C U R R E N T P R O J E C T s
FLOATING WHITE HOUSE
Coming in 2021. Floating White House is a site-specific performance and installation aboard Franklin Delano Roosevelt's presidential ship, The USS Potomac. This ship is where FDR did much of his writing and thinking until his death in 1945, including his famous "Fireside Chats," which reached people across America via the airwaves. FDR's broadcasts to the nation were very much a barometer for what the country was going through politically and socially during a very difficult period for this country and the world at large. It was the first time in history that a president had used nascent radio technology to intimately transmit his voice into the living rooms of the American people. Over six weeks audiences will be invited aboard the Potomac, currently docked in Oakland, CA. The vessel transforms into an immersive performance space, social club environment, and national broadcasting station centered around community addresses that recreate FDR's Fireside Chats for the country today.
FureHellNow is part of an ongoing inquiry into American ideas of disaster and the future. Sometimes I refer to this part of my practice as my Survival Series. FutureHellNow is both an installation and a performance space where I have constructed a potential domestic reality that integrates the less visible but ever present alarm and panic that is perpetual inside me/us. In this project I am exploring the neurological processes triggered in emergency survival scenarios and clumsily playing with how to apply them to slow motion disasters of global and historical proportions. During gallery hours audience members will find a note on the nightstand that reads: “Welcome to FutureHellNow, Please come inside and explore the space. No shoes on the bed, but if you take them off you are welcome under the covers. I have left some reading material for you on the nightstand and some ear plugs if you need to nap".
Old Man, Dance
Old Man, Dance Work In Progress. In April 2019 I enlisted 5 white men over the age of 65, all of whom are not performers, to explore white male performances of power. We entered into an agreement to subvert the white male gaze, by instead placing my queer gaze onto their bodies. I am curious to explore my impulses towards them - to not distance myself from white men no matter how bad I want to, but instead explore the possibilities of directing them into shapes that might be loving, healing, productive, or cathartic. So far, it’s impossible for them to make the right shape but there has been something very meaningful in watching their bodies be of service and up against impossible odds.
PAST P R O J E C T s
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.
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.
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
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
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.
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.