Friday 23rd September 2016The Worst Ferry Disaster You Never Heard Of
It's not as terrible as the headline sounds, trust me. Instead, it's something far more hilarious.
Recent visitors to New York and Staten Island have been privy to one of the best-kept nonexistent secret tragedies to befall the United States: The Staten Island Ferry Octopus Attack. No, you didn't miss a news headline - it's all an elaborate stunt by artist Joe Reginella to dupe tourists into searching for a nonexistent museum.
Dubbed "Staten Island Ferry Disaster Memorial Museum", the museum was promoted in some fake brochures passed out around the New York area. Some of the more gullible tourists felt the need to excoriate the United States for concealing such a tragic accident, although it's likely that they'll simply pretend they were in on the joke.
A beautiful statue was erected on the Staten Island Ferry Docks for a brief time, commemorating the "disaster", and we can only hope that it will be retained somewhere as an ongoing exhibit, even if it's necessary to inform visitors that it never really happened.
Reginella describes the entire project as "part practical joke, part multimedia art project, part social experiment."
Here's the elaborate description of the event from the website:
"It was close to 4am on the quiet morning of November 22, 1963 when the Steam Ferry Cornelius G. Kolff vanished without a trace. On its way with nearly 400 hundred people, mostly on their way to work, the disappearance of the Cornelius G. Kolff remains both one of New York’s most horrific maritime tragedies and perhaps its most intriguing mystery. Eye witness accounts describe “large tentacles” which “pulled” the ferry beneath the surface only a short distance from its destination at Whitehall Terminal in Lower Manhattan. Nobody on board survived and only small pieces of wreckage have been found…strangely with large “suction cup-shaped” marks on them. The only logical conclusion scientists and officials could point to was that the boat had been attacked by a massive octopus, roughly half the size of the ship. Adding to the tragedy, is that this disaster went almost completely unnoticed by the public as later that day another, more “newsworthy” tragedy would befall the nation when beloved President John Fitzgerald Kennedy was assassinated. The Staten Island Ferry Disaster Museum hopes to correct this oversight by preserving the memory of those lost in this tragedy and educating the public about the truth behind the only known giant octopus-ferry attack in the tri-state area."
Posted on September 23rd 2016 on 07:27pm
Wednesday 06th August 2014Because 'Art', That's Why!
Many people, both artists and non-artists, fall into one of the following categories: those who love modern art, those who are confused by modern art, and those who are confused by modern art but pretend to play along so that other people won't think they 'just don't get it'. Sometimes, it can be hard to tell which category you fall into, and it's possible to transition fairly rapidly between groups, especially when artists seem consistently trying to one-up each other with even more bizarre and conceptually ridiculous projects. It should perhaps come as no surprise, then, that 4chan, those internet superheroes/villains (depending on who you ask, and which day it is), has recently played a vital role in what has to be one of the most ridiculous art sales of all time. Assuming, of course, that the whole thing isn't a hoax.
A 4chan member took a bad digital photograph of a computer screen displaying a post from the 4chan message board, and subsequently sold that photograph on eBay for almost $100,000. Yes, you read that right. Titled, 'Artwork by Anonymous' (anonymous being the appellation given to users of the message board who refuse to provide any other name), the piece sold for $90,900 USD on August 1st, 2014. The seller, named xhacker02, has been a member of eBay since 2007, and has generally positive feedback, and the person who bought the artwork appears not to have retracted the bid. As a sideline of the eBay system, however, it is possible that if the buyer and seller discuss the matter and for whatever reason - say, if this whole thing was a joke/hoax - decide not to go ahead with the transaction, we the lowly viewer will never know that the sale never actually happened. As if that wasn't enough, now there is a similarly styled post entitled Artwork of Artwork By Anonymous, although that has yet to receive any bids.
Does it really matter if the sale happened, however?It's important to realize that much of conceptual artwork happens within us the viewer, rather than that which is projected by the 'artist'. In that case, literally anything is art if it causes us to reflect on the world and our role in it, the role of other actors and objects and life, the universe and everything. Kudos, 4chan. Welcome to the art world.
Posted on August 06th 2014 on 05:53pm