February 29th, 2012 -
The Newtown Creek Armada is currently being built in a studio overlooking the Newtown Creek. Several prototype boats have been created and tested in the toxic waters of this Superfund Site. Initial voyages are embarking at various points along the creek, including the difficult-to-access waters of the Dutch Kills, English Kills, and Maspeth Creek. A variety of waterproof camera systems have been tested, and exploratory footage has been captured. To date, no boats have been lost.
The Newtown Creek Armada is an interactive installation in which a model boat pond will be created on the Newtown Creek, one of America's most polluted waterways. The installation will take place in Spring 2012, when visitors will be invited to pilot a fleet of artist-created, miniature, radio-controlled boats along the Newtown Creek's surface. The Armada is a collaboration between Nathan Kensinger, Laura Chipley and Sarah Nelson Wright and is presented in partnership with The North Brooklyn Public Art Coalition (nbART), which announced the project in November 2011.
Since the project was announced, it has been featured in the New York Daily News, L Magazine, DNA Info, and the Brooklyn Paper. In January 2012, it received a grant from FEAST, and in March, it will receive a grant from the Brooklyn Arts Council in a ceremony at Brooklyn Borough Hall.
The following images are of prototype boats from The Armada, on their initial exploratory voyages. For more information on The Armada, please visit the project's webpage at www.newtowncreekarmada.org