A collection of artists on rafts
The Miss Rockaway Armada is about 30 artists and performers from all over USA that has come together to create an event. Both the performers and the artists come from different collectives and associations. One warm day of July they all met in Minneapolis to create an armada of rafts to take them on a cultural and artistic voyage down the Mississippi river. They also held shows and had exhibitions from their own produced art. Outside the exhibitions and shows the artists created a contact with their audience where they discussed subversive, alternative and constructive ways of living. The artists see themselves as role models and wants to show, in a practical way, that you can live like that just to create a change of attitude in our culture. In their performance they show pieces from the radical Mark Twain’s acts.
The purpose of the armada
The artists makes this trip of including shows to, partly experience the adventure and partly to evolve their personalities and spread the message to others. By remembering their own childhoods, remembering the book bus, the punk rock band in the school aula and other cultural events planting a seed and a dream about being able to spread the culture to people with another view and different way of thinking. The main thought for these individuals was to go on a raft which they had built themselves. It all contained of reused materials to keep the costs down and to work against the overconsumption that the armada saw all over the west world. The admit to having no greater experience from either rafts or rovers but collected branches, twigs, cans and barrels and whatever they could find to build their rafts. Most of the people in the armada where from around New Orleans and New York, even though there are also, of course, members from different parts of USA.
The construction of the rafts
As already been mentioned, the rafts where built by reused materials. The construction was very simple and based on two long pontons filled with foam and in between there where crossed boards keeping these together. The engines that were used were diesel engines from Volkswagen, the same that you could find in their rabbit models. They converted these engines so that they could manage to be driven on worn-out green oil. The same type of oil was used in restaurants in their frying pans. To be able to empower different kinds of supposed electrical equipment they got generators from police cars. These are made to charge powerful batteries and support several external users, for example lamps and sound arrangements. All components for the rafts were collected in the area around New York and the engines from California. After collecting everything it was all shipped down to Minneapolis where it all was put together and finalized.
Maybe the armada will go on after the Mississippi, who knows?!