Vessels is the genesis of a delicate interplay of time and motion – all-night-long exposures of a Sailing Yacht (S/Y), Motor Yacht (M/Y) or Cruise Ship at rest, drifting around its anchor at the mercy of the ebb and flow of the winds and currents.
Leaving the camera’s shutter open at the smallest aperture (f/64) for up to 8 or 9 hours, from dusk until dawn, little more than the individual light sources from the ship’s superstructure register on the sheet of film – revealing the hidden architectures of movement, the ship powerlessly plots a slow and variable circumnavigation around its anchor at the wind’s command, yawing up and down with each wave, sketching arcs of motion and gyration akin to an electrocardiogram on a leash.
The cycle of the moon and the relative cloud cover in the nights sky moderates the illumination of an otherwise dark expanse of sea and sky – a backdrop of a distant horizon unchanged since the dawn of time. Printed in the negative, the resulting photographs are like layered line drawings whose geometry traces the passage of a ship’s limited motion over the course of a single night at anchor.
Making one exposure each summer night, only a handful of these yield variable winds and conditions sufficient to coax out such abstract and architectural island forms; semi-spherical upturned saucers, unidentified floating objects, foreign bodies…UFO’s…Vessels.