S E L E C T E D  W O R K S

 

THE BOATEL

2011 Interactive/performative installation moored outside of New York City in Jamaica Bay Queens. A floating hotel and performance space. This piece was a part of the Sea Worthy Exhibition curated by Flux Factory in New York City. It was an arts space made of refurbished salvaged vessels that hosted residents and art-goers for overnight visits, performances and movie screenings. This piece provided a space for New Yorkers to escape to a wilderness found within the urban landscape. The Boatel was a space for communion, observation, nightly performances that engaged the audience to think about the significance of the water and what it means to have an identity that integrates the waterfront. The Boatel hosted a nightly lecture calling upon storytellers, nautical enthusiasts, and city planners working on NY 2020 vision for the NYC waterfront. Over the course of 3 months the Boatel hosted over 5000 people.

 

ALL THESE DARLINGS AND NOW US

2014. Interactive/performative installation in the San Francisco Bay. This is a collection of images of a floating peepshow anchored in the San Francisco Bay comprise of 4 sailboats built into performance spaces for drag and sex shows. Supported by Southern Exposure, I curated and organized more than 25 performance artists, strippers, and drag queens, from two recently shuttered iconic queer businesses, The Lusty Lady and Esta Noche. Each of the performers were invited to create their own performances that took place inside the hulls of each sailboat. Audience members were shuttled in small inflatable boats from shore to the flotilla and viewed the performances through a porthole that was built into each of the boat entrances. I brought in 5 boat captains to host more than 1000 people aboard their boats turned floating stage over the course of 4 nights.

 

PREPARE TO BE UNPREPARED

2016. Interactive/Performative installation in a historic army barrack at Headland’s Center for the Arts. This is an installation shot of the Survival Series piece. It was an immersive performance and installation that inhabited a historic dormitory for soldiers training for WWI and II at Headlands Center for the Arts. For 6 weeks, I lay in bed in this room and spoke with hundreds of visitors about their closely-held interpretations of survival and our country’s future. From these conversations I developed a philosophy on which to base my own personal survival kit. My personal survival kit was held within a handmade boat that I bent out of birch. It is fully functional and floats. I made a lid for the boat so that it could hold my survival belongings and so that it could be transformed into my coffin. It is a life and death boat. Over my 6-week stay at the Headlands, I interviewed and documented 8 different survivalists about their survival kits or emergency bags. Among them were a doomsday prepper, a primitive survivalist, and a red cross volunteer. From these conversations I took notes on the huge whiteboards mounted around the room and then made large format posters documenting the objects in each of their survival kits. I closed the exhibition with a cinematic lecture exploring the things I had learned from people during my stay.

 

THE NOISE CRUISE

2017. A performative installation of an underground noise scene reimagined on a luxury yacht. This project was produced with The Lab and Untitled Art Fair and highlights the ongoing displacement of artists and cultural spaces by bringing audiences to a floating, itinerant version of an underground club. I curated a number of feminist and queer experimental artist with deep ties to the Bay Area: Dynasty Handbag, Kevin Blechdom, Las Sucias, Voice Handler and MSHR. The project hosted an audience of 800 over 4 nights.

 

5TH AVE BOOK PROJECT

2014-2017. Over three years I organized and collaborated with an intergenerational group of working class artists and sailors to create a book documenting the 40 year evolution of their self built neighborhood. This artist colony is located on the waterfront in Oakland, CA.  The project was in response to commercial condo development project threatening to displace the community and limit public access to the waterfront. Over the 3 year collaboration 30 members of the 5th Ave community and I compiled photographs and ephemera from the neighborhood into a digital archive. I photographed portraits of people in their current spaces. Then I edited and designed this lifestyle piece that the community was able to use as a visual resource to present to city officials and potential investors. 

 

UNDERWATER WRESTLING FOR QUEERS

2012. This piece was made in collaboration with Maya Bookbinder in 2012 for the INSTALL:WeHo pop-up, interactive art festival which highlights the collective work of the LGBTQ community in the Greater Los Angeles area. It was a performance piece inviting a mostly queer audience to witness themselves and others wrestle underwater with goggles. An audience of queers were invited to a swimming pool in Mount Washington where the performance took place. The intention was to investigate queer bodies and how their gender signifiers (clothing) change under water. The video was then installed into the back of a U-haul truck and exhibited in West Hollywood.

 

THE TIDE CLOCK

2014. This video installation was created for Southern Exposures Off-Shore Exhibition. This is a projection of footage from the tidal zone near Monterrey Bay. The large center screen has been embedded with a live population clock, counting in real time (taking into account deaths) as the world population grows. Click here for live stream of population clock

TONIGHT INSTALLATION.jpg
 

YOU MAKE A BETTER WALL THAN A WINDOW: THE BILLBOARD

2015. This is a floating advertisement that I designed and floated along the shores of the Oakland Estuary in the Port of Oakland. It is a sign that advertises an open letter addressed to the Port of Oakland. “You make a better wall than a window,” is what my dad used to say to me what I was stood in between him and the TV as a kid. I am now saying this to the Port of Oakland. The letter questions the Ports decisions to sell public land to private condo developers and presents a discussion about a long game for our waterfronts, one with the legacy of the human race in mind. It includes examples of contemporary waterfront developments from all over the world. In the coming year an Augmented Reality component is to be added to the project that will allow people to see what their waterfront has looked like in the past and what it will look like in the future. On the project website, I caution city trustees, “Don’t continue to be a wall between the people of this city and their waterfront; become a true port, a point of access, an organization with relevant and democratic vision.” The letter can be read at: www.youmakeabetterwallthanawindow.com

Screen Shot 2017-11-30 at 3.18.06 PM.png
 

YOU MAKE A BETTER WALL THAN A WINDOW: THE TOUR

An audio tour performance piece by Hockaday aboard a San Francisco Bay Ferry that was broadcasted live from the front of the boat's upper deck to be delivered in real time to our headsets. This piece was described by the East Bay Express as "A metaphorical and literal correlation between possibility and being in bodies of water ... You Make a Better Wall Than a Window manifested as a kind of research-based poetry reading rather than a spectacle. As we passed underneath the Bay Bridge, Hockaday captained an informational voyage, reconceptualizing the water as 'fast moving land' that, considering the flexibility of maritime law, can function as a loophole in the way society organizes space and the way capitalism and convention determine the limitations of our lives. 'No one can own the water,' she said. The simple reminder was dramatically emphasized by the overwhelming vastness of the bay" -East Bay Express

PRESS

 

Hyperallergic | Sarah Burke | A Floating Noise and Drag Club | January 19, 2017

Interview Magazine | Antwaun Sargent | All Aboard | January 13, 2017

KQED | Sam Lefebvre | Nautical Noise: Yachting Against Cultural Displacement? | January 16, 2017

East Bay Express | Sarah Burke | Oceanic Aspirations | December 16th, 2015

Art 21 Magazine | Jayna Swartzman-Brosky | By Invitation Only | July 27, 2015

Fast Company | Adele Peters | To Solve Gentrification Put Everyone on a Boat Until They figure it Out | October 7, 2014

The New York Times | Melena Ryzik | To the Sea in Ships as Naughty as Ever | June 20, 2014

The New York Times | Melena Ryzik | Check In, Swim Out: A Floating Hotel as Art | July 10, 2011

NPR | John Kalish | A Floating Hotel at the Edge of the City | July 25, 2011

The Guardian | Boat hotel at Rockaway Beach, New York | Jane Mulkerrins

CBS New York | Eye On New York : Boggsville Boatel And Boat-In Theater | July 31, 2011

El Pais | Camarote con vistas al gueto | Barbara Celis

inhabitat | Jessica Dailey | Boggsville Boatel Turns Defunct Boats into Floating Hotels for NYC | August 21, 2011

The Wave | Miriam Rosenberg | Boatel: A Little Bit of Heaven in Rockaway | August 19, 211

All That We’ve Met | Constance Hockaday Invokes Her Inner Neutrino | Pauline Pechin

Lunar Camel Co. | at the Boggsville Boatel | August 06, 2011

Nathan Kensinger Photographer | Sleeping in the Sommerville Basin | July 31, 2011

offManhattan | Amanda Coen | A Boatel and Floating Theater Drop Anchor in Far Rockaway | July 26, 2011

Gothamist | Jamie Feldmar | We Visit The Floating Boatel In The Rockaways, And Chat With The Creator | August 01, 2011

treehugger | Kimberley Mok | Old Boat Hotel & Floating Art Installation in NYC | August 23, 2011

Urban Daddy | Dock Hollywood, A Floating Movie Theater in Far Rockaway | July 18, 2011

Velvet Park | Grace Moon | Constance Hockaday’s Boggsville Boatel | August 20, 2011

What Possessed Me | Last Gasp at the Boggsville Boatel | September 06, 2011

Village Voice | Willis Plummer | The Boggsville Boatel, a Boat Hotel and Art Project, is Completely Booked for the Summer | July 12, 2011

Curbed NY | Kelsey Keith | Inside Look at The Boatel’s Floating Nirvana in Far Rockaway | August 02, 2011

HyperAllergic | Jullian Steinhauer | An Adventure at Best, An Art Project at Worst | August 26, 2011

The New York Times | Melena Ryzik and Channon Hodge | If You Build It | July 10, 2011

The New York Times | Yaa Paskova | Water Suites | July 11, 2011

All Voices | Shaziakhan | Cabin Overlooking the Ghetto | August 17, 2011

 

About

My work is about creating portals that get people closer to the water/nature and closer to that feeling of belonging in a place (preferably the place where they live). I have most often looked to the water as place for hosting social sculptures and immersive experiences. The shoreline is a place where many human and non-human interests collide. It is an in between space, a place that requires negotiation, which is why I like to use the shoreline to bring attention to cultural phenomena happening on land. Sometimes I make floating installations and performances that highlight the loss of cultural space on land (a la gentrification or the affects of general systemic violence). Sometimes I create visual art and installations that help me understand the social psychology and democracy of our time. More broadly though, I am interested in understanding how we can better negotiate space. I am interested in collective responses to disaster and the future. I was raised in South Texas, 5 miles from where the Rio Grande River dumps into the Gulf of Mexico. My marine biologist father taught me how to survive in our landscape. For this I am infinitely grateful. In a sense, most of my work is trying to re-create the kind of experiential education he provided me; it is a meditative labor, a practice in hope, and most importantly about an embodiment of the experience of possibility.