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Duke Riley's Foolish, Fantastic Voyage


The New York Times published an interesting photo essay on tattooed Brooklyn artist Duke Riley and the mayhem caused by his art project, the homemade Revolutionary War-era replica submarine that was picked up by law enforcement officials as it bobbed near the Queen Mary II on Friday. Law enforcement officials dubbed the incident 'marine mischief' and it ended before becoming a larger incident.

A bit of an insane thing to do given terrorism concerns around New York City, but then again artists have never been lauded for their sanity. Riley also works as a tattoo artist.

Voyage of the Acorn [nyt - photo essay]
One Man’s Art (a Submarine?) Runs Into Trouble [nyt]
Duke Riley [website]

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  1. Frankly, I think the fact that Duke Riley and his friends were photographed surrounded by NYPD's finest is proof that this country has a complete and total case of insanity when it comes to terrorism.

    Posted by: peterparker | Aug 6, 2007 7:16:04 PM

  2. Yet our ports are wide open to nuke materials.

    Anyway; more power to the guy and LOL on Andy's comment on artists. :-)

    Posted by: anon | Aug 6, 2007 7:34:51 PM

  3. Sub genius.

    Posted by: Becks07 | Aug 6, 2007 8:18:23 PM

  4. where is the engine that thing does not look bigger rthan a dinner table for four. I bet the police and gov feel so proud
    Damn terrorist nect thing you k now wannabe jackasses are next

    Posted by: sasha | Aug 6, 2007 8:53:49 PM

  5. sasha

    The original civil war era sub that this one is based off of had no engine. It was basicly a bicycle esque pedals and chain set up rigged to the propeller. The engione was and I assume in this one "Human powered"

    Posted by: anon | Aug 6, 2007 9:34:40 PM

  6. Love this story---and the sub was towed around by an inflatable raft...

    Posted by: Acolyte | Aug 6, 2007 9:40:50 PM

  7. Land of the frreeeeeee!

    And HOME of the Braaaaave.

    For god's sake don't have fun. Or be adventurous, which is what made this country.

    Posted by: Br!on | Aug 6, 2007 9:52:04 PM

  8. He might have simply alerted the authorities in advance--methinks this is for attracting attention.

    Posted by: anon ( | Aug 6, 2007 10:24:35 PM

  9. Thanks for the info acolyte

    Though I would have prefered to know that he went all out authentic and was pedaling the thing around. :-)

    BR!ON ^5 Great snark

    Posted by: anon | Aug 6, 2007 11:11:44 PM

  10. For Charles Wilson:

    Beauchamp Recants

    THE WEEKLY STANDARD has learned from a military source close to the investigation that Pvt. Scott Thomas Beauchamp--author of the much-disputed "Shock Troops" article in the New Republic's July 23 issue as well as two previous "Baghdad Diarist" columns--signed a sworn statement admitting that all three articles he published in the New Republic were exaggerations and falsehoods--fabrications containing only "a smidgen of truth," in the words of our source.

    Posted by: Tom | Aug 6, 2007 11:24:35 PM

  11. "a bit of an insane thing to do given NYC's concern's about terrorism"????!?!?!

    COME ON!!! That's how terrorism works! When people start being "concerned" about it.

    There is NO TERRORISM except from the people in office who are causing it. Wake up! Live! Laugh! Love! We only have this moment right now, and there is no such thing as "safe".

    Posted by: Joe | Aug 7, 2007 6:40:20 AM

  12. I wouldn't mind a bit of 'marine mischief' with Riley, if I may say so myself.

    Posted by: Chaq | Aug 7, 2007 7:12:37 AM

  13. I so dig this guy! There was a really funny/interesting story in ny magazine this summer featuring Riley in which basically the writer of said article found himself questioning his own sexuality so enthralled was he by Riley's candoanything machismo.

    Part of Riley's artistic statement:

    "My work addresses the prospect of residual but forgotten unclaimed frontiers on the edge and inside overdeveloped urban areas, and their unsuspected autonomy. I am interested in the struggle of marginal peoples to sustain independent spaces within all-encompassing societies, the tension between individual and collective behavior, the conflict with institutional power. I pursue an alternative view of hidden borderlands and their inhabitants through drawing, printmaking, mosaic, sculpture, performative interventions, and video structured as complex multimedia installations"

    Posted by: GIOVANNI | Aug 7, 2007 10:13:23 AM

  14. Riley is pretty amazing. Just to throw some light on the "terrorism" aspect, Duke's Revolutionary War-era submarine is a replica of a sub called "The Turtle," which was used by a US Army Sergeant in 1776 in an attempt to sink a British ship. That Riley was heading toward the Queen Mary 2, was, in retrospect, a fact I'm sure the police did not find amusing. BTW, I found some great photos on Flickr at:

    and I have some more info on my blog.

    Posted by: davidinmanhattan | Aug 7, 2007 12:23:21 PM

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