top of page

BIG TWO-HEARTED: The OUC Hudson River Project



»Nick looked at the burned-over stretch of hillside, where he had expected to find scattered houses of the town and then walked down the railroad track to the bridge over the river.

The river was there.« Ernest Hemingway


The rivers are here — the literal and physical rivers that nourish and refresh us. We live more and more in an artificially-constructed, no longer natural universe where the essence of everything is becoming increasingly perverted. The presence of the river confronts us with the essential facts of life (Thoreau). The river invites intercourse with the elements of nature and augments human experience in order to recreate a »paradigm lost«: the recognition of nature connected with the notion of time, and a reconciliation with ourselves.


»I could hear it rise from the rocks in a groaning wush ululating with the water, sprawlsh, sprawlsh, oom, oom, zooo, all night long the river says zooo, zooo, the stars are fixed in roof tops like ink.« Jack Kerouac


Like Thoreau before him, Kerouac wrote lovingly about the Merrimack, which comes »swooping from a north of eternities. . . .« The Hudson also swoops down from the north and defines the shape and flow of New York City. »Lake Tear of the Clouds« is the river’s true source and the beginning of a 315-mile-long journey towards the ocean where the Hudson swirls in perpetual processes of renewal, i.e. the circle of life. The tip of Manhattan touches the baseline of the river delta, the great estuary that functions as a transitional area where intermingling waters are in constant motion and where the currents flow in two directions.


OUC imagines a project where participants become explorers and adventurers (Cartographers of the Soul).

Artists, writers, scientists, and curators partake in a processual contemplation and mapping of the Hudson river. Reminiscent of the Hudson tidal estuary that remains in constant motion, the exhibition unfolds in ongoing activity at the project headquarters at Church Street, where artistic processes deploy collaborations and exchange within a mode of concurrent production and presentation of status reports (the Cartographies of the Soul). Simultaneously, we will announce daily discoursive platforms for river-discussions, readings, and talks featuring real-time podcast-radio contributions on site.



Eligible artists / explorers / adventurers:

Chloe Bass, investigating human behaviour, self recognition

Olaf Breuning, wit and humour function as key to reaching hitherto impenetrable depths

Alejandro Cesarco, literature; fragile relationships between imagery, language, meaning

Ingo Giezendanner, graphical travel reports

Monica Germann & Daniel Lorenzi, installative mapping

Naeem Mohaiemen, research of histories of failed utopia projects

Nigel Peake, drawings of things that surround him on his walk that day

Marinella Senatore, new narrative forms, generating collective memory through joint action, estman-radio

Fraser Stables, investigative long-term photographic projects


Scientists / River People:

Verplanck Colvin, (1847), wilderness surveyor, cartographer, guiding light

Hudson River Clearwater Program

Hudson River Estuary Program

Lighthouse Keepers



1 November 2014






bottom of page