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?