Foto Friday – Time Lapse of Houston Ship Channel Navigation

Our favorite professional mariner / maritime photographer is Houston ship pilot Lou Vest who goes by OneEighteen on Flickr.com. Here’s a some cool time lapse photography of a night transit through the Houston Ship Channel. Make sure you check out his note on how he did it.

Maximize the video and go along for the mysterious night ride.

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Foto Friday – Wind Powered x2

Daily Mail - Wind Powered

Here’s a dramatic photograph from the The Daily Mail UK (July 19, 2008 ) – The winds of change – the moment a Tall Ship faced up to modern wind turbines.

The solitary figure wading out into the sea is actually a sculpture by British artist Antony Gormley who may be most readily known for his monumental sculpture Angel of the North which is celebrating it’s 10th anniversary this year. Gormley was also awarded the Tate Gallery’s prestigious Turner Prize in 1994.

Antony Gormley’s “Another Place” (BBC’s h2g2 April 21, 2008 )

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Has Microsoft caught Sea-Fever?

Microsoft Vista ad

Here’s the latest graphic that was used in an internal Microsoft conference about the upcoming $500 million Windows Vista marketing campaign as reported by the NY Times Bits blog this afternoon (Microsoft Tries to Polish Vista) and ZDNET last night. (First hints of Microsoft’s “fight back” ads appear)

Of course, we love the maritime theme and can only wonder if it was in someway influenced by the American Sail Training Association’s TALL SHIPS CHALLENGE Series which recently made several ports of call in their neighborhood. Probably not but it’s cool anyway. Too bad they didn’t use a photograph of an actual tall ship like the USCG Barque EAGLE or the more local Lady Washington or Adventuress. That could have brought some much appreciated attention to the good work that these vessels do in preserving our country’s rich maritime heritage. And wouldn’t it be great if Microsoft took a few bucks from the $500 million earmarked for this campaign and used it to support the youth programs of these and other Pacific Northwest tall ships.  Now that would be super corporate social responsibility. Okay, I know I’m dreaming but what the heck, it’s worth blogging about.

Like they say, “At one point, everyone thought the Earth was flat.” But then they got on a tall ship and the rest is history (or maybe science).

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Maritime Art: “New York City Waterfalls”

Okay, Sea-Fever has gotten a little art happy lately, I know. But there is so much contemporary art that has some kind of maritime angle that I find interesting. Art, after the sea, is one of my deepest passions so that’s why I post about it. If you aren’t interested, don’t worry, I won’t take it personally if you skip a post or 2; just make sure you come back. Please!

Earlier this week the largest public art project in NYC since Christo’s Gates in 2005 opened in various sites along the city’s waterfront. “New York City Waterfalls” by Danish Icelandic artist Olafur Eliasson consists of 4 large temporary manmade waterfalls on the East River. The project is reported to have cost nearly $15.5 million of public support, foundation funds and private donations. The Public Art Fund is the main sponsor of the project.

Waterfalls - Vincent Laforet for The New York Times

From the NY Times:

Flanked by Mr. Eliasson, the mayor (Bloomberg) said at the opening ceremony — which began around 10:30 a.m., a half hour late — that the “Waterfalls” were a “symbol of the energy and vitality that we have been bringing back to our waterfront in all five boroughs.” (link)

Also, from an earlier article in the NY Times, the artist on the project:

Given that much of New York City is surrounded by water, the idea of creating waterfalls seemed obvious to Mr. Eliasson, who suggests that New Yorkers are not as strongly connected to their waterfronts as urban Europeans are.

Throughout history, he said, New Yorkers “have always taken water for granted.” He added: “Now people can engage in something as epic as a waterfall, see the wind and feel its gravity. You realize that the East River is not just static.” (link)

And from the press conference for the project launch:

[YouTube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tebsVt9W9Fg]

[YouTube=http://youtube.com/watch?v=rKSNyswMuAw]

Well from the articles I’ve read and pictures that I’ve seen I’m completely underwhelmed. I love contemporary art that challenges and really want to like this project. But there’s something about this piece that makes it appear to be a caricature or parody of contemporary art. Personally, I have trouble seeing past all of the scaffolding and not thinking of other NYC waterfalls like this. I know I should reserve judgement until experiencing it firsthand so maybe we’ll make a trip to NYC to check it out before it closes in October; hope we’re not disappointed.

Calculating the Worth of East River Waterfalls (NY Times – June 28, 2008 )

Photo credit: Vincent Laforet for The New York Times

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Maritime Art: Shuli Hallak’s “Cargo”

Regular Sea-Fever readers know I’m a sucker for maritime art and Shuli Hallak’s work first caught my eye in a recent NY Times Sunday Magazine editorial. One of her photographs (below) was used in They Way We Live Now column which was entitled Tariff to Nowhere.

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So I was pleasantly surprised to run across even more of her work again today in a Moco Loco, The Modern & Contemporary Design Blog post.

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Hallak was identified by PDN (Photo District News) as one of 30 “new and emerging photographers to watch” in 2007.  Moti Hasson Gallery in New York City is currently exhibiting “Cargo” (May 8 – June 29, 2008). From their website:

Shuli Hallak’s recent photographs document cargo in its state of transit between production and consumption. Almost every manufactured product humans consume spends time in a shipping container, yet consumers remain largely unaware of the process by which goods are actually transported. Hallak describes a cargo ship as a “sublime, moving city” and finds beauty in the fundamental necessity of the shipping industry, in the romance of travel over sea, and in the raw, precise, purely functional architecture of ports. In “Cargo,” Hallak unveils an essential stage in the delivery of goods from manufacturer to consumer and invites viewers to share in her process of discovery and in her fascination with what she finds.

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I love Hallak’s art; the beauty and magic of it and the ideas behind it.

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Maritime Art Week – Lawrence Weiner, Navigating the Conceptual

There are some cool contemporary maritime influenced art projects currently on exhibit across the globe, so we’ve declared this Maritime Art Week on the Sea-Fever blog. Here’s the final and maybe most challenging and interesting installment of this series.

Lawrence Weiner was born in the Bronx, NY in 1942. Early in his life, Weiner had a variety of maritime jobs including working on an oil tanker and being a dock worker. In the early 1960’s he returned to New York where he began producing and exhibiting his art, the earliest of which included experiments with systematic approaches to shaped canvases. Weiner is considered one of the modern masters of conceptual art. Today he lives in New York and on a houseboat in Amsterdam. (Lawrence Weiner’s biography on the Guggenheim Museum’s website.)

In 2007, Weiner created an exhibit for the New Visions contemporary art program at the National Maritime Museum in Greenwich, England, titled Inherent in the Rhumb Line.

From the National Maritime Museum website:

The National Maritime Museum explores how human beings have sought meaning in the sea, time and the stars. At Greenwich the imponderables of time and space collide: this is the home of Longitude 0°, where one can stand on an arbitrary line marking out the starting point of each new day, year and millennium. Every place on the globe is measured east or west from this Prime Meridian, creating a framework for individuals to understand their place in the world. Lawrence Weiner’s artistic practice questions the subjectivities that create such constructs of understanding. Using observation and experiment, the artist interrogates the relationship of material objects to each other, and the relationship of material objects to individuals.

Like Simon Patterson, another Maritime Art Week artist as well as an New Vision’s artist, Weiner medium is often language and ideas.

Much of Lawrence Weiner’s artistic practice takes the form of language and his statements have been inscribed as text inside and outside the gallery, as well as taking the form of spoken words and printed matter. At the centre of this exhibition the words to a somewhat romantic song, Sailing Sailing, point elsewhere: songs, after all, are designed to be sung and heard, rather than read. Shown beside Weiner’s 2005 film Inherent in the Rhumb Line from which this exhibition takes its name, this song alludes to the freedom of the seas and navigating over the bounding main. As with traditional songs of the sea, Sailing Sailing has been handed down, passed around, reinterpreted and repeated, with each version as true as the next.

LW

Currently, the Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles is exhibiting a career retrospective of Weiner’s work which is titled AS FAR AS THE EYE CAN SEE. (through July 14, 2008 )

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MOCA Guide to Lawrence Weiner’s AS FAR AS THE EYE CAN SEE (download)

[YouTube=http://youtube.com/watch?v=vWZNoj4Uwd0]

Tate Online Events (Video Interview) – Lawrence Weiner talking art – February 2, 2008

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Maritime Art Week – Arden Scott’s Beautiful Sculptures

Arden Scott, a life long sailor who actually built her 28’ schooner herself, is a contemporary artist who’s beautiful works are both modern and ancient at the same time. The following 2 pictures are from an exhibition this summer at the Garrison Art Center, Garrison, NY.  (June 1 – August 10, 2008 )

Arden Scott's Infinite Pacifics 2004

Arden Scott's Withheld of Oceans 2005

From the Garrison Art Center website:

Arden Scott‘s love of the sea and a good yarn has informed her sculpture for many years. The lyrical curves prevalent in her boat effigies allow them to float through space and offer the imagination infinite nautical stories. Although primarily built in heavy materials, her boats retain a delicacy that seems as much like a three-dimensional drawing as a sculpture. Scott began her career as an artist in the sixties, pioneering in the urban wilderness that is now known as Tribeca. She made sculpture out of found materials from constructions sites: the World Trade Center, as it was being built, was an especially fruitful landscape and much debris has been elevated into a position of artistic value in the hands of Scott. Her artwork has been shown in galleries, museums, public spaces and outdoor sites all over the world. Scott has received numerous grants including a Guggenheim Fellowship, and her work has been featured in renowned publications throughout her long career. When she is not in her Long Island studio working on her boats, Scott is sailing the 28′ wooden schooner she built for herself, the Annie.

Here’s a very interesting artist interview by David Swatling:

Amei Wallach profile of the artist in The New York Times (Sept. 1, 2002) – Far From Midtown, She’s Fallen in Love With the Sea

Arden Scott's studio

I love everything about this artist work!

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