In July 2018, WhiteBox Art Space in New York is exhibiting A Secret History of American River People. Here is a conceptual video walkthrough of the exhibition.
The installation contains a dock that anchors one end of the installation. A full size row boat is moored to the dock. A rustic media cabinet shows footage of interviewees and from the journey.
A wooden table anchors the other end of the exhibit, and contains artifacts from the expeditions, including hand-compiled notes about the rivers, art, history and river reference books, river maps, a lantern, a bottle of homemade firewhiskey, the ship’s log, and cards upon which visitors can leave their own river story.
Suspended from above, portraits of interviewees, photographs from the project, and moving video images all on sheer fabric, flow like a river through the gallery space. Visitors tuned in on smartphones can wander the gallery in and out of stories of the people pictured via iBeacon/BLE technology.
During the period that the artist and shantyboat are in town, the shantyboat will be located at the gallery. Visitors are encouraged to examine the boat, ask questions, sign the ship’s log, and leave their own river stories. Visitors step onto the recreated shantyboat, pick up the banjo or a book from the library, sit awhile and overhear the stories of shantyboaters, scientists, historians, and locals who live and work on the river.
Join us at WhiteBox in July and early August.