The Smoke Machine was a comprehensive artistic exploration of New York Harbor. In addition to co-directing the three-day Sextantworks experience with N.D. Austin, I designed the ritual at the heart of the event. By guiding the clients in a process of uncovering actions and materials that would be meaningful to them, I arranged a personal ceremony that left the guest feeling deeply invested in what took place.

Nautical knot symbols marked puzzles on the beached ferry boat, our main location. Solving puzzles led to keys. Keys opened a door to the roof. On the roof, everyone was individually wigged. While the clients were initially hesitant about being the center of attention at any point, in the end, they led the ritual with zeal thanks to the creative process I lead them through.

Knot carvings by Jaclyn Atkinson. Wigs by Ereka Imani. Photos by Tod Seelie and Yoni Brook.

The Team

The Smoke Machine was a huge undertaking. I’m grateful to the many unspeakably talented people who came together to make it happen.

Here are just a few of them:

Thanks, team. :)