On April 28, 2017, we wrote about Wes Modes, an artist and lecturing professor at UC Santa Cruz and crew who built a shanty boat out of found materials and trash and rode down both the Mississippi and the Tennessee Rivers over the course of four years. During that time Modes struck up conversations with a number of the residents up and down the rivers to learn about them, their lives on the river and what first brought them there. From these 100+ conversations, Modes has culled enough to create a trailer for “A Secret History of the American River People”, the hard-won film he set out to create from the start.
Modes gathers personal stories from people living near the river, stories of people living under bridges, fishermen, scientists, bar owners, river rats, artists, boaters, adventurers, and people who’ve lived within sight of the river every day of their lives. Modes seeks out people whose stories are not typically part of the historical record. …In 2014, he launched his untested shantyboat for the first time on the raging Mississippi River only a few weeks after a major flood. Now, Modes, his crew, and dog Hazel have traveled over 1250 river miles, 20,000 miles by land, been featured in numerous articles and exhibitions, conducted over 100 interviews in 10 states and talked to thousands of people about the river
In 2018, Modes and crew are headed to New York for fieldwork on the Hudson River along with exhibitions in New York City and in a half dozen river towns.
We are starting somewhere above Ford Edward, possibly at the start of the Champlain Canal near Whitehall, New York. This would be 256 miles to the mouth of the Hudson and New York Harbor. We’ll pass through the towns of Stillwater, Troy, Albany, Hudson, Catskill, Saugerties, Kingston, Rhinebeck, Hyde Park (of FDR fame), Wappingers Falls, Newburgh, Beacon, Cold Spring, West Point (yes, that West Point), Peekskill, Nyack, Yonkers (and many little towns in between), and finally through The Bronx and down the Harlem River to the East River and Brooklyn.
submitted via Laughing Squid Tips