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Creekworthy Opening: Films, Puppetry & Tattoos

June 10, 2022 @ 8:00 pm 11:00 pm UTC-5

Rain delay date will be June 11 @ 8:00pm – 11:00 pm

P2QQ+9W Long Island City, Queens, NY

Creekworthy is an event series taking place through the warm-weather months of 2022 on the Newtown Creek and in Hunters Point South Park. Creekworthy’s first installation will feature a selection of looped films related to this location, boat tours to U-Thant Island with on-boat puppet show, and temporary tattoos measuring the Creek’s filthiness.

RSVPs are now full for boat rides to U-Thant Island & puppet show by Raine Trainor. The entire outdoor space is wheelchair accessible, and please inquire to with accessibility questions for boat rides. Be advised that the nearest subways are quite a walk from the kayak launch.

Participating Artists include Nate Dorr, Cody Ann Herrmann, Nathan Kensinger, Sindhu Thirumalaisamy, Raine Trainor, and Virginia Wagner.

About the artists and their artworks:

Virginia Wagner’s The Mothers is a new 2-D animation projected onto a floating screen, reflecting onto the creek as an imperfect double. The video follows an old woman who holes herself up in a large house on the water. She grows into the architecture as nature reclaims the house. Wagner’s work examines the tension between humans and the natural world. Raised in a family of biologists and trained as a scientific illustrator, she has a unique perspective from which to observe the psychological and physical effects of our quickly changing planet. She has recently been commissioned by National Geographic to create a series of paintings about climate change for a polar passenger ship and by the Guggenheim Works & Process.

Raine Trainor’s Tour Guide is run by unhinged puppets who consume the black mayo at the bottom of Newtown Creek for lunch daily. Inspired by that sustenance, the journey will take fellow seamen around U Thant/Belmont Island—Manhattan’s tiniest artificial island nestled in the shadow of the UN. Blending fact and fiction of the ever-changing physicality of the space, the guides will provide a filtered history of the past and present. The tour adrift, just an ear shot from the FDR, will range from the fluid ontology of the waterways to the layered existence of the micronation island. Native cormorants will look on as striped bass munch below, giving an alternate experience of this precious jewel of landmass. Raine Trainor has been sailing the New York waterways for 9 years, creating experiences and work within and without the East River. 

Sindhu Thirumalaisamy’s Afterlife, an excerpt of The Lake and The Lake dwells in the peripheries of Bellandur lake in Bangalore, where the act of observation is interrupted by flying foam, noxious gases, daydreams, and questions from passers-by. The 2019 film won the jury award for Best Documentary at the 58th Ann Arbor Film Festival. Sindhu Thirumalaisamy is an artist and filmmaker whose work centres (un)common spaces and the possibilities for speech and action with/in them. Sindhu has worked in relation to hospitals, parks, streets, kitchens, temples, mosques, lakes and roadsides—spaces that hold potential for collective resistance and care.

Nathan Kensinger and Nate Dorr’s Reclaimed Ground is a 2016 documentary film documenting the wild landscape of Hunter’s Point South, which was completely demolished in 2016. At our event, the artists will project selections from this video onto surfaces within Hunter’s Point South Park, highlighting the species and green spaces that existed here before the park was built. Nate Dorr and Nathan Kensinger have been collaboratively documenting the waterfront of New York City for the past 16 years. Nathan is an interdisciplinary artist whose work explores forgotten waterways, environmental disasters, and coastal communities endangered by sea level rise and climate change. Nate Dorr is a filmmaker and photographer working in the margins of the urban landscape, where deep interactions between architecture, ecology, history, and socioeconomic systems become more visible.

Cody Ann Herrmann’s Citizens Water Quality Testing Temporary Tattoos measure levels of enterococcus in the Creek. High concentrations of enterococcus typically indicate the presence of combined sewage overflows (CSO), and that people should avoid touching the water. Cody Ann Herrmann is a New York City based artist and community organizer with an interest in participatory design methods, public space, and urban resilience. Since 2014 Cody’s work has revolved around her hometown of Flushing, Queens, creating a series of projects critiquing policy related to land use and environmental planning in areas surrounding Flushing Bay and Flushing Creek.

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