Using the themes of shipwreck, error, rope, and language, I am pulling elements thatcan be expressed graphically. Combining metaphor with these graphic elements, I plan
to construct compositions that relay the information I have found.
I began my endeavor by visiting tall ships over the summer. My goal was to come away
with a general understanding of a ship’s architecture as well as the instruments and tools
used to make the ship fully functional. Later on, I made the trek up to Lake Champlain
to go on a shipwreck tour. On that tour, our guides put an ROV in the water and we were
able to look at the wreck of the Champlain II in real time.
I sifted through some relevant texts and pulled what I thought might be helpful in the
future. Some of these texts included Hans Blumenberg’s Shipwreck With Spectator, the
Freud concordance, and, eventually, Moby Dick. I was looking to “abuse” the text (as
John McVey would say) by pulling only bits and pieces that I thought I could manipulate
to help me later on. The quotes I chose from all of the texts had a metaphorical/philosophical
tone to them.
While looking at words I thought about the term “sailor’s yarn”. I looked at it as a bit of
a joke and decided that if a sailor had literal yarn, it would be rope. So, I began making
rope while listening to Moby Dick on audiobook. This enabled me to make something physical.
After a stint of procrastination/not knowing what to do, I began looking at lines and points.
Once rope is brought onboard a ship, it is referred to as “line”, so I laid the lyrics/lines
of sea shanties over lines of rigging. I found search patterns used by the coastguard and
incorporated those into the piece. I then pulled the coordinates of shipwrecks (I chose to
work with those visible from Google Maps) and represented those as dots. In later iterations,
I included the quotes I had pulled earlier on in the process. As an almost final product, I
created a large sheet of paper to be divied up into 6” x 9” pages for a book.