We all live in our antique submarine


imaginative/anachronistic illustration of the Bushnell Turtle
unknown artist

Submarine artist/tattoist Duke Riley and compatriots were cited Friday morning in NYC for towing a “strange-looking” replica Revolutionary War sub near the Queen Mary 2. The strange sub is apparently modeled on the Bushnell Turtle. Several Turtle recreations have tested, including one by the students of Old Saybrook High School.

Riley’s version can be seen in action in this flickerset:


And here’s a lovely steampunk version of the Turtle by Rick and Laura Brown (2003):


The Browns’ sub model is prettier, but Duke Riley handily wins the contest for best artist’s statement:

My work addresses the prospect of residual but forgotten unclaimed frontiers on the edge and inside overdeveloped urban areas, and their unsuspected autonomy.

I had to read that one a few times. And it gets weirder. According to Riley’s website,

From 1992 to 1997, I lived and worked in an 8 by 10 foot pigeon coop constructed out of a widow’s walk on the roof of an old dilapidated building in Providence, RI. I shared the space with both domestic and street pigeons.

Wouldn’t it have been great if he took pigeons along in the Turtle?

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