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Phillip Lopate describes the shape of Manhattan Island as‘a luxury liner, permanently docked, going nowhere’. This feeling of being tethered to the land, unable to get to sea, was a feature of New York life for much of the twentieth century. New York was an island without a coast. The West Side piers that once welcomed the Lusitania spent most of the twentieth century crumbling or behind barbed wire, while the East Side’s coves and points were cut off from pedestrians by six lanes of the Robert Moses-designed Franklin Delano Roosevelt Drive. It wasn’t much easier to reach the shores of Brooklyn, Queens or the Bronx, either: with a few exceptions, they were largely reserved for municipal or industrial use, and easiest to see from the Staten Island Ferry (en route to the borough with the most beaches). Now, slowly, the city is reclaiming its shoreline, with some spectacular results.

Gowanus Time Slip Map by Edmund Mooney

This work was created during the WoW/UNY Governors Island Residency. Edmund Mooney was in residence on Governors Island from July 9-22, 2018.


gowanus time slip map.jpg

Materials: Archival ink jet print on paper
Dimensions: 57 x 26 inches

Artist Statement: An 18th-century map of Gowanus Creek was overlaid with a 1990 aerial photo of the Gowanus Canal. The layers were then finessed until a fusion of graphic content was achieved.


Find more about Edmund Mooney at edmundmooney.com.