Bike Tour and Public Actions

The WATERWAYS bike tour along the Brooklyn Waterfront Greenway, with stops for viewing actions along the greenway and culminating in a water tasting.

Sunday, October 4th, 11:30 am – 1:30 pm:  Brooklyn Waterfront Greenway
Meeting point: 11:30 am at the Brooklyn Greenway Initiative´s booth at Atlantic Antic, Brooklyn

In association with the Brooklyn Greenway Initiative:

Bike tour and public actions, as described by Klara Elenius:

096 IMG_4203On Sunday, October 4th, 11:30 am – 1:30 pm, we did a bike ride in Brooklyn with actions along the way.  We met at the Brooklyn Greenway Initiative’s booth at Atlantic Antic, the Brooklyn fall festival in Brooklyn Heights.  From there we biked north, through Dumbo, Williamsburg and Greenpoint, to our end stop at Newtown Creek – one of the most polluted waterways in NYC. 15 people showed up on this beautiful sunny Sunday and several more joined us spontaneously along the way. The Brooklyn Waterfront Greenway is designed as bike and walking paths separated from the traffic and will run as close to the water as possible.  The project is not completed yet in the part of Brooklyn where we biked, but it is taking shape and you can see the progression of bike paths along the way, moving from a painted line to independent bike lanes.  108 IMG_4217Surrounded by old industrial buildings and fences, there are still not a lot of possibilities to enjoy the actual waterfront in this area, but there are a few openings that permitted us to go all the way to the water, and with the Greenway Initiative’s admirable effort, these openings will expand in the near future.

118 IMG_4234We made three stops for public actions in parks situated along the East River. This journey was designed as a “best of” collection of our previous actions, showing small pieces from each brought together in a new frame.  At the first stop on the bike ride, you could experience dancers on the shore, set to music heard within headphones, and you could have a closer look at the park, the city and the dancers through binoculars.  At the second stop, we had a percussionist playing on dry ice with different metal objects.  These vibrating sounds enclosed the visual experience of the vapour of the dry ice and the melting of mini glaciers placed in the same area.  At our last stop at Newtown Creek, dancers guided the audience into the park through long concrete aisles, where live water music was performed. The pathway and bike tour culminated in a water tasting, where people could compare sips of tap water, spring water and salt water.

Thanks to the Brooklyn Greenway Initiative for all their help in organizing this bike ride!


2012: Art, The City, and The Environment – Oct 3

Paul D. Miller and Waterways collaborate as part of 2012:  Art, The City, and the Environment.

Human Glacier

Human Glacier begins at 7 pm and melts.  Sound by Paul D. Miller continues through the evening.
Saturday, Oct 3rd:  The Drop | Chelsea, W25th St at 10th & 11th Ave, NYC

069 DSC03110Human Glacier is a literal enactment of the melting of a glacier.  This collaboration with Paul D. Miller is an extension of Waterways, a project integrating architecture, ecology and dance, with the participation of Emma Nordanfors, Klara Elenius, and Karina Dichov-Lund of E.K.K.O, Lucy Hg of the League of Imaginary Scientists, Annie Kwon, David Garin and Matt McBane.  A partial list of dancers includes:  Frida Danell, Irene Hsi, Ea Verdoner Jaocbsen, Johanna Moritz, Kristina Skovby, Madeleine Söderberg, Carmela Torchia, and Marie Vestermark.  This performance is supported by iLAND, Inc, The Danish Arts Council, and the Danish Actors Association.

More information about the event is at Yoko Ono’ssite:

Paul D. Miller’s site:

085 DSC03266

Matt McBane on Human Glacier:

A part of the Waterways project, Human Glacier is a dance piece that I came on board for late in the process. For the preliminary steps in the creative process I will relay what was told to me by the other group members:


The idea for the piece came from work with dancers in the studio by Waterways collaborators Karina, Emma, Klara, Annie and Lucy. The Waterways project had been dealing with the melting of glaciers as one of many subjects throughout its residency, and out of this came the idea of creating a dance piece on this subject. What developed in the studio was a piece in which the dancers clumped together with arms raised to simulate an unmelted glacier and, simulating melting, very slowly collapsed to be completely limp on the floor.

After hearing the Waterways team using dry ice as a percussion instrument in a different event, Paul D. Miller/DJ Spooky expressed interest in collaborating with them in a performance piece at an art show he was participating in. His idea was to incorporate the piece into his installation relating to glaciers and to provide the sound including using dry ice. From there they set up the dress rehearsal at the art space.

This is the point of development at which I came on board in the project:

For the dress rehearsal we had a larger number of dancers (including Karina, Emma and Klara) than the choreographers had for the first rehearsals to create a larger and denser “glacier”. The dancers all wore loose-fitting, hooded, white Tyvex suits with grey booties that made the individual dancer more anonymous and the collected group look like a glacier. For this run-through, the dancers entered one-by-one and assumed their position in the glacier. Once everyone was in place, a timer started the count-down of 15 minutes over which the dancers very gradually collapsed to the ground. At the end of this process, they left one-by-one as they had come. The effect of this run-through was stark, minimalist and meditative.

Paul was unable to be at this dress rehearsal, but arrived in time to see video of it and share some of his sonic ideas and explain where his installation would be and work on how to incorporate the dance piece.

For the performance, there was a sense of improvisation and chance as the sounds and dance had been developed separately. The event (the opening for the art show) had more of a cacophonous party atmosphere than I expected and it completely changed the feel of the piece from meditation to spectacle. As MC of the piece, Paul was adept at harnessing the energy of the crowd and focusing it on the piece and making it an exciting event. His sound-design consisted of overtone-based-yet-slightly-clubby drones generated by an application on his iPhone along with chimes and dry ice played accoustically. The chimes were shaken in the air and dragged over the dry ice, which sent them vibrating creating pitched buzzing sounds. Overall, the piece made a very strong impression at the show although in the more party-like atmosphere lost some of the meditative qualities that I found appealing in rehearsal.


At DUMBO Art Under the Bridge Festival

HARBOR MOVEMENT with Waterways
/part of the D.U.M.B.O. Art Under the Bridge Festival:

HARBOR MOVEMENT on board the water taxi in the East River
Fri–Sun, Sept. 25-27, 2009: 7-9 pm, free 1/2-hr tours from the dock at Fulton Ferry Landing


Harbor Movement, as described by Klara Elenius:

Harbor Movement was an event on the water, embarking from the Fulton Ferry Landing under the Brooklyn Bridge, Sept. 25-27, 2009.

Seven strange captains invited people at the pier to go onboard our boat and experience the East River in an unusual way.  They whistled, they pointed and directed tourists and visitors to the boat.

Harbor Movement was part of the D.U.M.B.O. Art Under The Bridge Festival, and our event took place on and around the water taxi.  A diverse audience of festival visitors, tourists, small children, young and old people joined us during our twelve different boat rides on the last weekend of September.

052 DSC03000 finaleWhile entering the boat, participants were handed binoculars to be used to get a closer look at the city and the landscape of light that surrounding it and the boat.  These cruises took place from sunset at 7 pm until the last ride that ended at 9 pm.  Complementary to this architectonic experience, the boat “danced” in a choreographed route, twirling and making unusual movements as a water soundtrack played in the boat’s speaker system.  Together, these simple components created an intense experience of being ON the water IN the city.  Finally, getting off the boat, out to the pier again – the captains applauded the journey and welcomed the audience back from their floating reality to a more grounded one.

046 DSC02945To be on East River at night, on a boat that pirouettes and weaves through the water, with Manhattan and Brooklyn and their connecting bridges as a spectacular backdrop, was a strong physical and visual experience.

I heard some people say, this wasn’t at all what I expected, but it was an amazing experience.  I like when people don’t get what they expect.

WATERWAYS at ConfluxCity

WATERWAYS ConfluxCity Performance at the Williamsburg Waterfront

NY waterways formed 11,000 years ago and have since changed shape and course in response to glacial movement and human development.
WATERWAYS presents a fluid timeline connecting past to present and nature to a city.


Sunday, Sept. 20th, from 1-3 pm, the Waterways group launched the second project action at the Williamsburg Waterfront in the East River State Park in Brooklyn in relation to Conflux city 2009.

The action
This event was formed around a series of site-specific water stories flowing from personal interactions, kinetic experiences, and possible past and future scenarios. A fluid timeline connecting past to present and nature to a city.

Incorporated in the park and city, different actions occurred at different scales:

  • dancers were performing at 3,000 feet, across the river, only to be to be viewed through on site binoculars.
  • at 300 feet, other dancers blended with people enjoying a sunny day by the park beach.
  • at 3 feet miniature glaciers, which could be held in the palm of the hand – was melting, reveling things from the past and the present that is and has been hiding in the water.
  • and yet another place dancers were “swimming” in what might be the future waterline in 50 years.
  • viewers had the possibility of listening to a pre-recorded water score as they were watching the different actions. Or they could choose to engage with the on-site percussionist performing with the sounds of dry ice. (Dry ice is uniquely resonant when the evaporating carbon dioxide interacts with metal).

Apart from the key Waterways group this event was joined and performed by the dancers Carmela Torchia, Irene Hsi and Kristina Skovby.

039 S5000458bReflections:
Sunday the 20th of September was a really sunny and nice day and the park was packed with people in a way that it hadn’t been in the prior weeks, when we had been there to rehearse and plan out this action. Most of the people were in the park just to hang out and not to experience or relate to an art action. And they would just coincidentally stumble upon a strange cardboard fish swimming above water or the sound of the dry ice because they happened to sit or walk close by.

042 CIMG1024They had a brief meeting with something they didn’t expect and then moved on. Some laughed. Some got annoyed that people would stop and face them or stare in there direction, because something was going on right behind were they were sitting. These small interactions were something we didn’t really count on but they turned out to be maybe the best part of the day.

044 IMG_3984Along with the different actions we planed out a structure for viewing them from a center station. But as it turned out the structure didn’t really function the way we thought it would. People viewing from there, were engaging in completely their own ways. Some would stay for a long time just watching the city across the river through the binoculars handed out to them. Others would stay and listen to the different water scores in the headphones. They searched for and found things that excited them. But many completely missed several of the actions we planed for them to experience as part of a whole. In that way the piece ended up being much more open than it was thought out to be from the beginning. And I guess in many ways that lines up with the whole idea of working site specific.

031 CIMG1023You get gifts you didn’t know was there – through the interactions with the given surroundings and you have to deal with surprises – in a more or less controlled way. You never know when a sleeping drunk is in the place where you are supposed to perform. Or a flock of birds have chosen to use the concrete platform you planned to draw on, as their personal bathroom, so you have to clean up bird shit before you can get to it. Basically you need to expect any thing – and I guess that is what is so fascinating about site-specific work. You have to go with the flow and just see where the experience takes you.

– thoughts from Karina