FP: You’ve been living on board for a week so far. What have been the biggest challenges?
MM: Well, we don’t have our electricity set up yet, which has been a huge problem. Our plumbing is also not completed yet, but in a couple of days, the system should be done. As for the living experience, it’s beautiful being on the water, and I love being rocked to sleep at night, and waking up with the sunrise.
FP: The project has a dual focus of art and sustainable living. Where do you see the connection between them?
MM: I think if we create an artistic platform and bring artists here who are doing art about sustainability, or whose art simply makes the space richer, I think we’ll produce a mutually influential atmosphere. I don’t know what the outcome is going to be, but bringing people together whose worlds don’t normally collide, I’m sure will create very interesting results.
FP: You’re a working artist. How do you feel that the project has affected your own work?
MM: Working in a collaboration like this has been very challenging, and I’ve had to learn to step back — I’m used to being able to control the aesthetics of everything, but this has been more like a collage of people’s ideas coming together! The logistics also had to be taken into account. We don’t have a huge budget and we’re relying very much on recycled material. We need to think about how we can make it function well whilst still trying to fulfill the aestethic direction and vision that I have. It’s been a huge learning process for me.
FP: What sort of visitors are you hoping to attract?
MM: We really want to attract a diverse, curious audience. I’m hoping that passers-by will just see it and want to come on board. We’ve also already arranged visits from various school groups and scientific learning programs.
FP: Where do you see the project going beyond the summer?
MM: We have two ideas: one is to keep it going, evolving and improving in different forms, and the other is to get the plans for this structure online so that other people can create community based living projects like this.
FP: Do you think undertaking this project will change the way you live?
MM: Definitely. I mean, this cabin room is like the size of my apartment, so it’s hardly a shift! I’ve been living a fairly mobile lifestyle for a long time, and this has inspired me, if anything, to continue to do so.
Images courtesy of Alan Parker, a New York-based photographer and stylist.