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Project Synopsis

This is a Project by two Fort Point Channel artists to territorialize and adapt
unused urban space to the needs of displaced artists in the Fort Point Channel
area. This area, known as Boston’s oldest artist community, has been in an
extended period of transformation, displacing the artists for commercial or
business interests or high-end (re: expensive) live/work spaces. Our intent is to
design, build, and live on a raft in the channel, for at least a week, as our
live/work studio, highlighting the resourcefulness and adaptability required
of artists to maintain a place to make work in late capitalist society. The title of
the Project is an acronym for ‘Will The Last Fort Point Channel Artist
Please Turn Out The Lights.’

The raft is designed to be primarily utilitarian and compliant with Massachusetts’
regulations regarding watercraft. It should be stated that this Project is in no way
intended as protest against the influences behind the transformations of Fort
Point Channel. We both plan on maintaining our daily life as usual; going to work,
ordering take out, working in the studio, sustaining a social life. Since we will be
visible from any of the several bridges that span the channel, we are presenting
a public work that addresses the condition of being an artist in this time and
place as well as a proactive attempt to find an alternate situation.

This Project was initially inspired by the planned eviction of our relative
studio spaces, 211 and 319 A St., in June of 2004. Through a series of
discussions earlier that spring, we began brainstorming ideas of urban and
civic space, as well as the transformation and territorialization, both
economic and physical, of urban space by individuals or incorporated
entities. Boston, as much as Fort Point, has a history of territorialization.
In point, the land reclamation of marsh-land that Fort Point and much of
downtown Boston sits. From deep history, such as the expansion of
Tenotchtilan (modern Mexico City) to the barge communities in the waterways
of Amsterdam and Hong Kong, people have pushed into unused spaces to
create a place for themselves. As a projection of a distopian vision, this Project
presents a future where, perhaps, artists are forced to jerryrig structures and
systems on the fringes of urban space to pursue their art.

John Osorio-Buck, 2004