Begun May 2020
In civilizations without boats, dreams dry up, espionage takes the place of adventure, and the police take the place of pirates.—Michel Foucault “Of Other Spaces: Utopias and Heterotopias,” 1967
I started this project in the early months of the COVID-19 pandemic. It emerged from the nautical roots of the term “quarantine,” which applied to vessels enduring 40-day isolation periods before entering ports. I have been building a twelve-foot skiff using designs by Platt Monfort based on light-weight airplane construction.
Instagram post, April 4, 2021:This update comes with the realization that the life of a boat is one of constantly replaced parts. This is an ancient truism —“some declaring that it remained the same, others that it was not the same vessel”(Plutarch, Theseus, 23.1) The last post of this vessel showed it looking very similar. What goes unseen in the first picture is the boat’s decision (in the middle of a photo session, the day before the November election) to become a not very successful flying machine—landing in a tree 2 stories below our balcony with broken ribs, and a number of other injuries. Now restored, work continues toward a launch—water- not airborne.
From the shadows cast by the boat’s frame, a series of cyanotype photograms have been made. The sail—a four sided balanced lug rig—is also made from cotton cyanotypes of the hull frame.