Ship, 1998


SHIP, Metal, motors, smoke machine, computer controllers and lights 22”x16”x70” 1998

“Ship” is a 5’10” long iron model of an early 20th century steamship, based on blueprints from Harlan and West, the Scotland shipbuilders who fashioned the “Britannic”, “Gigantic” and “Titanic”.  The metal is stained very dark, almost blue.  To the height of the steam stacks, it is about 22”.  There are portholes with electric lights inside, so the ship looks as though it has residents.  The ship has a long electrical
cord which it pulls around the space, much like a slow motion trace of drawing a pencil line.  The ship moves on hidden wheels around the space, about 1 inch a minute and changes direction at random.  It is programmed not to run into any object, so if it “sees” a surface, it will turn away from that object, albeit, very slowly.  Further, exuding from the bottom of the ship is a fine fog, created by a machine that creates a thick mist and tends to obscure the silhouette.  Because the fog is blown over an internal “chiller”, this cloudy atmosphere stays close to the floor.    The ship is lost in a fog of its own making, wandering forever, never touching anything.

“Ship,” with essay by Dan Cameron is available from SmartArt Press, Los Angeles.