Rikers Island can be seen as a metaphor for the prison industrial complex in that the entire island has been constructed and expanded strictly to incarcerate people. By engaging the periphery of this panoptical island via canoe, we were attempting to allegorically circumvent the criminal (in)justice system.
However, while attempting to circumnavigate the complex, we were spotted and picked up by the Coast Guard and NYPD, interrogated by the FBI and TTF, and ultimately given a notice of violation for breaching the LaGuardia Security Zone in Flushing Bay.
The political is inherent in art making, and the political is inherently an intermingling of the polemic and the pedagogical. How the artist engages his or her surroundings forewarns of an era approaching. These are the birth pangs of a rebirth, of a new form of peopling and communication. It is about inventing a new language of public engagement altogether, extending the language of contemporary art and engaged citizenship into the public sphere.
IF YOU WILL