Extraordinary Gestures

Extraordinary Gestures

- Noah Simblist -

In July 2007, The Miss Rockaway Armada, a floating art parade buoyed by a handmade barge, set sail down the Mississippi River. This exercise in performative sculpture is a collaboration between multiple artist collectives including the Floating Neutrinos (who assail industrialization in favor of the auratic qualities of craft), Infernal Noise Brigade (Seattle-based arbiters of aural disruption) and Visual Resistance (a coalition of graffiti artists. Miss Rockaway describes itself as made up of individuals who left small towns behind for life in the big city but, in an era in which war and consumption are linked by oil, have decided to return to the heartland, reconnect with their roots and act as a bridge between urban and small-town mentalities.

The boat, built entirely from salvaged materials, is a simple structure powered by two converted diesel engines and a salvaged alternator. In many ways, the activities that surround navigating this craft down the river combine a kind of hippie art party with a rethinking of the elements of everyday life, including sustenance (dumpster diving), fuel (biodiesel), bathing (rarely), laundry (washed in the river and dried in the fields) and the maintenance of a vessel that is barely watertight. The group docks periodically and stages performances for locals: bawdy, carnivalesque freak shows with a touch of drag.

Read more: Link: http://www.artlies.org/article.php?id=1545&issue=56&s=1

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