All Hands On Deck: Report Back

Report back by USDAC Archivist of Past and Future, Kelsey Bryden

We could not have imagined a more beautiful day to ring in the first birthaversary of the USDAC. The floating library may not have set its sails to carry us on any kind of physical journey, though its curious crevasses contributed to the limitless spirit of the day, garnering our sense of emotional voyage.

As we, the stowaway artists, huddled on shore preparing to embark, we informed each other of our methods of engagement. The range was wide—some sang, some typed, some collected wishes, all which lead back to the mission of immersing participants in a world outside of our own. What kind of world, you ask? One wherein humans trust widely and act consciously, corporate entities no longer rule over us, and our global issues are not met with radical cynicism. However unspoken, the collective goal was to transform the daily experience of whomever found themselves moseying through the temporary USS USDAC.

After becoming settled in our various corners of the historic vessel, it was clear that our engagement had an impact on participants. Upon realizing that we were tucked away in every nook, it appeared as though the engaged were excited to find how we the artists would interact with them around the next bend of the ship.

We acted without boundaries of which senses we could enlist, and as the public chose their path they saw, heard, felt, and breathed in the air of our reimagined world of interdependence. 

Bob Holman of Bowery Poetry offered some particularly tingly words:

All hands on deck! & here we go!

There ain't no status in the status quo

Hedge the funds! 'Tis a maritime drift

Awake, ye knaves! To the Paradigm Shift

As our journey neared its close, we reconvened at the ship’s end to reflect on the goings on of the day and the first year of the USDAC. Deputy Secretary Norman Beckett recapped it best in his closing remarks:

By being here today, you’ve become a part of the USDAC storyIndeed, this Department is itself a collaborative work of art that asks everyone to play a part. Of the world’s many limited resources, creativity is not one. We have it in abundant supply and can harness it together, as artists of society, working to widen our collective circle of care.”