Pirates at the Bulb!

At the end of January, on another trip to the Bulb, I was reminded of how rare this kind of open space is in San Francisco or any large western city. Practically all public space is codified, sectioned off, programmed, bounded by civic codes and laws, sanitized, bureaucratized, and unwelcoming to any sort of non-official interference. The Bulb on the other hand, is an anarchic theater of improvisation and surprise.

Two years ago there was a fully staged performance of the Tempest at the bulb for a week. You had to wander around with the players to experience the whole event as it was conducted all over the Bulb. Or  you could just drop in and out as your pursued your own mercurial adventure wandering about in the warm evening air occasionally bumping into the Shakespearean shinanegans.

This trip I discovered a troop of unlikely pirates constructing an ad hoc flotilla of leaky vessels using pallets, yoga mats, water bottles, rope, sticks, whatever. I watched them build a couple of craft and then launch them optimistically towards the Barbary Coast.

Lashing down the deck - the life jacket is an excellent idea!

'Plastiki' eat your heart out!

Destination in sight!

Raising the Jolly Roger

Next stop, the flesh pots of the Barbary Coast - Arrrrggh!

The only trace left behind.

My friend and fellow sculptor Lawrence LaBianca sent me a link to a short film which reminded me of this optimisitc but doomed flotilla. The film made by Behn Zeitlin appeared in Wholphin #7 – a DVD anthology of engaging short films.

Voyages often end up where you might least expect. The preparation, departure, transit  and company you keep is as important as the destination reached.

(Depending on your connection speed, playback will be smoother if you start the video, pause it and then let the video download completely before resuming playback)

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