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Mary Mattingly

Friday, August 28, 2009

Speech prepared for Bloomberg’s arrival to the Waterpod and Atlantic Salt Company:

The Atlantic Salt Company has been a wonderful, inviting harbor for us, and we know it will remain so for decades to come. It has been a magical and wondrous privilege during our short sojourn here to witness the ongoing evolution, reconstruction, and beautification of this landing place.

The Waterpod could not have happened without the generous and energetic help of cores of supporters, including the Mayor’s Office, the City of New York, the NYC Department of Parks and Recreation, the NYC Dockmaster Unit, our legal counsel Blank Rome, GMD Shipyard in the Brooklyn Navy Yards, and dozens of foundations, corporations, and individuals, not the least which have been artists, scientists, engineers, and volunteers.

They say that the first recorded European contact with Staten Island was in 1524 by Giovanni da Verrazano, and all of us have been truly blessed by its Dutch and British successors, as well as the rich fabric of recent arrivals on these shores.

Our main purpose and objective in this venture has been collaboration, innovation, recycling, transformation, self-sufficiency, resourcefulness, learning, curiosity, human expression and creative exploration. I am not exaggerating when I say that we are deeply grateful to the citizens and government of Richmond County for augmenting, catalyzing, and affirming our mission and our voyage. -Mattingly<top>

Mary Mattingly

Sunday, July 11, 2009

Daily life on the Waterpod:

6:30 am. Feed the four chickens, clean the coop
7:00 am. Water the gardens, prune gardens, make coffee
7:30 am. Have breakfast
8:00 am. Clean the deck, put things away, prepare for the day
9:00 am to 11am. Personal work (one rotating person giving tours on Thursday and Friday)
11:00 am. Meeting: Work for the day and for the future
1:00 pm. Work on Waterpod and give tours
3:00 pm. Feed chickens
5:00 pm to 7:00 pm. Waterpod personal work
7:00 pm. Prepare dinner, evening tasks
8:00 pm. Eat dinner, clean up, water gardens
9:00 pm. Free time: Read, Email, do artwork

Working on a sustainable cycle:
Capture rainwater with a first flush system that collects from the different structures and drains into a potable tank. Water is pumped via bicycle and solar to a purification system and a 55 gallon potable drum at mid-level on a crows nest. When we need to use it, it is gravity fed to a sink and shower at 4.5’ high. After use, that water enters a greywater purification system: a series of seven 4’ bins with different irrigation materials including gravel, sand, and freshwater plants. At the end of the seven-bin cycle, the water can be reused to water the gardens. The gardens grow a variety of different vegetables and fruits, and four chickens have been producing roughly 3-4 eggs a day. We have begun to fish.

Since this project takes place inside and off of the grid, we have been surprised with the number of gifts given to us at both the South Street Seaport and Sheepshead Bay (since we began living on board). Captain Jack Schachner of White Cap Marine Rescue Services Inc. came to the Waterpod on Friday morning with a 4x 4’ fish cage. When fish are put inside the cage, the cage is kept under water until we are ready to take them up to eat them. Later that evening, Captain Jack returned with his red tug and put seven fish, caught that day, into the cage. The next day an interested couple came by and taught us how to kill, skin, and prepare the fish to be eaten. Not two hours ago, a woman asked us what we needed if she came to visit us again. She returned a few minutes later with a bag of ground coffee. These moments of physical gifts or emotional gifts (whatever the reaction of a person who comes on board), given to us, in exchange for gifts that we attempt to give back with this project, and after, I hope will help start many chain reactions. The gift elements have all been a surprise but have all increased the wellbeing of our spirits and systems on board (a woman in Tribeca brought us a homemade worm box that we have been using to create compost).

Compost is a big part of the system. The chicken and scrap food compost is extremely useful to replenish soil nutrients after a harvest.
Since we are starting with seeds grown this year, we would ideally give ourselves another year to can some of the first harvest to use in times when the next cycle is growing. We would also need to make the gardens into a greenhouse.<top>

Mary Mattingly

Sunday, June 28, 2009

For the last couple of months we have been working nonstop, we had a remarkable build out period, where over 30 volunteers started vegetables in their apartments or at their schools for the project and helped us build out the Weeks Marine Barge at the GMD Shipyard. We worked nonstop, from sunrise to well after sunset on the build out, while continuing a rapid succession of meetings, paperwork, and contract finalization.

With the momentum of the past few years, we knew that everything has needed to come together rapidly in the last few months. My goal was to do as much pre-building, pre setup, pre scheduling as possible so that we could have a rich, full events calendar at each pier, and an easier build out time at GMD Shipyard. When we arrived at the GMD Shipyard, there was still a lot of onsite work to be done. When it wasn’t pouring rain, we could pull together a good group of volunteers on the weekends to assist in the build out, and we worked nonstop. The folks at GMD Shipyard also volunteered their time to help us with welding, craning, and other resources.

Ken Hollenbeck came on board as an advisor and fundraiser, hosting an event at 5 Ninth in the meatpacking district, where we were able to fill the restaurant with supporters, and thank everyone for working with us to make this project happen. We raised $45,000 that night through the kindness and generosity of groups like The Richard J. Massey Foundation for the Arts and Sciences and The Charles and Lynne Klastskin Family Charitable Trust.

Believing in the initiative, John Toscani of Frenkel and a few very supportive underwriters including RLI helped us obtain all proper insurances so that we would be able to have the coverage needed to have public on board throughout the Waterpod’s tour. Glen Oxton and Richard Singleton of Blank Rome worked tirelessly with us completing city contracts, permits, and giving counsel on everything, from insurance to the politics we have found ourselves involved in.

When our locations were mapped out and sequentially ordered, Miller’s Launch came on board to offer pro bono towing to the Waterpod as it goes about its dilatory course. Miller’s Launch is a company working on the forefront of new fuel technologies and green energy.<top>

Mary Mattingly

May 5, 2009:

Waterpod is simultaneously an intervention and a gift, brought to life by a collaborative group of forward-thinking artists, designers, and activists working with numerous companies, groups, and communities on a pro bono publico or “"for the public good"” basis to create a space that is both an inclusive public resource and an experimental private dwelling, an interior and exterior malleable space, an aquatic and terrestrial mobile hybrid.

This project is a work in progress that demands simultaneous creative engagement of producers, designers, builders, visitors, residents, and guests.  The design of Waterpod is made up of a mode of social, political, and ecological actions and engagements that describe mobility, autonomy, and relational freedom while respecting water, nature and natural systems.  Waterpod is an expression of collective decisions and intent, based on available resources, trial and error, as well as an object and a space that continues to be negotiated through democratic participation and implementation. We are aiming to launch June 1 from South Street Seaport.<top>

Mary Mattingly

Saturday, March 14, 2009:

A busy few months. The original platform donated to the project had structural damage, so we were back to the drawing board. Through the efforts of collaborators like Dockmaster Carnesi, we have secured another platform through Sea Wolf Marine. It is less than half of the size of the first barge, but under ten years old and in great condition.

Carissa Carman has been busy working with preexisting networks and setting up new networks of urban farmers, to begin growing fruits and vegetables for Waterpod.

Lonny Grafman's Engineering 215 Class at Humboldt State University has been constructing water filtration systems, bicycle powered water pumps, turbines, a hydroponic garden, and a composting toilet. Lonny will be in New York this Monday for the week, while his classes are on their spring break.

Tim Corrigan and R. David Gibbs have planned and are beginning to acquire and implement a power system that will support our daily lives with electricity for charging equipment, kitchen use, art installations, water pumps and purification systems, with reserve battery power for events.

Tressie Word is designing a natural, vertical greywater system, and will be in New York for a few weeks in the beginning of May.

We are planning our docking schedule with the NYC Department of the Mayor Special Projects, and working out the insurance details.

Derek and Mira moved here from Vancouver, what, a month or six weeks ago? It's been a time-warp, and we are so glad that they are permanently here. We have redesigned the surface area of Waterpod to fit the smaller platform, worked on building infrastructure and have been plodding away with work,a lot of it too tedious to really mention here. The process is entirely interesting, but is constant slow motion.

The platform should be in place around April 15, and we will begin the build out. Prior, we have a space in Long Island City to prefab the structures.<top>

Mary Mattingly

Friday, January 30, 2009: We are about to enter February.

To date,the Waterpod exists as more than just a project proposal entirely because of the collaborative methods and spirits of many groups and individuals, and the help of in-kind donations. As people slowly realize that even before the Gold Standard, currency has basically been a speculative concept based in little of any usable value, we learn that natural resources need to be protected, not portfolios, and barter, trade, and equivalent systems are going to be more and more important. As nations become more national, people will revive hibernating community inclinations from the bottom up, and it will be necessary to create micro-localized trade systems. We have worked to secure donations of everything, from trucks of soil to the platform itself, which is 240x70x15' in size. As the platform expanded, so did our team, and it continues to.

This month John McGarvey and I have been meeting with city, state, and federal officials to see this project through, and that is definitely one of the interesting parts for me - learning how to navigate waters in a city like New York is a challenge in itself, as we come across more and more red tape (nothing we weren't expecting), and delve deeper into the threaded workings of New York City's many departments. Also, I spent a good amount of time this month in the hospital again. I went into the hospital at the beginning of the month for an operation, and in an early stage of my recovery we decided it would be necessary to change the launch date to May 15, but because of the important significance of May 1, our preference is still to launch then.

Working with the NPS Task Force (Operation Clean Bay) is one of the many things that we have found we can do to help the NYC Waterways, and peoples' general awareness of our delicate ecological systems (over 1000 boats have been dumped by their owners in the Rockaways alone), some of which we are only just being made aware. This cycle of learning, doing, and passing on is like gifting. I receive something from you and pass its likeness on to someone else.

Lately, John, Cory, and I have played roles in city council meetings alongside the NPS and the Dockmaster Unit of NYC, affecting awareness of the New York Waterways at the city and state level.

Dockmaster Carnesi, John, and I met with the NYC Office of the Mayor, the DCA, EDC, and proposed the Waterpod as a space where multiple collaborations would take place, a space dictated by the community and by the rules that we impose on ourselves, guinea pigs for our not-so-distant future?

With the help of Carissa Carman and her team, we are designing living systems (from scratch) that will support 4-5 permanent dwellers and occasional guests. An integrated garden that combines herbs, fruits, vegetables, and flowers with vertical garden technology, lo-fi D.I.Y. hydroponics and some green-walling, we expect to be able to produce sufficient food with left-overs.

We are exploring the option of a mobile chicken coop on board. (As I mentioned, I was in the hospital at the beginning of the month. I learned then that I have Celiac Disease, meaning my body cannot absorb gluten, so my eating options are limited when it comes to American fare. The eggs suddenly became very important for me.) It seems very likely.

I am interested in exploring these areas further:

- Food, community, social systems, barter and gift economies, housing, and mobility of Waterpod

- Blending the role of artists / architects

- Not allowing myself to leave the barge for the duration. This forces me to focus on certain things that I have been putting off for too long, and forces me to live like we will probably all need to live sooner or later.

- Being around the action of a metropolis, but as a viewer, expanding my point of view of the present presence of this city and its surrounds, expanding others points of view through participation.

Mary Mattingly

Friday, December 12, 2008: Letters between Mary Mattingly and North Shore District Ranger John Daskalakis.

Dear Mr. John Daskalakis,

I want to thank you and your team, and especially Mr. Ralph Mannetta for
all of his help and dedication to the Waterpod project. The Waterpod is a
city-wide project that will encompass artistic ideas, scientific and
sustainable concepts, community learning, lectures, tutorials, and
festivities on a structure made largely from recycled and reused materials.
It will launch in May 2009, alongside the Hudson Quadricentennial

Through the assistance of the Parks Department, we have been able to begin
collecting materials from the sunken vessels that The Task Force are
rescuing from the waterways. We then plan to recycle and remake parts of
the vessels into new structures. These structures that will make up the
public spaces on the Waterpod barge.

Ralph Mannetta has kindly given us his time, shared his expertise of the
New York waterways, and helped us with logistical concerns. Because of
Ralph Mannetta and Dockmaster Frank Carnesi, we have been able to obtain
some much-needed infrastructure to work with the sunken vessels,
disassemble them, and store them for reassembly in the Winter of 2009. We
plan to make the sunken vessel problem a large part of our on-board
teaching agenda.

We are sincerely grateful for all of the help that Ralph has given to make
the project a success, and are very glad that due to Ralph and Dockmaster
Carnesi the scope of our project has expanded. When we began, we were not
aware of the extent of the sunken vessel problem!

The kindness and generosity that we have found through your Task Force
Team, the NYC Mayor’s Office, and Dockmaster Frank Carnesi, represent the
fantastic spirit of this city!

Thank you very much, John Daskalakis!

Mary Mattingly.


Dear Ms. Mattingly,

I appreciate your efforts in education and learning, and am pleased you
will be able to focus the public's awareness on the issues surrounding
derelict vessels and debris that we find in our waterways. I think it is
important that we all think of creative ways to engage the public - I
cant think of a more vivid way to get at this one issue than recycling
boats and debris to use as a tool to enlighten. We are all excited to see
the Waterpod barge this May.

Thank you for the kind words. On behalf of the National Park Service and
our team, I am glad we could help.

John Daskalakis.<top>

Mira Hunter

Thursday, December 4, 2008: I have been invited to construct a series of maquettes similar to the ones Mary Mattingly and I first made for the development of the Waterpod™ project, to be displayed as part of the 5th World Water Forum which will be held in Istanbul, Turkey, from 16 to 22 March 2009.<top>
Mira Hunter

Tuesday, November 18, 2008: We have a barge, thanks to one of our gracious benefactors. Eve K. Tremblay is working from Berlin on the Seed Salon Scenario, I am meeting with the Istanbul MOMA to discuss a possible exhibition before heading out on a tour through Switzerland and the Middle East, while Mary Mattingly is in New York generating more architectural sketches, updated with the new barge proportions. It is currently docked in Queens and Cory Mervis says that it is almost as big as a football field. Derek Hunter is on his way to NY next week to begin transforming it into a sustainable floating world, an exhibition space and an exhibition about the future of the environment.<top>

Mira Hunter

Thursday, May Day, 2008: Mary, Eve, Cory, John and I met in the morning at PS1 with Douglas Cohen from The Educational for Sustainable Development/National Youth Alliance, to discuss collaborative projects and funding ideas. We walked to the docks looking towards Govenor's Island. We filmed interview segments in preparation for this evening's Newtown Creek Beta launch. Doug was wonderful, I invited him to sail with me to the Queen Charlotte Islands, off the coast of British Columbia.<top>

Mira Hunter

Wednesday, April 30, 2008: Cory, Mary and I met at noon at the National Arts Club near Gramercy Park in Manhattan, to view a room to potentially host a Waterpod™ fundraising event on June 26, 2008. The space was perfect, gorgeous and eccentric. Alden James, the club president, and the wonderful program director Steve Mascatello, took us up to the 2nd floor to see the grand resident Raven. In the afternoon, Eve joined us (Eve and I had not previously met) at Mary's LMCC studio. We photographed eachother for the Waterpod™ website, and prepared for our May Day performances and interviews. <top>

Mira Hunter

Friday, April 25, 2008: I return to New York for the Launch of Waterpod™ Beta. While attending the Mary's LMCC open studios, I am introduced to the new floating island, where I will be performing for the May Day exhibition. The Montreal based artist Eve K. Tremblay will also be joining us. The week will be spent re-designing the website , and producing plans for the future of the project. <top>

Mary Mattingly

Thursday, March 20, 2008: Cory Mervis, David Darst and I met with Paula Berry, head of the Hudson Quadricentennial Celebration in 2009.

Tuesday, March 4, 2008: Eve and I met with the Gouvernement du Quebec to solidify plans to traverse the waterways of New York and head up to Lake Champlain. The next day we met with David Bruson from MTV.

Friday, February 29, 2008: I had a second meeting with Creative Time regarding the project and help they can give. Met with Shane Brennan, he will curate a digital ecological project on board.

Wednesday, February 27, 2007: Cory and I hit the pavement in Queens and Greenpoint in search of a barge. We found out about some illegally moored barges, some in need of repair, and learned a bit about the New York dockmaster.

Saturday, February 16, 2007: Cory, Leslie, David and I met with Jim Hallogan and Larry Harvey in San Francisco to discuss the Waterpod and surrounding ideas.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008: Eve K. Tremblay and I met about her involvement in the Waterpod.

Saturday, February 2, 2007: Patrick and I met with Peter Hort about legalities.

January 22, 2008: Cory Mervis officially came on board as the third member of Waterpod! Check her out in projects like "Voter Drive" 2004, and "Astor Place Imagined" 2007. She is amazing.

December 20th, Patrick Callery came on board!

Friday, December 14, 2007: David Darst, Leslie Bocskor, Mei Yee Croll and I met with the Mayor's office and the Department of Cultural Affairs.<top>

Mary Mattingly

Thursday, November 1, 2007: Mattingly and Hunter are invited to submit collaborative sketches of Waterpod™ Project to: Greener Sessions Art Exhibition: Sketching Solutions for Climate Change, Venice, CA. Nov 17/07 - Dec 8/07

'While the manifestations of climate change rock the world, Venice, California has something to sketch about it. In this collaborative, exhibition based think-tank participants will design a new starting point to create and find solutions - transforming a general state of anxiety into the realms of possibilities.'<top>

Mary Mattingly

Monday, October 22, 2007: Veronica Flores came to New York and we took the opportunity to build a test model, 13' long, in my studio. We built the mold and continue to collect materials to fill it with.<top>

Mary Mattingly

Sunday, June 10, 2007: Mira returned to Vancouver for the time being, and I continued to live at Juan's place until his return from Venice, when I officially began my nomadic travels of New York. From my New York end, I have had some successful and productive meetings, designed and deployed a timeline for Waterpod events, completed the first book (Please see PDF versions: here) as well as a working model.<top>

Mary Mattingly

Monday, June 4, 2007: Juan donated his large studio in the East Village for our work. We moved in that afternoon and spent the entire seven days there, leaving the place only once in a while for a meeting with Jee Won Kim, a krumping party at Greg Liburd's abode, Curlies Vegetarian with David and Leslie, and one or two other times.<top>

Mary Mattingly

Sunday, June 3, 2007: Mira and I began photographing maquettes, officialized the new logo, scrutinized the fashion line, and designed the press package. <top>

Mary Mattingly

Saturday, June 2, 2007: Mira arrived in New York Thursday night. We got settled in on Friday and
started working on Saturday. Discussed plans over an iced coffee in the heat of the morning, and headed into Chinatown to purchase some items at Plastic Land. We headed back to Brooklyn and made a few more plans over a meal. Back at 302 Eastern Parkway, we began assembling, resining, and planning maquettes, scenes, and promotional materials. Juan Puntes is going to Spain on Tuesday and would like to take some press packages with him. We are making four domed packages, and will save one for the record.<top>

Mary Mattingly

Wednesday, May 30, 2007: Anne Percoco began contacting businesses and individuals in New York and the surrounding boroughs about locations to dock the Waterpod.<top>

Mira Hunter

Friday, January 12, 2007: Chere Mira,
You know, when you wrote to me last, about your "waterpod" and your desire to hear me ramble on about water, floods and floating worlds (I used to close many of my my letters with the words "A flood of blessings") I immediately thought of Joyce, since absolutely nothing that I could write could match the virtuosity of this logorrhea from the Ithaca episode of Ulysses. I hope that you enjoyed it and that it does not come too late.

What in water did Bloom, waterlover, drawer of water, watercarrier returning to the range, admire?

Its universality: its democratic equality and constancy to its nature in seeking its own level: its vastness in the ocean of Mercator's projection: its umplumbed profundity in the Sundam trench of the Pacific exceeding 8,000 fathoms: the restlessness of its waves and surface particles visiting in turn all points of its seaboard: the independence of its units: the variability of states of sea: its hydrostatic quiescence in calm: its hydrokinetic turgidity in neap and spring tides: its subsidence after devastation: its sterility in the circumpolar icecaps, arctic and antarctic: its climatic and commercial significance: its preponderance of 3 to 1 over the dry land of the globe: its indisputable hegemony extending in square leagues over all the region below the subequatorial tropic of Capricorn: the multisecular stability of its primeval basin: its luteofulvous bed: Its capacity to dissolve and hold in solution all soluble substances including billions of tons of the most precious metals: its slow erosions of peninsulas and downwardtending promontories: its alluvial deposits: its weight and volume and density: its imperturbability in lagoons and highland tarns: its gradation of colours in the torrid and temperate and frigid zones: its vehicular ramifications in continental lakecontained streams and confluent oceanflowing rivers with their tributaries and transoceanic currents: gulfstream, north and south equatorial courses: its violence in seaquakes, waterspouts, artesian wells, eruptions, torrents, eddies, freshets, spates, groundswells, watersheds, waterpartings, geysers, cataracts, whirlpools, maelstroms, inundations, deluges, cloudbursts: its vast circumterrestrial ahorizontal curve: its secrecy in springs, and latent humidity, revealed by rhabdomantic or hygrometric instruments and exemplified by the hole in the wall at Ashtown gate, saturation of air, distillation of dew: the simplicity of its composition, two constituent parts of hydrogen with one constituent part of oxygen: its healing virtues: its buoyancy in the waters of the Dead Sea: its persevering penetrativeness in runnels, gullies, inadequate dams, leaks on shipboard: its properties for cleansing, quenching thirst and fire, nourishing vegetation: its infallibility as paradigm and paragon: its metamorphoses as vapour, mist, cloud, rain, sleet, snow, hail: its strength in rigid hydrants: its variety of forms in loughs and bays and gulfs and bights and guts and lagoons and atolls and archipelagos and sounds and fjords and minches and tidal estuaries and arms of sea: its solidity in glaciers, icebergs, icefloes: its docility in working hydraulic millwheels, turbines, dynamos, electric power stations, bleachworks, tanneries, scutchmills: its utility in canals, rivers, if navigable, floating and graving docks: its potentiality derivable from harnessed tides or watercourses falling from level to level: its submarine fauna and flora (anacoustic, photophobe) numerically, if not literally, the inhabitants of the globe: its ubiquity as constituting 90% of the human body: the noxiousness of its effluvia in lacustrine marshes, pestilential fens, faded flowerwater, stagnant pools in the waning moon.

A bientot,

Raphael <top>

Mary Mattingly Tuesday, January 2, 2007: I picked up supplies from the International Center of Photography and had them carted away in two mobile storage units that reside in Sunset Park, Brooklyn. <top>
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