Sarah Nelson Wright, Laura Chipley, Nathan Kensinger
English Kills Voyage
English Kills Voyage journeys into the waters of the Newtown Creek – one of the most polluted bodies of water in the United States – to explore the English Kills, a contaminated tributary located at the very end this toxic Superfund site in New York City. Filmed entirely using remote control boats, this video was produced as part of The Newtown Creek Armada, a public art project exploring the past, present and future of the Newtown Creek.
The Newtown Creek Armada was created to highlight issues of ecology and environmental justice New York City, bringing community members and concerned citizens together to engage with a polluted, difficult-to-access waterfront. English Kills Voyage was created using new camera technology wedded to low-tech radio-control watercraft, which participants in The Armada were encouraged to utilize as a way to envision there own creative responses to reclaiming the natural waterway in their backyard.
English Kills Voyage was installed outdoors along the Newtown Creek, and was also intended to be screened as a short experimental documentary film, to further extend the ideas of The Armada into the community. The film has gone on to screen in numerous film festivals, gallery exhibits and conferences dedicated to issues of water, climate change, sustainability and socially engaged art.