Sensing Site: Expedition on Newtown Creek w/ Jan Mun

Sensing Site: Expedition on Newtown Creek

at North Brooklyn Boat Club on Saturday, October 4th 2014 @ 4-7pm

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Sensing Site is a canoe expedition performed on Newtown Creek, a Superfund industrial waterway that separates Brooklyn and Queens. During the expedition, the cast and audience – who are also participants – improvise their movements along the water in boats while collecting specimens of non-native invasive plants as artifacts in search of what remains of the once pristine natural watershed. The journey is documented on a GPS; the mapping data is converted into a musical composition through a custom-designed software program. This song of the journey will later be used in an interactive art installation that stores the collected plants.

The cast for this expedition is Mara Catalán, a photographer, and her 13 years old daughter, Luna.  Since 1994, Mara has documented herself and Williamsburg unifying worlds that collide in time.  A Place I Once Called Home is a coming of age story of a girl, a Spanish immigrant, who came to live in Williamsburg and became part of its history. Over time as zoning regulations and gentrification brought a new flux of people to occupy the streets, forever changing the neighborhood. Once familiar smells embedded in memory are now gone and the shadows of night disappear – the remnants left for a new generation. Visit for more information.

Jan Mun is the Artist in Residence at Newtown Creek Alliance. Sensing Site is a part of her ongoing social sculpture series, ProfileUS: Invasive Species which explores the biopolitics of immigration of humans and plants through the United States judicial system, and questions the potentiality of loss of life and community in result of prohibitive historical and current laws. Living organisms pose an interface to systems of representation, affording a re-evaluation from the perspective of the immigrant. The project is a series of social sculptures and installations that reveal ‘citizens’ that have not been written into our cultural, judicial, and historical archives.

This program is sponsored, in part, by the Greater New York Arts Development Fund of the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, administered by Brooklyn Arts Council (BAC). With organizational support from the Newtown Creek Alliance and North Brooklyn Boat Club.

All ticket sales will be donated to the North Brooklyn Boat Club. 

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Boat Club Helps End Illegal Oil Dumping in Newtown Creek.

Boat Club helps end illegal oil dumping in Newtown Creek.

Oil spill reaching boat club dock

In April of 2014 boat club members began reporting a series of heavy and vibrant sheens (like the one pictured) on Newtown Creek. In each case, the Department of Environmental Conservation Spill Response was quick to act, but each time unable to find the culprit – until August when an anonymous tipster provided the needed break in the case.

The North Brooklyn Boat Club was conceived, in part, with the belief that getting people on the water, would turn them into stewards of those waters. We are immensely gratified to see this already taking place, and even more gratified to see it acknowledged by others:

We look forward to creating more stewards, and watching these North Brooklyn waters flourish.