In Ferrying, I look to reveal the subtleties and diverse moments aboard a handful of ships which represent a one hundred year-old staple of municipal transportation.

I hadn’t begun riding the boat (as it’s affectionately known to locals) regularly until mid-1998. And in the next several years, much would change. The lax atmosphere and cast of both official and unauthorized boat regulars were held to greater scrutiny after 9/11 and the crash of the Andrew Barberi Ferry in October 2003. The vendors and musicians largely disappeared, the shoe-shine guys finally packed it in. The preachers? Maybe they just gave up.

Still, each day was--and continues to be--a new venture during the 5.2 mile cruise across New York Harbor. First intrigued by sounds---conversations, myriad stories, and vocal characteristics---it soon became my visual canvas guiding me into the mix of commuters, tourists, or peeking in on a glimpse of romance, or a portrait of solitude. At once, a multi-cultural mix of contrasting social itineraries are created aboard a moving vessel at sea which hosts nearly 65,000 guests each day. It is this complexity and oddity I attempt to dissect and preserve.

A 1971 photograph by Garry Winogrand of the Statue of Liberty Ferry stands as a nostalgic time-piece of inspiration. Today, a new memory is being charged while the ever-present harbor sets a changing tone from night to day, from season to season.

On a muggy August night, a man sitting alone begins to howl and shriek incessantly. He doesn’t leave his seat. He attracts the attention of passersby around him. People glance over, annoyed, and begin to move away. The police approach, calm the man down and threaten arrest. Repentant, the howling man gains composure and is left with a souvenir…a summons to appear in court. | Exhibited in the Human Condition show 2008.

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