Making the Dream

19.10.17 /

Having a dream is one thing but making it materialize is another.

If the dream is prolonged for so long - in this case, the concept of the giant floating camera has been put on the shelf with the label ideas to realize for five years – and you then get the chance to make it happen, you just have to go for it and do whatever it takes to realize it.

Meeting Kristof Candrowicz, a courageous open mind and the artistic director of Triennial of Photography Hamburg 2018 in Autumn of 2016 and him introducing me to Übermut Project, a creative platform testing the limits of artistic bravery, has been fundamental to making the next to impossible project possible. I later met Claudius Schulze, a Hamburg based landscape photographer, who had recently built a beautiful houseboat that he was living on. It was then, that 2BOATS was ignited.
All I needed to do was building the boat, so in Spring of 2017 me, my brother - a recent graduate of economics - and my best friend – a planer and engineer – finally took the challenge. A boat, that not only floats but also takes pictures had to be constructed in 100 days. We had no previous experience in boat building but what we had was lots of enthusiasm and positive energy.

As a photographer, I began to design the boat with the focal length of my camera and the size of the negative I would be able to create in the back of my head. But I also had to take into account the width of Canal du Nord locks. I began to build the boat around those measurements and hereby beg for forgiveness to all the boat building professionals.
We began with planning on the material and creating SketchUp drawings but soon there were four tons of timber and marine plywood we had to handle and cut to size.

We then had to laminate the hulls, which became the biggest nightmare of the production process. It took us three weeks to wrap 150 kgs of epoxy resin and 120 kgs of fiberglass mats around the two 11,5-meter-long floaters. The weather also really wasn’t on our side during that time. But because of good teamwork, persistence and an attitude of not wanting to give up, we were able to succeed. However, the process of laminating ended with me having to visit the dermatologist because the epoxy gave me a serious and agonizing allergic reaction.
Once the floaters had been sealed, the sun started shining again and gave us a 36-degree heat wave. After three weeks of thunderstorms and heavy rain almost every day, we couldn’t complain and still began the pre-fabrication of the platform and the camera/studio space.
After this 90-day work marathon, the time came to ship the boat’s pieces to Amsterdam for assembly.