Italy in a farm for a while, didn’t really know that I wanted to be anywhere putting down any roots so putting down roots like could travel is like yes, this is the perfect compromise, I would build a house that moves.


Male speaker: Have you [0:30:21] [inaudible] at some point [0:30:23] [inaudible], sorry yeah I was just thinking at some point it might be nice to talk with a few other people here who are here tonight who are involved with the vagabondism project? Well it was a six week course through the public school that happened here but it was really a series of investigations, that were meant to you know pace the link for, for everyone else not to detract from what you’re, from what you are talking about but just to you know just to make a connection for maybe next time or you know the next month that you are here or whatever.

Something I think you at least you might be interested and maybe some of the other some of the rest of you like be interested in this idea of vagabondism kind of tying to oh I don’t know hobos for riding the rails to people though just transient generally. as a specifically as a life choice and there are a number of people that we know that are interested in something of a project along those lines that lasts for a little while. So it might be nice to talk about it later yeah so anyway. Now that’s interesting to me by the way that you well that you landed and you’ve been you’ve stayed there for a while, when you mentioned where you were based I was just thinking oh well perhaps that you were just based there for a while I didn’t know that the boat you know basically went tips up and you guys crushed and you like crush landed and you stayed put, that’s interesting.

Anna: Well there’s this other reason to live anywhere else for long periods of time as far as I am concerned but that was like the world says, ‘here’s my gift, I’m going to put you here in your own [0:32:26] [indiscernible] PS it’s an amazing city.’ So how could I say no to that?

Male speaker: [0:32:39] [inaudible] Another question but I’m going to hold on to it, Steven do you want to ask your question would you rather ask just ask it out loud and address it.

Male speaker: Yeah.

Steven: No.

Male speaker: Hi.

Steven: Yeah I can ask it , another one of the groups where  we’ve met where we met when we talked to invite onto Plausible Arts Worlds is this group based in the North East on India compare a ferry in fact it’s a collective of artists that are based on former governing ferry on the Brahmaputra river, and the Brahmaputra is actually an interesting river because it’s as big as the Ganjis and it’s the only river in India which is a masculine river, all the other ones are feminine. Anyways they are really interested in floating on this river and cruising up and down and doing stuff , and it’s a pretty wild river I mean its big, it’s as big as the as the St. Lawrence in the Mississippi where the Amazon actually.

Male speaker: Steven are these Indian people or experts?

Steven: Yeah, you know they are Indians, they’re they don’t consider Indians because actually North East of India is a, in decedent province of India and so they’re what you know southern what they call Southern Indians refer to as Natives. They are like first nations Indians I mean it seems bizarre to call Indians first nations because it seems pretty redundant but in fact they are and there’s a very there’s a war going on in this province that is called the Asan province.

Male speaker: I was in part of the North East in December actually, that’s why I ask.

Steven: Okay so I am telling you stuff you doesn’t need to know.

Male speaker: Well no I’m curious.

Steven: Maybe you know these people.

Male speaker: I don’t that’s why I’m asking [Laughter] yeah.

Steven: Well its funny because they are kind of a duluthian product of you know that showed up in this you know on the banks of the Brahmaputra river in the Asan province and they’ve got this they managed to say question this former government ferry, which they use as their platform for exhibitions and discussions and screening and all sorts of things. but particularly I like to float around on the river on the thing and I just thought that it was you know they don’t make their own boats but they have a kind of a very, you know when you say that you’re dream is to have is of a totally different world except that this one would actually float, I think that sort of describes their project as well.


So I may not you know this kinds of affinities might be worth pursuing because I only asked that because I saw you actually wanted them to do this some kind of project in the Ganjis which kind of you know picked my imagination.

[0:35:40] [background voices]

Female speaker: Yeah I actually, go ahead.

Steven: I’ll send you a link, hang on a second.

Female speaker: What did you say?

Ariel: Oh hi Steven can you hear me? I guess I hope so. So this is Ariel here I actually wanted to delineate a few things. we are talking from the Miss Rockaway Armada collective, there are a number of us that have worked on other projects which have included the swimming cities of Switchback seas which was a project designed by the artists Wound, incorporated a lot of the same people went down the Hudson river in 2008 and then another project that happened in 2009 that was also designed by the artists Wound, a number of us also worked on that was called the Swimming Cities of [0:36:35] [indiscernible] and so these are all different titles of  similar projects with pretty tight or loose depending on how you want to use it network of up to 300 people that had been involved in all these projects variably. and so the group that is doing the Ganjis river project, are building I think five stainless steel motor cycle powered pump tune rafts, and their plan was to go down to India and float down the Ganjis river but it’s not necessarily, I don’t think anyone that’s specifically doing that project right now had any physical ties with any of the heirs of the Miss Rockaway Mississippi projects.

It’s kind of confusing yeah it was like a snow ball effect it was like this one thing happened and then some more people came the second year, other people left, other people traveled and it was like this community kept on growing and growing and growing and some of the boat projects kept on drawing people back and some of them put you know people went off in their own directions and so the title is going under Swimming Cities Oceans of Blood, for the India project but it doesn’t  necessarily have anything to do with the Miss Rockaway collective.

And Miss Rockaway collective is actually now independently more or less become an artist group network of like in spirits and he’s gone off to do installation at Mass mocha and an installation that was commissioned by the Moue and the Van Apple museum in Nonwoven for a project about the heart land of America, that was happening in 2008 in the fall and that’s also what we are here doing right now as a Miss Rockaway Armada collective project for the Mural arts program here in Philadelphia which is how we ended up here. Does anyone else have any other question for us about who we are or what we do what’s happens what we think might have happened?

Male speaker: We are some of [0:38:56] [indiscernible] as were asked you again what if what kept you in St. Louise out of curiosity?

Female speaker: Well, I guess that I wasn’t really living anywhere particular before this but I have been spending a lot of time in Missouri in Northern Missouri in Iowa. And I met a couple of folks and sort of thought to myself men this is really a place that I never really thought that I would identify with so strongly. But then I kind of left and went off and had some ridiculous adventure and didn’t think anymore of it until we washed up you know in St. Louis. And I don’t know basically I went on this bike ride just like oh my God rest of you were ridiculous together sleeping in one tent get away in this place. So I biked into the city which is I don’t know 10, 15 bike ride and basically all this stuff that we had been dreaming about although like little post apocalyptic wet dreams that we had been singing ourselves to sleep within the past six or seven months or completely true about that city.


So basically I don’t know I, I just found a place that suited me, there’s tons of space it’s a jungle everything is fallen down everything’s beautiful, everything’s cheaper you just find it in the weeds and you drag it home and make it into something else and its basically exactly what I wanted from a place to live sort of like a my own desire to live somewhere difficult and beautiful and inhabited sorry. Or watch me.

Female speaker: So the whole boat crushed were you the only one that stayed, did the boat go on?

Female speaker: No.

Female speaker: The boats crushed and they came apart from junk to junk, there’s nothing left that except the patter wheel off of my boat and the feel because I raised about 2500 pounds and no one can move it. So it’s all gone everything is gone. anything that we thought that we would maybe leave like there are some people who wanted to build more on to it and have their own voyage to keep going down the river and the river just said no. It took back everything started again although all the pontoons that we had left were gone everything gone just the end. Yeah the end, yeah the river made up its own mind.

Female speaker: [0:41:49] [inaudible]

Female speaker: Oh yeah I forgot about that, one of the boats that was going to keep going down the river was parked on the Illinois side of the river. We were on the Missouri side and it was downstream that we couldn’t live it, we couldn’t get it off of the beach where we had landed, the coast guard couldn’t target we nearly killed ourselves trying a couple of times it was just insane. And so we left it there and we thought it was the Garden of Bling that did crazy looking one that’s on this web page here. and they are going to make into a Garden of Bling version 2.0 and it was going to be totally banging got a big mortar and stream liner and take all the weird junk off and then more mobile but then on New Year’s day 2007 or 2008 I guess that would be the Illinois fire department came and burnt it, burnt it to a crisp and that was that.

Yeah I mean they said they gave us warning I didn’t get a phone call but that’s life. It was sad but it was also okay I think they burned it yeah they set it on fire it was a nuisance, it was a nuisance yeah it was crazy. Actually have you guys heard of the floating metrinos [0:43:06] [phonetic] you know what those are? The floating metrinos are people that Miss Rockaway is sort of like clams in a funny way, it’s like predators of this idea they are people who have sailed all over the goddamned world on ships made out of junk across the Atlantic. Yeah it’s a family Papnetrinos [0:43:24] [phonetic] this machine of a person it’s just amazing visionary also crazy. And they sailed on this amazing ship to Ireland and then back. And then they also went down the Mississippi and some of our boats were based on their models because they have tested a lot of models a lot of them boats have fallen apart or stayed together and we copied the ones that stayed together.

So when I was a kid when I was like seven they came back from Ireland and I grew up on the costal long island and I lived in the port where the boat came into dock and it was like foreshadowing 20 years of foreshadowing because the town that I grew up in totally burned their boat. I was like damn I had seen that one coming. Someone else want to tell stories?

Female speaker:  [0:44:18] [inaudible]

Male speaker: Yeah and there is kind of no lack of questions here I think it’s just that I was interested in what other people were asking. I was interested in the how you guys see what Miss Rockaway Armada is at this point you know because I don’t mean professionally speaking necessarily or anything like that just like - okay, yeah I was just replying on text. but I just mean from well from whatever I remember you are , someone saying that the Armada isn’t just a fleet of physical boats necessarily but in a way it sort of seemed to me at least like it’s a network that’s not just based on boats, right?


So the Armada is kind of an Armada of people in way you know yours it’s like a floating body of individuals you know who do different things together you don’t just go down the river you know you help each other with various projects, you evolve together in a different way to do a lot of stuff in your own individually. but that’s it seems like that’s part of what the group is and I was just kind of curious what you guys thought about that how these experiments extend into other areas of your life or how those others in your life kind of merge with this. Because we’ve been focused on this one particular project which definitely captures the imagination but also it’s not all of what you are doing it’s also not all you want to do. So I was just curious of that.

Female speaker: [0:46:09] [inaudible] Well I think it’s get complicated because we are continuously trying to redefine who we are ourselves and it has shifted a lot and there yeah you know we are still talking about it its nothing we are not the traditional forum of the collective and it has shifted a lot and a number of us have gone on to work on some amazing projects there are some wonderful bounds that have come out of those encounters that have had, there is a baby that came out of an encounter that was had you know a baby wolf who lives in California was yeah was here also in the fall at Base Camp and was conceived on the Rockaway project you know. There is there are record companies that have been created, there are fine fine artists that have found their roots and inspiration out of that moment and time of their life happening with all these other people around at the same time.

And I think that whether or not people want to like lay claim to it it’s definitely people spend months of their lives on these projects or even years. and I definitely spend a few years working on a number of boat projects and it has definitely heavily impacted the way that I view the world what I view as possible and the kind of skills that I have now and what I want to be seeing and I what I want to doing. When we talk about the network yeah there is probably you know some are between 100 and 300 loosely connected people across America that are travelling or stable and still continuously part of the community or have kind of found their own way that are part of the Miss Rockaway Armada of extended family of people that you can reach out to depending on what you need.

I mean Anna was talking to she  just got a truck and she is going to drive it down to a friend of hers who has now become a  professional mechanic so that he can teach her everything she needs to know and you know they met on the Rockaway project. and there is a lot of welders, there is a lot of sculptors, a lot of carpenters, there is a lot of painters, wood cutters, fine artists, herbalists you kind of acupuncturists, musicians you name it people who are coming from all mmh yeah people are travelers hobos, you, performers you kind of name it, it was  project that drew a lot of different characters and had a lot of different skills and spanned a lot of awesome trouble yeah I don’t know look forward to answer that.

Female speaker: What did you start with?

Female speaker: Awesome trouble.

Female speaker: No no no.

Female Speaker: Sorry where were you we are going.

Female speaker: Oh Miss Rockaway Armada.

Female speaker: Thoughts about it I’m sorry well I think feedback woooo! Okay thanks sorry about that. The kind of new thing about this is that it’s not simple and it’s not easy to like really talk about or even think about what it means to me or to any of us to be part of this group of people. because it’s just there is like so many different forces pulling on us to coming from each other, so many different things that could happen or are happening or that we regret happening even but it’s still compelling it’s like watching a train wreck you know it’s it might be terrible or might be okay but you just can’t look away because it’s that interesting.


So yeah I find myself drawn back time and time again and being like well friends I have this concern about this thing perhaps we should speak about this oh you are not listening okay let’s do this fun thing. but it isn’t even I don’t know sometimes it doesn’t matter because it’s so it’s kind of unusual to have a non geographically base collective of friends even if it’s - yeah I don’t know I mean I keep trying to think of ways for me personally to make use of and be useful to this group of people like when I bought that when there was a van actually a big diesel step van and making it into a cottage. When I bought that thing I was totally broke and I was like men dear Miss Rockaway everybody loan me $5 and then everybody did and there was like 250 people $5 and I bought this diesel van and it took me to months to pay back all these $5 loans. But it was great because that was an instance of collectively working in a totally complicated and excellent and successful way. I think we all struggle to find our individual spaces inside of this like sort of sass pool of friendship and it’s really challenging and really fun at times.

[0:51:51] [background voices]

Female speaker: We are not harpies. It is true that our identify as collective is changing and it’s kind of unusual I think in the realm of collectives that we don’t really have an over arching ideology politically, socialticaly, artistically that unites us. We are all very different people and like living very different lives in different parts of the country and the thing that unite us is this weird project we do together. But I guess like what Anna was saying, its more, maybe it’s more real that way because its more complicated and its  more diverse and you have to talk to each other on a fundamental level of like why are we doing this, is there anything that unite us anymore should I mean should we break up? Should we break up I don’t know.

Female speaker: [0:52:59] [Inaudible]

Female speaker: Or what is like is there a way that the collective - in many ways it has like I don’t think it would be possible really for the collective to break up its just I think become a very informal thing of what it is.

Male speaker: [0:53:18] [inaudible] do you mean that it’s impossible to break up because your criteria of what it means to be together is so incredibly loose? And that actually was one, and it was actually one of my other question kind of - okay one of my other questions was what’s really what do you guys what does it take to be a part of the group or what constitutes membership for your partnering part of the network has?

Female speaker: Its impossible to break up because I think we are-  we’ve lived our paths are entwined this way and like many of us are friends and even people who don’t really want to be friend with anymore we can’t get away from Rockaway could have to see one way or the other. I don’t know I think the Miss Rockaway Armada in some ways it’s still limited to the people who shared this boats experience although the network of people is expanding and constantly expanding and there are new peoples in our lives that are part of our network that weren’t part of the Armada. It’s just that the Armada does share these experiences that we’ve at a particular place in a particular time and very intimate yeah.


Female speaker: I will hearken again on this fact that we keep on saying we are not, we are hippies though no I mean that was a big joke that we had we are not hippies I swear, people sort of fancied themselves after you know a hobo punk, hobo punk perfomative kids but really we weren’t going for the non anti-definition of who we were people we didn’t want to draw boundaries it wasn’t about drawing boundaries it was about being free to do everything and anything. But there were certain aspects to the collective living that was a very unique experience to the Mississippi years that didn’t necessarily always on like the switch back or the [0:55:39] [indiscernible] projects. You know we shared meals, we had group meetings, we had sort of collective sleeping piles, we had you know we shared tents, we had shared medical supplies, we all took turns running jobs it was we were trying to be as fair and egalitarian as we possibly could and it didn’t always work we all had a lot of troubles but it was definitely a goal that was constantly being sort after.

So there were certain things that and we had this performances where everyone was encouraged to participate so we had variety shows and we had theatrical skits and we had puppetry shows and we had you know people learning instruments for the first time and trying to encourage and incorporate each other as much as possible which was very unique to the Armada experience. So it’s not just us being on some crazy sculptural raft thing on the river and being really dirty all the time. But sharing in all of these sustaining life experiences with a particular group of people is what has mostly been the bonding factor I think for all of us.

Also there is like I think for a lot of us and for a lot  of people in the world this is - there is a lot of like sort of romantic nostalgia for communal egalitarian you know village based life. We all raise each other and we get raised. But also there is the other nice side of that there is a practical side which is that sometimes when you live in a village you have to get along with people that maybe you have reasons to feel you shouldn’t get along. But the village is so tiny that you have to work it out its not Brooklyn you can’t run away you can’t go and hide in your own scene your scene is the entire world so you better make it work. So it was kind of like the chitokwa series if anyone is familiar with that just like what have you got come and bring it and we will talk about it and we will try and improve in a maybe all bums are hippies but not all hippies are bums but not all bums are hippies is what I would say.

Female speaker: [0:58:06] [inaudible]

Female speaker: Yeah.

Female speaker: [0:58:06] [inaudible] on record.

Female speaker: Agro circus kids agro circus punk kids yeah them too.

Female speaker: [0:58:15] [inaudible]

Female speaker: I don’t know.

[0:58:20] [background voices]

Female speaker: Surprised why are you surprised if there isn’t nostalgic element to this? I mean the nostalgia of this small town spirit. No not at all I mean I was raised in tiny town.

Male speaker: No my question was I mean I wasn’t raised in small town and I don’t have any nostalgia for at anything really and I have a bit of problem with the notion of nostalgia I mean it’s interesting to me and still don’t have it you know you can ground values in the good things from the past but in fact it seems like it seems like it seemed bizarre when you cobble together a boat out of junk that you would have nostalgia for the past I don’t know how you square that.

Female speaker: Oh no I never meant nostalgia for any past I meant more nostalgia for our past.

Male speaker: Nostalgia is not really forward looking kind of by definition you know what I mean?


Female speaker: I don’t know if I completely agree with this because I don’t know I have had three years of living in a city that’s completely exist in the past or think about this pretty hard and I don’t think of nostalgia as like a stagnant system of emotions that is just based on the thought that what happened isn’t going to happen again, I don’t know maybe I get a little streak of sentimentalism I’m okay with that actually. I think that nostalgia is an awfully good driving force for me personally to do things that I did ones not so hot and enjoyed all the same to try and play that same goosh doll better again later, I just meant nostalgia for I don’t know a lot of a lot of a lot of I don’t know maybe this is a scene specific thing. but a lot of people that I know my age I’m 27 really at this point in their lives are dropping out of their like crazy punk rock lifestyles men and they are getting a firm. So if that’s not nostalgia driven in some sense I don’t know what is.

Male speaker: [1:01:28] inaudible] yeah it’s an interesting because there is definitely a stigma attached to nostalgia maybe for good reason. but also a lot of people that we’ve been involved with have an interesting some fidelity with some moment from the past or certain or even certain elements from different contexts that have happened before that could be useful in another context.

Female speaker: Yeah maybe along those lines or maybe I can say this better by saying that there is some form of nostalgia in the original sort of mental makeup of people of these two years on this river being like - this river used to be a mass transit centre there used to be all kinds of crazy things living on this river I mean it was a completely a live highway just full of all kinds of like snake oil quakes and gypsies and giant talkers and boats and everything I mean. Yeah the city centers are along the river it used to it just to be a completely alive thing and there is life in that thing yet but it’s pretty empty all the same.

[1:02:42] [background voice]

Female speaker: Do I have a fin you know we were just planting [1:02:45] [indiscernible]

Male speaker: [1:02:50] [inaudible] what?

Female speaker: [1:02:51] inaudible] yeah.

Male speaker: [1:02:54] [inaudible] meant, who knows. Yeah okay so I wanted to know about not just the your particular [1:03:11] [indiscernible] but like I saw some of the photos that things happened on the shore right? In the context of the boat not just in the other projects. and so I was curious about this that you are kind of you know going from place  to place and in sort of in away picking up what someone else is throwing down but also other people are picking up what you’re throwing down you are kind of spreading something around. But you know I mean probably different stuff thinking you know like I was curious about what these things what those times were like you know when you it’s like you know literary you know pulling in the port or whatever even if it’s just a beach docking and what not, I’m just curious you know that factored into your you know what you guys had planned on and how that side of thing has turned out and if there was part of the project in all that.

Female speaker: I think that was like a fundamental element of the project that nothing was planned on ever. So there was like a limited if none if no scouting that was getting done whatsoever it was like you literary – like we had some maps you know we had maps and we were in contact with the coast guard and we had our life vests and what not. but mostly we had no idea like how far our engines had bust out that day or if we would be able to like work with the currents and get five miles or get 30 miles or what you know the weather was going to be like that bad in terms of rain we would just like stay camped out. We would pull over on the side of the road and stay in an island for a couple of days at a time or you know get beach and not be able to pull out because of the way that the tides are working even though we had our charts. So there were these things that were unpredictable and that is what we were really living for at that point in time you know we were there for it, we were ready for it, we were calling out for that unpredictability and accepting it with full force.


And we pulled in towns and we had no idea what to expect and that was a huge part of it that was kind on the point just not to know what you were getting yourself into and dealing with whatever came as it did. God and what else I mean you know sometimes we had a great time at the town sometimes they would run us out and be like, “you crazy bastards get out of our town, what you think you are doing here?” And most of the times there was a lot of, “well where are you coming from, where are you going, what’s going on, who are you?” People would roll up on the side of their boats and throw beers at us and you know get funny - it was like you know people would be so welcoming often because they had never seen anything like this before in their lives and they would just showed boxes of socks and boxes of raingear and boxes of food and local produce and I don’t know there would also wild stuff like all slams of venecine or like a locally cut fish or…

Female speaker: Dunk and doughnuts?

Female speaker: Yeah dunk and doughnuts like randomly like someone brought us in the first year someone like brought like a huge tray of these gigantic MacDonald’s milkshakes and like we are all vegan like you know like vegan, arecas you know we don’t want to have anything to do with MacDonald’s but we are all just like wow this wow it’s so hot out you know. So some people like some people drink some people are just like couldn’t have anything of it. But whatever it was you take what you get as you get. So that was kind of our MO for rolling down the river at least.

Male speaker: So…

Female speaker: Do you want to go?

Male speaker: Yeah [1:06:48] [inaudible]

Female speaker: Justin what did you feel like asking?

Male speaker: Oh hello do you hear me?

Female speaker: Oh yes.

Male speaker: Can you hear me now?

Female speaker: Yes we can hear you great.

Male speaker: Okay cool I’m sorry if my question has been already addressed because tuned in kind of late I’m not sure. But actually I have kind of two very practical questions that pertains to sailing down river that I wanted to ask you about. The first is kind of like local or legal. like I can’t be sure I really don’t know but I get the feeling and this might just be like the kind of like a certain kind of like go mentality that kind of comes some kind of silly super ego that I have for something because I’m not all sure about this but I’m feeling if I were to build a raft and throw it into like let’s say the Delaware  river in Philadelphia, someone would be there to like kick me out or to tell me that that’s not allowed and I would be arrested for something, because that’s not completely not the case like you can just thrown down in a river at any time and just [1:07:54] [cross talk]

Female speaker: There is a couple of little tiny  things that you have to do other than that that can stop you because Mississippi river at least is a federal water way and cops have no jurisdiction and coast guard is very busy but the. But the down river, I’m not sure about. Basically you have to have a certain amount of things on your boat you have to register it and you have to follow a couple of easy rules and that’s pretty much it. for example you have to have as many life jackets as there are people plus a couple of extras, you have to have running lights some in the front and some in the back that right that show which direction you are heading, you have to have a horn and you have to have a what do you call fire extinguishers and you have a whistle and flares sorry signal flares and you have to have an anchor. And if you have those things on your boat I mean one of the coast guards guys said I wouldn’t be caught on it but have a great time I think have a lot of fun, so yeah there is that.

Male speaker: Cool, Those are very good answers thank you.

Female speaker: And we were also fully we were fully registered you just, just like registering your car you go you pay a fee you get a number like a license plate number you pin on the side of your boat and you are good to go during the day. We have lots of friends or at least I do that don’t care to play these rules. so they navigate at night and they go through the sleaze which are like the side the side sort of swampy parts of the river off of the main shipping channel and they sort of totally under the radar really cover it. You can do it either way but it’s a lot faster if you can move it during the day.

Female speaker: In New York.

Male speaker: Okay interesting though.

Female speaker: But somebody here somebody who was this is Robin she was she did the same project but on the Hudson river which is I think a lot more maybe as close to or similar to the Delaware river.

Robin: I was just going to say I’m not sure how many of the laws vary State to State but I know when we are registering boats in New York if it’s under 16 feet and does not have a motor you don’t have to register it.


Female speaker: [1:10:05] [indiscernible]

Robin: So if it’s like a canoe or even a boat under 16 feet without a motor like you can stick in the water I think as long as it’s not at night the running light it sure comes up there and you have life jackets you are legal.

Male speaker: Cool, if I could quickly ask just another question that’s kind of related in the sense that they both relate to kind of like practical fears that I’m curious about and again I don’t know if this is realistic at all or if again this is kind of just a fantastic kind of political you know like effectively conservative fears that prevent people from doing cool things like these. but my other impression is that going down a river like the Mississippi or the Delaware especially for long stretches of it one will be bound to encounter let’s say like very like fatal rackets or some kinds of like waterfalls or things of these nature that would really kind of spell a disaster are they out there, are there not really not many these kinds of situations or are they manageable if you wanted to say a few words about that?

Female speaker: Okay well.

[1:11:19] [background voices]

Female speaker: For that as well. The most of the major rivers in the United States at least the Ohio, the Mississippi, the Missouri, the Delaware, I am imagining the Hudson all these rivers have been shipping channels for 200 plus years. And at this point the Mississippi specifically has been pretty well divided into manageable segments by the army court of engineers; there is all these locks and dams. and all you basically if you are like a river or raft it, all you need to do is you can find a chart and then you can look at it and if there is a waterfall you have to walk around which is the case in the upper Missouri there is all these crazy waterfalls but you can footage them supposing you had a little boat and then when you get to a certain point where it’s been a shipping channel its navigable.

Shipping channel means that you are guaranteed of enough clearance for a large enough boat to be shipping a lot of stuff to go through like a badge a giant badge. Actually badges are much huger practical fear in reality of being in the river than any waterfall I have ever seen. Badges are gigantic they are trains they take forever to stop or turn and they usually don’t see you and they don’t care and actually our friend Maddy Ovalis was on the Mississippi river the year before us I don’t know if you were here while Ariel was talking about running into this fellow he built his own boat and he going down the river. He had a run in with a badge and some tag boats they didn’t even touch him. Their backwash from the motors it was so powerful that it instantaneously sank his boat and he is lucky to be alive. Everything that he owned was inside this thing so yeah there is some really scary things on the river you have to play the game right but you can win.

Male speaker: Okay cool good answers I mean I just wanted to relate to it and this is kind of [1:13:10] [indiscernible] comments and I will give her the mic at that point. it’s just that I mean the reason I referenced both of these question with you know the statements that I did, saying that is that I’m not sure if they were realistically or real or this is just my imagination. I mean those that itself I think is an interesting and indicative about how it’s actually more practically and actually possible to just throw for a boat in a river and go down it. It seems like from your answers it’s really quite possible it’s not very far flung. but you know I mean I’m not pretty well educated you know  urbanite in Philadelphia and I still had it in my imagination for some reason out like you know the river for these reasons its off limits right? It’s like imaginary fears or issues that would prevent me from kind of making the river in a certain way my own and using it to my you know for my own purposes. and so I think it’s really interesting just to use my, me as an example  about how you now these things are more realistic than they might seem even to you know political savvy and fairly educated people. So it’s very interesting thank you.

Female speaker: Well yeah we were just looking now at something that Scott pulled up which was a terrible collision of a dock boat and a badge a baggage badge on the Delaware. yeah its I mean nothing is safe we were very I mean I’m not so old now but I was much younger then and I believed and I still believe to some extend that I’m bullet proof but I’m much more open  now to the possibility that there might be a situation where that is not the case. I mean the natural world is terrifying and amazing and it’s great to subjugate yourself to it because life is gigantic when you are very small.


Female speaker: I can attest to an experience that we did have on the Mississippi river on the first year where we came across a five mile stretch that was wide five miles wide off the Mississippi river. And the current was quite remarkable it really felt like you were out at sea in terms of the types of waves that you are getting out on the water at that point. And time and we that was the year that we had a series of floating sort of platoon based rafts where there were platoons and Styrofoam, nautical Styrofoam that were floating the boats and they were all tied together. So it was this long raft system.

And we had on the second floor kind of built through a stage on the piece in the middle and the boat was bucking and pieces were flying everywhere. We had a friend that actually I think he was trying to pull up one of our tires that was working as a bumper between some of the through the rafts and he broke his finger. and then there was a raft that was we were pulling in our tow that had all our bikes on it that we had - actually one of our friends Marshall was standing on at that point in time and it was connected to the last raft by some polls that were then bolted with some very very heavy lag bolts down into the raft, and they wrecked out because of the bucking that was happening with the rafts. We only just barely able to get him back onto the main part of the raft and we lost that raft floor like four days time or something. it’s just like it floated back off through that five mile stretch and like landed safely actually in the end into a swampy area and nuzzled itself there for us to find about a week later with a very shallow speed boat.

But we thought we were going to die and it was frightening and we were making SOS calls to the coast guards every badge, anybody that would listen it was frightening in were all standing there in our life jackets and parts and pieces of the boat were breaking off left and right it was a terrifying terrifying terrifying terrifying day. There was actually this girl Amber who was we had taken on under wing she was like 17 years old. I think she was betrothed to this guy that she wasn’t in love with or she was about to get she was about getting married to this guy. her mum was super cool but somehow she got stuck in the small town and her mum was like take my daughter with you like let her have a life please take her out of this small town. and she was there with us, she had only been with us like a week maybe she was very shy and she was just like she just stood in the kitchen in the middle of the raft and all these chaos happening left and right and was like we are going to die! We are going to die! SOS! SOS! And Amber is just like crying in the kitchen bowling like what have I gotten myself into these people are crazy.

And we were I men it was genuinely frightening. And we actually managed to get through that stretch of river and got to the next lock and dam and pass the lock and dam were you know we were shaking in our boots and then afterwards the life guards or the coast guards came like these hooks and nets attached to the end of them because they weren’t prepared to come out and help us while we were on the water having troubles on this very dangerous situation. they came to fish dead bodies out with these like long poles and hooks and nets to fish dead bodies out of the water and they are you guys are okay that’s fine whatever.

So I’m just saying don’t always trust in the abilities of these so called powers that the please do your research, use your ingenuity and your street smarts, make things as structured sound as you possibly can do your research and definitely get registered radios are great totally use radios and love your life vest. But yeah I mean what we did is no joke we’ve come across several life threatening instances and yeah we had a lot of fun doing a lot of dangerous things but it’s not always as easy as you might initially think it to be and its one of those moments when ignorance is a bit of bliss I guess you could say.

Female speaker: I will turn us onto something, to Fiona, so…

[1:19:50] [background voices]

Male speaker: Oh yeah.

Female speaker: What is that?

Female speaker: We are looking at a picture of the dimaxian car I’m going to pass it over to Scott now.


Male speaker: Yeah just want to pull this up because we are somehow the discussion about Jonathan - well this little thread talked about what was it? That these boats ultimately are a lot like - Jonathan just he just sort of gave another example like they are kind of like people they are trying in the US to get bigger and bigger cars to be safer and safer just slightly ridiculous that’s…I think this conversation just kind of came up because you know you guys have experienced some difficulties on the water you know and then again - yeah I mean other kinds of boats have difficulties too. And it kind of doesn’t matter at what level of velvet rope that we sort of place around ourselves. I definitely wouldn’t want to encourage people not to be experimental of the fear of the unknown because you know we “safe as humanly possible” and then just wind up dead.

So there is definitely a good reason to explore these other ways of living and working together in life. At least that’s the moral of the story for me. but anyway so I just pulling up this dimaxian car because well we were looking at N55s floating platform real quick because I’m like well  I would like this car you know as opposed to a small car or this boat. But - and they were kind of dimaxian inspired and Bucky Filler made this car in 1939. And this is actually his first giant failure really because this was like the car of the future and what ended up happening was he was driving some investors around who were ready to bankroll this thing and the car crushed and they died. Hello! You know so this was his first giant you know failure but I mean it’s an incredibly cool amazing car from the ‘30s you know so. Yeah I mean its super crazy awesome if anybody feels like browsing some you know I will have to add [1:22:10] [indiscernible] back to the call so I bet you know it feels like browsing some images there, there  they are and that’s the end of my part of this story [1:22:15] [indiscernible] take it over.

Female speaker: Wow! What we were talking about? Oh we were talking about dangers of the waters but I don’t know there was not actually a question.

Female speaker: Dangerous major. Does someone else have something that they want to talk about?

Female speaker: Anyone here, do you guys have a question?

[1:22:44] [background voices]

Male speaker: Oh okay.

Female speaker: That’s [1:23:21] [indiscernible]

Male speaker: I guess yeah they make arrangements for that but yeah so I was - okay I was curious about your other projects and I wouldn’t want to move on too quickly because this one is like very interesting. Oh wait no I’m sorry before we do that I have one question that we asked at our we actually asked you guys a question in our description that Steven mainly to be quite honest wrote on based on texts from your websites. Yeah can we borrow your description for Plausible Art Worlds; it just happens to be a really fantastic quote that applies to other things besides boats. And it is just for people that aren’t reading here I will just paste it but…We want to be a living kicking model of an entirely different art world one that in this case happens to float and yeah as Steven pointed out it just sums up a lot for us. So I don’t know what kind of a question that is actually.

Female speaker: Yeah [1:24:32] [indiscernible]

Male speaker: Okay yeah sure oh awesome okay alright next question. I was curious about your other projects and if anybody has questions about like the boat side of the Armada I mean don’t feel shy. But I just maybe we have like maybe less than 20 minutes before we rap up I know you guys do other stuff I know you are here in Philly to do a project now. Yeah you are doing something with middle arts and I definitely don’t want to divulge anything but I mean you are or are not doing something with the boat too? But anyway I’m curious about the other stuff you are doing so.

Female speaker: Do you want me to like very briefly synopsize at this point or do you want me to say something about Philly, Mural Arts? Interesting things okay.

Female Speaker: [1:25:30] [inaudible]

Female Speaker: Basically everything that has come of this that we have done as collective projects that we didn’t conceive of ourselves say like a boat on a river going down [1:25:40] [indiscernible] has come because somebody instigated something or somebody in one occasion it was these people at Mass MOCA, the Museum of contemporary arts in Massachusetts in North Adams were like oh my God you build all these stuff out of crap, well we have all these crap you should come over. So there is that one and then that happened again where this woman from this sort of difficult to define sort of contemporary art center-ish, sort of a gallery, sort of a museum not really either one, governmentally funded in Holland.

She was curating or being part of this giant project that happened during the election when Obama was elected that had to do with the heartland, heartland  USA like what is it mean to be from the heart of it all. So they had all these people from the Mississippi Valley of the United States, all these crazy different people doing all these different things at the Vanader Museum [phonetic] [0:01:33.1] is what their official museum is called. And then they were like and then there is these funny people  like we should have them over too, so they had us over and they didn’t have any junk at all home’s really clean so we had to like really do some work to scour up some crap to build out of.

But these are two things that happened because in the case of Holland she was literally in a car driving around the Midwest and then on her way back she went through the museum in North Adams and Mass MOCA was oh this is exactly—like look at these nice stuff, completely serendipitous, completely unprofessional.

Female speaker: [1:27:31] [indiscernible]

Female speaker:  No I didn’t really think about that but then here we are in Philadelphia doing this totally different thing. Its just three of us and some of our friends are going to come later, me Ariel and Robin and we are working with Mural Arts and to tell the truth is still don’t know why they asked us to do this or why they trusted us to do this. But they have given us like two big gangs of kids and, yes and we are hanging out with these two gangs of kids and we are totally shooting from the hip and being off the cuff and totally informal and making some people at Mural Arts probably pretty uncomfortable and hopefully making some really cool mural with this kids. So no we have to figure out which wall it is yeah. but we thought we would try and use some of the  sort of like super organic decision  making unilateral styles of doing stuff with some kids to see whether they think its cool or not.  

And in terms of building boats here in Philadelphia [1:28:50] [indiscernible], I’m not going to say too much about it but the Armada has also won a grant from the Philadelphia Art Alliances to come and do a project here in Philadelphia in the fall of 2011. And I think some of that will include building some boats that will navigate the waters and some other projects throughout the city mostly building projects and things. We will be a much larger endeavor. I mean right now we are just a very small group we’ve got some funding, we got a grant from the Mural Arts program and Scott wrote us a message saying he could get more beer which sounds lovely I guess on these hot steamy days but—and we will cut it later too I hope.

But yeah and so that’s what we are doing right now, is the loose collectives that we are and there are various characters all over the States right now that have a lot of smaller projects, independent projects that are happening or becoming more professional inspired artists or farmers or mechanists or underwater deep sea, welders, divers or puppeteers or performance artists or record label musicians, and founders of record labels and I mean movies makers. Its really, it’s an interesting crew and so and we are looking forward to seeing what’s going to happen in the near future.


Female Speaker: Next question please, oh its like we are sweating, drinking frothy beer and dancing with the stars, oh there is a few more emoticons happening here. Oh mooning what’s the shabby short cake character she is doing? That looks like York and they are in her swan dress that she had.

Female speaker: You should discuss the [1:31:09] [indiscernible].

Female speaker: Oh was anyone involved in the Flood Time film? Yes definitely. Is it a documentary? No not quite missed the screening last week. Yes Flood time is a fascinating project that was a project that was designed by a man named Todd Chandler who was also a part of a band called Dark, Dark, Dark which was a product of some of the Rockaway experiences. Todd Chandler was also on the Boats and so where many of the characters of, I think all of the characters of the Miss Rock - of Dark, Dark, Dark, wonderful band based out of Minneapolis. He created a script and filmed a lot of—I’m sorry I’m distracted by a lot of what’s going on [1:32:04] [inaudible] I will just talk.

He developed the scripts that would happen it was a fantasy, it’s a narrative that will coincide with the floating of the Switchback Seas projects which was a series of rafts that were designed by the artist Swoon, it was connected to the Diche Projects galleries in New York City. We started up in Troy New York and floated down the Hudson River and finished docking at Diche Projects gallery in Long Island City. And it was a project that happened over a series of months and Todd Chandler filmed this footage coinciding with that Switchback project.

So there a number of characters that were part of the Switchback project that are incorporated into the film. There was a screening that just happened at the rooftop film festivals at Socrates Sculpture Park on July 7th so about a week ago. And it was a lyrical, it was a very beautiful lyrical screening where they had live music accompaniment and with the setting of the river behind it outdoor in the park screening. And it was a cut that was made just for that very particular viewing that was happening with the Rooftop film festival. The final cut of the film is going to come out I think in the fall and they are also going to be doing a screening, they have been invited to the San Jose Biennial. It’s a project that Todd Chandler is doing in conjunction with a man named Jeff Stark who was also a producer of some of these boat ventures.

And they won a grant to be part of the San Jose Biennial and they are creating this whole sort of indoor drive-in cinema situation where they are bringing in I think 25 scrap junk cars and inserting their own home made radio system. So they will be paying live the music that is accompanying the film footage as a huge art installation project for the festival. And then the film is being applied to various film festivals internationally right now and so we will see the final cut coming out in the fall. But it’s a narrative, it’s a fantasy, it’s about a girl falling in love with the river and she had another relationship and a number of buddies and friends that helped her build this raft and she ended up choosing the river over her reality. It’s a beautiful piece, I highly recommend checking it out and following up with it the more you hear about it. What else? What’s next? Have to run but thank you Miss Rockaway Armada that was really fascinating goodnight, see you Greggles.


Female speaker: [1:35:01] [Inaudible].

Female speaker: Oh yes here we go Anna’s got a good one.

Female speaker: Nile.

Female speaker: There is this amazing book which I can’t remember the name of sorry which is about this woman who set out to row the entire length of the Nile which she did. And it’s a story about a river that is so unpredictable and crazy and interesting that looks, I don’t know, makes the Mississippi look kind of tame actually. Because the Mississippi is wild but at least it doesn’t you know just like spontaneously disappear once in a blue moon which is apparently what the Nile does. I’m totally game let’s do it.

Female speaker:  I mean there are actually a series of rafters that go out the—they call them river rats actually, number of people who build their own homemade rafts and raft down the Mississippi every single year. We happened to be one project that happened down the Mississippi river. But there are kids that go down every single summer and they are growing and growing and growing. And tones of retirees on the sun as well. You know it’s not something you think about so much. I live in New York City and it’s not a City that’s based around the water. We see the water when you bike over the bridge but it’s not something that you have as much access to and it’s easy to forget how important our environments can be and what kind of an impact they can have on you. And it was, I have to say it has been a privilege to be able to spend this much time living so close to the actual materiality of your environments at least you know, feeling the outside weather inside, as you could say, down the Nile [1:36:55] [inaudible].

Female speaker: Yes that’s the one that I was just trying to…

Female speaker: Yes that’s totally the book Jonathan, that’s the one. Have you ever—maybe since you know what it was you have already read it but totally great, its great. No the Armada? Only armed with bullets of love for you know stuff like this. No how did we choose the name? I think there was a lottery, I think a bunch of people chose names and then we voted and some of the names were better or worse than others. There was one that I really liked after the fact it was called ten thousand fingers in the soup, that’s a pretty good name.

Female speaker: I think there was a reference to the [1:37:36] [indiscernible] Rockaway’s and it was based on a play that Finley wrote the first year that was not kind of direct like the sad directly and side show character Miss Rockaway and that [1:37:52] [inaudible] part of the family of a circus side show yeah and that’s probably where the name came out of, alight.

Female speaker: I unfortunately can’t remember the name of any of these artists now so I’m just going to talk about them as artists. I know there is currently a lot of people that are doing kind of like the similar thing but they are doing a lot more in the design aspect I guess where they plan the whole thing out before hand, the whole boat, the whole structure. And its more about like creating your own personal island, maybe not like movable, I’m sure—I mean I know there is a lot of artists that are doing it now and I’m not sure but, and I guess they are more about like—well not they but some of them are specifically about like growing, doing everything that you can live on and never have to leave.

Female speaker: You mean like [1:38:54] [inaudible].

Female speaker: It’s like self sustaining.

Female speaker: No bio-dome.

Female speaker: Oh kind of like the bio-dome but I guess on water and then there would be like things growing all through out and stuff like that.

[1:39:08] [background voices]

Female speaker: That sounds familiar, that might be—

Female speakers: [1:39:12] [indiscernible] the water pod is it?

Female speaker: Yeah there was a water pod project that happened on the river, on the Hudson, was going around to the five burrows in New York City, it was meant to be somewhat of a sustainable art living project and artist residency that was happening. It was on a barge, it wasn’t like its own independent moving boat or Island, it was a barge that was getting tug boated around to the different, five different burrows. And they were hosting workshops and events  where they—they had chickens they had a garden and they had this sort of geodesic dome type structure and they were trying  to  host artist residencies and shows and had a lot of parties and discussions.

But it was something that was heavily sponsored and was very successful and they had a lot of architects and designers and people that were involved in making that project happen and yeah it was called the water pod project. I actually  haven’t met too many of those characters but it was a project that was happening with some like minded artists and craftsman that was happening a very similar time to some of the projects that we were doing. It’s another example of the fact that you now there are a lot of people doing similar things out in the world in their own varieties, in their ways and we happen to be one of them that also came with the sort of punk rock circus.


Female speaker: [1:40:45] [inaudible].

Female speaker: Oh I don’t remember, I don’t know.

Male speaker: I have a quick comment, I’m Ed.

Female speaker: Yes please go ahead.

Male speaker: Its very interesting to talk about all these other related projects, these related attempts to kind of reclaim water as a kind of –as a space for new possibilities ad new kinds of lifestyles. Because I mean it really makes ,me wonder if water waves or just the water is kind of like, you know, really emerging as a new kind of battle ground, a new kind of cultural, political background in which you know maybe very significant battles are being played out. Because I wanted to bring something up, I’m not sure if you guys are familiar, if anyone is familiar with this but there are actually other projects not quite as cool as the ones that you guys are talking about to reclaim the water for like, you guys were talking about nostalgia before, for these like really kind of like nostalgic, like basically like radical returns to capitalism. Like are you familiar with these at all?

They are like big buildings like floating communities, they are not rafts, they don’t move they are docks. But the idea is build these communities outside of the jurisdiction, outside of like traditional territorial jurisdictions. Not to like reinvent some kind of like radically new kind of art world or something, something like that but rather to build like even more free markets. And it’s this, all of this--it’s surrounded by all of this really profound kind of political ideology but it’s almost exactly the opposite of the kinds of ideas and ideals and values that you guys are talking about. So its really interesting how water ways are becoming this area in which  very kinds of, you know very conflicting visions of what the future should hold are kind of being battled out. I don’t know if you are familiar with that or if you have thoughts on maybe the kind of the more general future significance of the water as a political space.

Female speaker: Well you sound like you are probably a little more up to sniff on that particular thing than I personally am, this is Anna. But I am totally with you in the sort of inexplicable gift out sense that the water is kind of like one of the last frontiers in some aspect be it fresh water as a capitalist resource, the control system, be it salt water as actual physical space that can be controlled and used and like casinos expending outwards avoiding loss, you know, tankers flipping a switch and burning crude oil as soon as they are a certain a mount of miles off shore. Like yes I feel you.

Male speaker: Cool now just its very interesting yes.

Female speaker: I mean I don’t necessarily think its anything new though, it’s like property, wars over property and space and land. And I think yes sure there is an exponential curve to everything but it’s like the same ways that those wonderful, hacker, pirate, you know, radio piracy or media piracy groups are able to live on--. Yes sea lands able to exist and those wonderful borders are able to exits with the pirate radio stations off the coast  of England and then you know there is certain things that are able to exist is you make them possible right?

Female speaker: Or the –just like in the [1:44:27] [inaudible] islands.

Female speaker: But I think from our—yeah. Or what did I just say? The recycles crap community is floating islands in various parts of South America, water is still free, land is not free anymore water is free. And so anything goes, it can be bad and it can be good.

Female speaker: But I men Amy just going to reiterate one more time and its one of these situations where its, you know if it doesn’t exist or you want to see more  of it like we were taking matters in our own hand and making life the way that we wanted to see it. And that was what we were offering and putting out into the world and encourage everyone to live in that manner too. It’s like if you want to see something happening, you want to see more of something existing in your world make it happen because you can.

Male speaker: Yes totally.

Female speaker: Right on, what else? More questions bring it on yes.

Male speaker: Actually sadly I was sort of hyper focusing unnecessarily its 8:02 and we are two minutes past so even if people have burning questions too bad sorry and we have to close this because people are in different time zones and like its 2 am there. For the few of you who are in that situation like Jonathan in South Africa, Stephen in Paris and I think everybody else is in the US except I’m not sure where Chris is. In any case thanks everybody for coming it was awesome to chat with you guys, it definitely won’t be the last time, does anyone have any closing music that they’d like to put on? Yes.

Male speaker: Thank you folks.

Female speaker: What about Dark, Dark, Dark?

Male speaker: Yes what about Dark, Dark, Dark? Problem is I can’t get to it quickly enough, oh well. I don’t have any of that, yes anyone feel free to turn your mic on and throw us some closing, music on. We probably have some competing by the time that happens. This is the learning site and in –yes. [1:47:12] [inaudible] I can’t believe it’s so tough to get music, yes totally do it, online?

Female speaker: Is this really geeky? I can use this internet? It’s already on the internet?

Male speaker: Yes.

Male speaker: How do I do that I’m sorry?

Male speaker: You are already up there your [1:48:14] [indiscernible].

Female speaker: Oh I’m so computer illiterate it’s not even funny.

[1:48:18 -1:51:08]

Male speaker: Yes so if you guys ever want to get on IRC with us, I’m actually on this all day long everyday and some of a few of these other people. Botcamp is our pet robot, you will see the rules of this chat room is that this is the main chat for Base Camp, yes filthy drunks are definitely allowed, consider saying hi to Botcamp you will be happy you did. So you can give Botcamp a box snack and we are Dark, Dark, Dark because that’s what I signed in as, you can sign in as anyone you want, say bot love. Oh yes bot love, how about – do we know anything about Miss Rockaway? The camp doesn’t know anything about Miss Rockaway. Let me say this –oops, yes definitely [1:52:35] [inaudible], I’m trying to train her right now; anyway you can have fun with this okay.

So then you can say Rockaway, awesome, but you an also say hello Jonathan? See how free note is a really interesting project, its one of the past events in the plausible art world series. Its one of the groups of people that is a really incredibly  large group, at any given time it picks at about 60, 000 users and they don’t identify themselves as an art project in anyway. But many of them are artists and its mostly independent servers throughout the UK but it’s not a parallel internet but it’s completely independent channel for communication which I like because like Facebook. Yes it’s like they are basically just harvesting our information, our data, it’s like trying to figure out ways to sell the shit better you know. The great thing about something like [1:54:07] [inaudible] or any IRC channel that it’s completely out of principle except for the people that are in there.

So I mean that’s why it’s the hackers chat, you know communication channel of choice then you will really like it further for that reason. It’s nice, it’s more internet bills, you know who is in there. Some of them might be robots and some of them might lo going it except there is a channel of tones of people you don’t really know but if you do know who is there [1:54:32] [inaudible].

Female speaker: How do you know [1:54:37] [inaudible]

Male speaker:  You don’t really-- I mean how do you ever know you know what I mean?

Female speaker: If you talked face to face I’d like to help but if you have enough beers you might not notice he is a robot.

Male speaker: Okay that’s where you have to go, actually if anybody is interested there is a local meeting tonight with a group called stake S-T-A-K-E which is a Philadelphia version of feast.

Female speaker: Oh yes.

Male speaker: And its definitely growing like quite a bit of momentum, we had a couple of meetings her and then its really completely grown in [1:55:43] [inaudible] and there is like just of a ton of volunteers and people that are like really interested in the cooking side and some people are really interested in [1:55:51] [inaudible] side, people are really interested in micro fundraising side or maybe a little bit.

[1:56:01] [background voices]

Male speaker: Yes I don’t like to go I’m not [1:56:02] [indiscernible] to that except for the ones here which is lame. So you are heading over there now? I’m actually going to be heading pout of town soon otherwise I would totally go but I encourage everybody here who even slightly existed to like go check it out.

Female speaker: Well whatever you do—

Male speaker: Isn’t that Teresa’s house? Okay

Female speaker: [1:56:31] [inaudible]

Male speaker: I just want to write it down real quick, like this?

[1:58:20 – 2:07:53] Background voices