> The Mt. Baldy Expedition Project Archives

                                            The Mt. Baldy Expedition Project Archives  

"We have become so caught up in reading stories such as this that we deem it reasonable and necessary, both for our own sake and as a service to our society, to become explorers and engage in everything we have read explorers engage in. For that reason, we are setting out on a voyage of discovery we have titled The Mt. Baldy Expedition."

    -The Mt. Baldy Expedition Announcement Lecture
    Dogmatic Gallery, March 6, 2004

In 2004, inspired by predecessors such as Ferdinand Magellan and Enrique de Malacca, James Barry and I began a collaborative, mixed media project titled The Mt. Baldy Expedition (see quote). The project's structure was that of a journey of exploration in which we set out to build a sailing dinghy, sail it across Lake Michigan to Mt. Baldy, a sand dune in the Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore, and return to share our findings with the world.

Throughout the six-year project, we continually communicated our activities by creating and exhibiting a series of "mini-projects" designed to act as an invitation to others to participate in the wonder, romance and adventure of commonplace exploration. These projects took, at times, both a serious and whimsical form and included photographic series of the Chicago lakefront, bird watching and plant identification; lectures on the history of exploration and its ties to contemporary globalization, the history of contemporary and historic boat building materials, and workshops on knot tying and the history of rope; text pieces such as an interview with our parents exploring the topics of play, learning and risk and a letter writing campaign to world leaders; illustrations such as a paper boat pattern of our expeditionary sailing dinghy and a booklet of nautical knots. We began publishing a blog, The Push Forward Chronicles, soon into the project to keep our audience and donors informed of our progress. We used it to post updates, photographs from shipbuilding at the MTBE Boatworks, projects, and lists of donors and sponsors.

At right, documentation of these mini-projects, along with a collection of artifacts, chronicles moments of the Mt. Baldy Expedition from the inception with the announcement lecture to the conclusion with the boat launch.

The Mt. Baldy Expedition Announcement Lecture (Dogmatic Gallery/2004)
The plans for the Boutez en Avant (Artifact/2004)
Exploratory Photographs: Water and Sky, Chicago Lakefront -
Exhibit & Performance (Gallery 2/2004)
The Mt. Baldy Expedition burgee (Artifact/2004)
The Push Forward Chronicles Issue 1 (Blog/2004)
Letter to Pope Benedict XVI (2005)
A Lecture on the State of Discovery in which The Mt. Baldy Expedition Participates in a Rendition of John Cage's Musicircus on September 25, 2005 at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago, Illinois, U.S.A. (MCA/2005)
The Cut-and-Assemble Boutez en Avant (MCA/2005)
Conversations with our Parents on the Topics of Everyday Exploration, Play, Learning and Risk (interReview Magazine/2005)
Equipment Test #2: The MTBE Official Burgee (Gallery 400/2006)
The MTBE operating budget (Artifact/2006)
Building photos from the MTBE Boatworks/The Push Forward Chronicles Issue 2 (2006)
The Mt. Baldy Expedition's Nautical Knot Workshop (VONZWECK/2006)
The Push Forward Chronicles Issue 3 (Blog/2007)
The Quest for Planking: a Report on Douglas-fir, Jequitiba, and Meranti Plywood, (WLUW/Mess Hall/2007)
The Push Forward Chronicles Issue 4 (2007)
Excerpts from the Mt. Baldy Expedition's Collection of Natural Philosophy in Chicagoland (Book 2/2008)
Radio Show: Neighborhood Public Radio's American Life (Whitney Museum of American Art/2008)
Weather Journal (Artifact/2008)
"How do you see your art practice as an act of exploration?" (Chicago Artist's Resource Artist's Story/2008)
To-do list (Artifact/2008)
The Push Forward Chronicles Issue 5 (Blog/2009)
The Launch (Event/2010)