Cruising Active Transport

We left San Francisco on September 7th 2008 and are off to see the world in our Tayana 37 Pilot House cutter.

06 June 2015 | Ballard Locks, Seattle
06 June 2015 | Blake Island, Puget Sound
23 May 2015 | Seattle
24 November 2014 | Seattle, Washington
13 October 2014 | Seattle, Washington
30 September 2014 | Seattle
24 September 2014 | Ballard Washington
23 September 2014 | Friday Harbor
21 September 2014 | Causeway Floats, James Bay
20 September 2014 | Victoria, BC, Causeway floats
19 September 2014 | Cadboro Bay
18 September 2014 | Ganges Harbor, Salt Spring Island, BC
17 September 2014 | Silva Bay
17 September 2014 | Straits of George
14 September 2014 | Campbell River
13 September 2014 | Good Day
12 September 2014 | A bay with no name on Helmcken Island
11 September 2014 | Sointula, Malcolm Island, BC

MONA, a llife changing experience

29 March 2012 | Hobart Tasmania
John
I apologize for being a few days late with our blog entries about sightseeing in Hobart. A major reason is that I really needed time to digest the experience of going to the Museum of New and Old Art (MONA).

The picture at the top of this blog entry is a photograph of the MONA building that I lifted off the internet. None of my pictures did it justice.

There are two dilemmas involved with describing MONA. One is that a lot of the best pieces would be considered profane by many people , so I have had a hard time figuring out how to describe the experience politely. The other is that its totally unlike any museum either of us has ever seen and I'm sure one visit was not enough to let us figure out what the place is all about.

One floor was closed for the installation of a new exhibit while we were there.

MONA is made up of the private art collection of a Tasmanian named David Walsh. Walsh is a very wealthy man with and incredibly developed imagination about how his collection should be displayed. I have not researched it but someone told me he made his money in gambling. I guess my source meant games of chance gambling not the stock market kind. Either way, MONA makes it pretty obvious that he is someone who has figured out what to do with his money. He has built an impressive monument.

If you are in Australia it is worth the effort to get to Tasmaina, if only to see this museum. If you are not in Australia, this place is a reason to travel here.

The building is stunning. It is carved out of a limestone cliff face on the bank of the Derwent river. . You enter on the top floor and are advised to start at the bottom and work your way up. You can either walk down the circular stair case or descend in a circular glass elevator (aka "Lift"). We walked down and when we were finished at the top we walked back down to get our elevator ride up. Its a cool elevator.

Nothing in the museum is labeled. That is something my aging eyes and back appreciate. I did not need to bring my "museum glasses" which are cheap reading glasses that have a magnification that works for things that are farther away than my regular reading glasses can focus but not far enough away that my unaided vision works. Im also getting tired of museums that put the labels at heights that work for people in wheel chairs or for Michael Dunn. If they want to put wheel chair accessible labels up why can't them put a set for people who are average height, too?

Anyway, I digress. Instead of labels MONA hands you an iphone to wear around your neck. The iphone figures out what exhibits you are near and brings up multiple levels of information about each piece. You can read as much as you want about the things that interest you. Sometimes there is Audio included. Shawn used his iphone to get maps to our next destination (Kmart) as the iphones also provide internet access. You could even check your email.

The big thing at MONA is the collection and we were there when there was a temporary exhibition of the work of someone I had never heard of but who is the most brilliant modern artist I have ever encountered. Wim Delvoye is Belgan who lives in Ghent. He was born in 1965, the year I graduated from high school. Delovye paints, carves, casts things in bronze and uses photography. He also uses laser cut steel and car tires in his sculptures. He has used live pigs as a canvas for tattoo art.

I think it would challenge an art critic for the "New Yorker" to describe MONA. How the works on display fit into the continuum of modern art and old is something Im not equipped to do,. I do want to communicate the impact this place can have on someone like me who does not know much about art but, hopefully, recognizes quality when he sees it. In a brief movie Delvoye mentioned his distain for modern artists who paint like Chimps. He is not one of those.

Wim Delvoye showed me things I would never have thought to appreciate. His observations about life, as expressed through is art, are a very powerful thing to experience.

Ill just provide a brief description of the Delvoye works that left an impression on me and also mention some of the other works we saw.

Mona records your visit through your iphone and give it to you online. You can access my visit by going to the following site and entering my email address ([email protected]).

http://mona.net.au/theo/


We started our tour on the bottom floor and the first work we came across was kinetic water sculpture. I had not figured out the iphone thing at that point so its not included on my recorded tour. This sculpture is a 20 foot long bar that is suspended,horizontaly, about a story and a half above the floor. Every second or two a computer controlled array of solenoid valves, in the bar, release drops of water in a pattern that results in water falling in a way that shows the most googled headlines from the internet. The letters are close to a meter high and, as the array of drops fall, they become less well associated and eventually become unreadable before they crash into the floor. The lighting is designed to allow you to easily read the words as they fall. It is a mesmerizing piece.

We quickly found ourselves in the Delvoye exhibits.

The first works were bronze castings of various religious and anatomical objects. One piece was a 25 foot long double helix in polished cast bronze. The helix was made up of distorted images of the crucified Christ.. The Crucifixes were stretched and twisted to force them into the double helix structure.

Another piece was a polished stainless steel case for a motorcycle, including the motorcycle inside the partially opened case.

The first of Delvoye piece that really got my attention was a display of 14 enlarged radiographs where he had posed dead rats as the actors in the stations of the cross. On my iphone each radiograph's description included the biblical verse describing what was going on at the particular station of the cross.

Shawn was first to realize the irony of this exhibit when he said that mice would never do such cruel things to a member of their own species.

There was an exhibit of car tires (tyres in Tassie) carved in traditional Chinese motifs by Chinese craftsmen. It is a testimony to Delvoye's imagination that he could see the possibilities that something as mundane as tyres offered.

One room was dedicated to delft style paintings of windmills, and other typical delft scenes, but they were done on propane bottles like we use for our gas grills in the states. Some of the paintings we done on shovels. For something like this to work it has to be extremely well executed and Delvoye shows himself to be a very accomplished painter.

Another room is dedicated to tanned pig hides that are decorated with tattoos. Delvoye owned a pig farm in China (probably the only country where he could get away with it) where his staff raised the pigs and where he and other tattoo artists under his supervision could work on elaborate tattoos on the backs of the pigs. The pigs were allowed to grow to large size and were killed for their hides. I doubt that the rest of the pigs went to waste in a Chinese village.

The images he selected include on elaborate design centered on a picture of Osama bin Laden and another featured the princesses from Disney cartoons. Snow White and Tinkerbell were included. He also had one hide that was a repeating pattern of high fashion logos that he discovered are very popular on pirated goods in China.

The other tattoo art of Delvoye that was arresting is called Tim. It is a guy named Tim who is a musician from Melbourne Australia who has had his back tattooed in very elaborate Delvoye designs. The skin off Tim's back has already been sold to a collector who will get possession upon Tim's demise. Tim removes his shirt and sits on a pedestal in front of one of the few windows in this museum. Time just sits there with his back to the passing crowd.

The crown jewel of the Delvoye exhibit is named Cloaca. It is a 70 foot long and 12 foot high process chemical reactor that replicates the human digestive tract. It is fed twice a day through an insinkerator garbage disposal mounted under a polished stainless steel sink.

The cloaca consists of half a dozen glass bioreactors with feed lines and probes to allow control of the digestive process by an industrial process control computer. The device looks like something that might be used in a pilot scale biotechnology plant to manufacture a drug or other complex biochemical. Instead it is designed to manufacture poo. Every day at 2:00 PM the cloaca eliminates the product of the prior 24 hours of production.

We are always marveling at robots that can mimic human activities. Delvoye's cloaca seems to be saying that it is imitating a human activity to is frequently overlooked, i.e., poo manufacturing.

Do do this Delvoye had to build a machine the size of small truck. One can only imagine what sort of scale up would be needed if he wanted to build a cloaca on the scale of a Rush Limbaugh or Newt Gingrich.

Delvoye also had a display of what he calls "Anal Kisses". He put lipstick on peoples anuses and had them make "kisses" on paper. The detail that made this work special is that he used stationary from 5 star hotels from all over the world. MONA has greyed out these images on their web site but you can easily see them by googling the subject. Like most of Delvoye's ideas, you wont find a sea of similar things on google.

There is also a life size model of a cement truck ,outside the museum, that Delvoye made from laser cut steel so it looks like a gothic cement truck. There are also several sculptures inside the museum made from laser cut stainless steel.

This long blog entry barely scratches the surface of the Delvoye exhibit but Im moving on to a couple of the other things that impressed us.

An Australian named Daniel Mudie was very moved by Tina Turners song "Proud Mary" so he has taken it upon himself to do a lip synched music video of the song every 5 years of his adult life to record his aging. The museum has monitors with the two most recent versions on display. This is already an interesting exhibit and one can only imagine what it will be like in 10 or 20 years.

The other modern thing that we really enjoyed is a karaoke room with 30 monitors featuring 30 different people performing Madonna's complete "Immaculate Collection" Album. The performers were a 50:50 mix of male and females. They all appeared to be 35 or younger. They are all non native English speakers and homeless. This display is hysterically funny. Some of the performers sing the background parts too. One was a drag queen who stopped to reapply makeup between songs. Some of the performers tried to mimic Madonna and others took liberty with the musical ornaments.

The museum also contained a lot of old art that was, for the most part, nicely displayed and explained on our iphones. There were collections of Roman Coins and Egyptian mummy cases and scarabs. The only issue I had with the exhibit of the coins is that they put them in tall cases where the coins were mounted from my knee height to just over my head so it was uncomfortable to get into a position to view many of them. They were also mounted so you could only see one side of the coins.

I will post some of our photos of the exhibits we saw. Unfortunately a lot of the photography on the MONA site does not do justice to the exhibits.

MONA belongs on everyone's bucket list.
Comments
Vessel Name: Active Transport
Vessel Make/Model: Tayana 37 PH
Hailing Port: San Francisco, California
Crew: John and Shawn
About: John and Shawn left San Francisco in September of 2008 to sail around the world.
Extra: This blog is intended for friends and family who may or may not be sailors. It is not intended to provide technical details of any of the boat's systems. Its purpose is to keep friends up-to-date on our progress and, whereabouts
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Created 25 March 2009
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21 Photos
Created 25 March 2009
Several of the students at our spanish school (Se Habla La Paz) got together to attend las luchas libres or mexican wrestling matches at club deportivo Corona. The photos and video clips in this gallery give a pretty good idea of what it was like.
1 Photo
Created 17 January 2009
We picked up some junk on our prop while motoring from Puerto Escondido to San Evaristo. The pics in this album provide a few details
3 Photos
Created 9 January 2009
Mulege located about 40 miles south of Santa Rosalia on Highway 1. The town dates back to the beginning of the 18th century where its fresh water river was an obvious attractant to explorers and exploiters alike (conquistadors and missionaries). Since there is no safe anchorage within walking distance of Mulege we decided to take a bus down while we were this close.
17 Photos | 1 Sub-Album
Created 22 December 2008
Santa Rosalia is as far north as we are going in the Sea of Cortes. It is a little over halfway up the sea. Santa Rosalia was built as part of the deal that the French mining company, called Boleo, made with the Mexican Government in the latter half of the nineteenth century. The copper smelting plant is now closed but takes up as much space as the downtown area. There are still some well preserved buildings from the French time here and a lot of train relics around town.
17 Photos
Created 21 December 2008
Photos taken during our trip ashore in the remote coastal town of Bahia Tortugas.
6 Photos | 1 Sub-Album
Created 26 November 2008
Photos from this leg of our trip
12 Photos
Created 25 November 2008
While we were in southern California and had access to a mooring at the marine lab we were able to have several friend visit us for short cruises to the island. This album contains pics of some of those cruises
11 Photos
Created 26 October 2008
The photos in this album show details of our visit to the USC marine lab on Catalina Island.
3 Photos
Created 17 October 2008
This album contains pictures of anchorages, coastline details and people. These photos were taken during our sail down the coast toward Southern California
19 Photos
Created 17 October 2008
This album contains photos from the party we had prior to our departure.
12 Photos
Created 15 September 2008
Pictures from our first few days at sea.
6 Photos
Created 15 September 2008
We wanted to characterize the performance of our refrigerator/freezer so we would spot any problems early. We found this clever device on line that allows us to get a detailed record of the temperature inside the freezer and graph it conveniently.
3 Photos
Created 21 July 2008
We decided to replace our running backstays. The ones the builder provided were too short. This meant another trip up the mast for Shawn. This time he took the camera with him.
2 Photos
Created 11 July 2008
Well, it does not really "make" water. What it does is turn sea water into fresh water.
9 Photos
Created 11 July 2008
Someone on board needs to be willing and able to climb the mast when the need arises . Since we had a couple of tasks that needed to be taken care of before we shove off, Shawn volunteered to
3 Photos
Created 21 April 2008
This album contains a collection of photos of some of the small details that we think have worked out well for us. Many of the ideas are not original with us. As a matter of fact, some of the better ones were stolen (borrowed) from what we have seen on other boats or read about.
13 Photos
Created 2 April 2008
This album will be used to accumulate pictures of the various solutions we are using to reduce power consumption by converting old fashioned incandescent lights to more efficient technologies
3 Photos
Created 31 March 2008
The photos in this album show the boat shortly after it was commissioned. I will post another album after we have finished our modifications and are ready to shove off.
8 Photos
Created 26 March 2008
The yard provided pictures of the boat at various stages of construction and I have assembled a few of them here to show the process.
7 Photos
Created 26 March 2008
This album contains some pics of the modifications we made to the lockers that run along each side of the pilot house.
4 Photos
Created 5 March 2008
These pics show what we did to bring our 30 year old dingy back to life and a couple of enhancements we made that make this a serviceable tender for Active Transport
6 Photos
Created 20 February 2008
These photos show various stages of the construction of the refrigerator box on Active Transport.
9 Photos
Created 1 February 2008

On the hook in Tomales Bay

Who: John and Shawn
Port: San Francisco, California