In the spirit of presenting new/different ways of life and promoting the work of friends, I bring you Spiral Island.
In 1998, artist Richart “Rishi” Sowa began construction on an island home off the coast of Mexico. “Construct an island?” you say, “Construct an island!” I say.
The island, isn’t so much an island as much as it was a pile of floating trash. Sowa collected plastic bottles of all types and attached them together with various nets and other apparatuses. Upon this floating mass, he slowly brought in dirt from the mainland, trees and other plants. Slowly, the island grew and he was able to live completely off of the land. Pretty amazing. Pretty ingenious.
Until the hurricane hit and ruined the whole thing. That was in 2005. Sowa began constructing a larger, more sea-worthy vessel, dubbed Joyxee Island. This off the coast of Cancun. It’s much bigger, closer to shore and offers year round tours. Currently, he’s attempting to raise money to bring the island out to sea – this time, however, Mexico is recognizing his island as a sea craft, forcing him to have all legal permits and meet all codes. Bummer. Kills the spirit of the art/life combination, in my opinion.
I’m not sure of the status of the Island currently, but in similar news, Vern Moen, good friend and owner of the Long Beach Film Company has been working on a documentary about another plastic adventure – the Plastiki. He and a small crew of creatives/filmmakers/naturalists made a boat of plastic which they sailed from San Francisco to Australia just over a year ago. Vern and comrades are in heavy post production right now, attempting to complete a film about their adventure (as well as the world’s dependence/hatred for plastic) for the fast upcoming Sundance deadlines. We at the Hobosoul look forward to it’s release.
More info can be found at the above websites or doing some googling yourself on either Plastiki or Spiral Island.