There are these urban stretches of water, calm, dangerous, alien, where you think you’re not allowed to go. I was very surprised to find out that you can just stick a boat of any kind on the Thames.
For Waterways-London, Andrea Crociani and I made a journey, which would normally take two buses and an hour and a half, continue for a week. We stayed with some of the people who occupy the river space, who are here for particular reasons, escaping high property prices, living on the tidal zone, and who have a different relationship with time.
There are three projects for Waterways so far. Andrea and I worked collaboratively using kayaking as a mode of self-sufficient transport. The first trip we made was part of Between Dresden and Prague (see web link) and then we were invited to be part of e.n.e.r.g.i.e, which happened in Brussels. It was a group project with site-specific works to do with energy (see catalogue) and we kayaked on the Willebroeck Canal . Part of the project involved kayaking at night wearing plastic animal masks and we made a series of slides which were then projected in a shop window in a nearby street during the project.
The third Waterways project took place in London. We were sponsored by one of the best sea kayak manufacturers in Britain, Nigel Dennis. We took a week to travel on the Thames and the River Lea between Vauxhall and Bow, spending each night with different people who live on or by the waterway. Some of the people we already knew, some we met just before the project. We asked them to become a B&B and paid them to put us up and make breakfast. We also invited them to do an interview on camera about their choices for this lifestyle. We stayed on a lighter near Tower Bridge , a canal boat at Bow Locks , an empty warehouse in Deptford Creek, a family house by the canal, a boat in a dock under Canary Wharf , and camped in Shadwell . We plan to make a short film including the interviews and footage from the journey.
Waterways-Brussels – e.n.e.r.g.i.e project, Brussells
Waterways-London – Bow Festival, Space Studios Commission, London
- Video of Waterways London – 5 min version
- Working notes and schedule
- Video footage for collaborative edit (unfin)