The Bridge

Various materials
Various dimensions


If bodies of water are public spaces, what infrastructures might encourage the public to inhabit them? What opportunities does standing afloat on the water’s surface—instead of gazing at it from afar—present in negotiating sea level rise and building advocacy for natural and non-human worlds?

The Bridge is political advocacy in the form of a proposal for a floating sculpture. The proposal—and its public research and development—is an act of reclamation of New York City's waterways as public space. Once a shared space of soft edges, occupied by seaweed, fish and oysters, swimmers, fishermen, ferries, freight and bathers, the New York Waterways are now defined by concrete walls, private ownership, where even wading in the water is illegal.


This pursuit of temporary infrastructures for human occupation of the waterways is the pursuit of policy change through building deep relationships with the personal, cultural, economic and political forces that regulate them. The repeated creation and demonstration of designs for this maritime social sculpture is also a performance (and embodiment) of political engagement with bureaucracy and economic powers of the waterways.

What would the water tell us if we could stand on it—afloat—and listen, or walk slowly across its surface? Is it possible to build a relationship with the water? Is it possible to recognize ourselves in the water, as part of the bodies of water that surround?



Lead Advisors

Jessica Healy:Trustee, Van Alen Institute; Project Director, US Pavilion Expo Milano 2015; Associate Director, BMW Guggenheim Lab

Josh Rosenbloom: Real Estate Developer; Historian; Director of Off-Site Projects, National 9/11 Memorial; Director of City Operations, Lower Manhattan Construction Command Center and Lower Manhattan Development Corporation

Jonathan Marvel—Principal and Founder, Jonathan Marvel Architects PLLC
Design: Braden Caldwell
Public Relations: Monica Schaffer
Grant Funding: Beth Galinsky
Engineering: Thornton Tomasetti Inc. (structural); Glosten (marine)
Legal: DLA Piper LLP (US); Stroock & Stroock & Lavan LLP
Institutional Support: Lower Manhattan Cultural Council, Recess, Sharpe-Walentas Studio Program, Eyebeam, Fractured Atlas


Citizen Pledge

Carbon Prints, ed 300

5" x 7"


CB Radio

Audio Series

Various lengths


The Crossing


1 hour 31 minutes


The Long, Slow Walk


Every file generated by The Bridge 2012-2016

3 hrs, 22 minutes


Plan for Seepage


30" x 20"


Hydrostatic Lift


Email printouts

8.5" x 11" x 47"


The Play About the Bridge

Performance, Script by Celine Song


©2020 by Nancy Nowacek

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