Seafoam Palace Detroit MI.

My comrades, associates and dear friends have launched a kickstarter campaign to fund a fabulous dream project in the mysterious and vibrant land of Detroit. Curious objects, totemic figurines, elaborately and lovingly produced tableaus, strange icons and bizarre tchotchekas: these are the things that have been collected from the furthest corners of the world and will appoint and adorn Detroit’s Seafoam Palace.

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Me in front of Seafoam. Hacket “tweeting” in the background

 

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Julia Solis, Pere La Chaise Cemetery, Paris

The avatar for this project, Julia Solis is one of the early pioneers of the world of Urban ExplorationHer book New York Underground is a primary text for explorers. She was a friend of and inspiration for Ninjalicious the fellow that grounded and popularized UE  with the zine Infiltration and book Access all Areas. Julia’s NYC based exploration and event group Dark Passage founded in 1999 holds a near mythic status and has inspired adventurers around the world.

Julia’s many projects over the years have radiated an essence of purity and authenticity that is rare to find. Her singular aesthetic is deep, dark and beautiful. She attracts collaborators of high caliber.

To peruse the histories of folks involved in SeaFoam is to open many doors to rare, exotic and obsessive worlds.

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Bryan Papciak lighting the way into the realm of Cthulhu….

Filmmaker and educator Bryan Papciak has documented surreal yet very real worlds in his uniquely disturbing style. Bryan continues to warp impressionable young minds as a prof at RISD.  Bryan’s work as an animator and creator of images is pretty disturbing. He LOOKS normal, but watch out when delving into the worlds he creates in his feverish imagination. Watch his oddly mesmerizing video below!

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Julia Solis & Tom Kirsch observing.

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Julia Solis & Tom Kirsch in action!

Photographer, fearless explorer and web designer Tom Kirsch has captured some of the most haunting images ever. A small sampling of his work can be found here. His work has been featured on PBS’s American Experience, in Digital Photographer Magazine and other publications. Tom likes to fish – a lot – his nautical sensibilities have and will continue to influence Seafoam.

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the only photo ever taken of Hackett while he was smiling. photo credit J.Law!!!

Madagascar Institute founder and international art Star Chris Hackett helps out in Detroit in between stints blowing things up, sometimes on teeveeand instructing the kids on how they can “do this at home!” for Popular Science Magazine.  Hackett is deeply dedicated to making the world a more interesting (and dangerous) place. Madagascar has turned out hundreds of maladjusted young artists (with some actual real world skills) after Chris turned chose to open the place in 1999.

 

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Christos Pathiakis in the Paris catacombs. Evil gargoyle above to the left. To Christos right is Rahan, a German guy we met after being underground for five hours & several miles from the entrance. Rahan said he lived there….

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Christos, Julia & mysterious European guy in the tunnels under the Paris Opera House. We didn’t see “Eric”. Maybe he saw us, though….

Globetrotting film professional Christos Pathiakis explores ruins for fun between exotic location shoots. Before teaming up with others as the internet began to connect explorers Christos spent thousands of hours roaming through much of the NYC subway system in the 90’s disguised as an MTA worker.

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Badass Kim Couchet

 

 

 

 

 

 

When not hammering away on Seafoam, swashbuckling pyrotecnician Kim Couchet installs and ignites the largest fireworks displays in the world.

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Shel Kimmen – things grow around her.                              photo credit: http://www.thestar.com

 

Social engineer Shel Kimmen has dedicated her life to the revitalization of her beloved City of Detroit.  Shel’s counsel has been invaluable for the Seafoam crew.

Italian explorer and aesthete Alessandro Toffoli adds a compelling European flavor to the Detroit mix. Alessandro compares Detroit favorably with Rome (for the eventual importance of it’s fast disappearing colossal abandoned edifices). Alessandro has published both fiction and nonfiction, and is now an ongoing researcher at Casa della Memoria, the official oral history society in Rome. He is also a co-founder of Arcadia, a Roman art and restoration laboratory that specializes in antiques and objects of curiosity.

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Alessandro Toffoli not long after mowing the lawn at Seafoam. The most handsome member of the crew, Al is also an accomplished artist and has excellent taste in music.

 

 

 

 

Paul Oarkhill & Julia Solis

Paul Parkhill and Julia Solis. Paul seems to be very grounded and adult-like. I wonder if he’s researched the liability of being involved with……..

Paul Parkhill is the Executive Director of Spaceworks, Between 1999 and 2012, Paul served as the Director of Planning and Development at the Greenpoint Manufacturing and Design Center. Paul worked as a housing developer for Common Ground Community. In 1997 Paul co-founded Place in History,  and in 2004 he co-founded Furnace Press with Julia Solis and Ars Subterranea.

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Monica Canilao just being herself. photo credit: tadashiphoto.blogspot.com

Installation and performance artist Monica Canilao creates exquisite, dream inspired worlds from the detritus sloughed off from the mundane world around her. Her involvement in Seafoam has introduced the project to a younger risk-taking group of collaborators. That’s a nice way to say “watch out for these crazy kids!”

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Vness Wolfchild has never gone to a party where another woman was wearing the same dress.

Other key personnel and associates include artist/performer Vness Wolfchild  a musician and interactive ritual healing performance artist. Her work explores the complexity of the physical, spiritual and emotional body existing within urban industry and architecture. soundcloud.com/vnesswolfchild

Dorothy Trojanowski

Dorothy Trojanowski with her horses at a corporate outing. photo by Harrod Blank

 

 

Designer Dorothy Trojanowski whose work includes the lovely lay-out for Julia Solis’ recent book Stages of Decay. 

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Colin McIntyre. Serious dude.

 

 

metal sculptor Colin McIntyre, Inspired by creatures from the oceans and all plant life, Colin creates sculptures using hot metal forging and fabrication. His work is featured as a permanent public art piece at the Austin Nature & Science Center.

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Ryan Carmichael & friend, Detroit MI.

Detroit homesteader Ryan Carmichael  is a functional artist and was one of the lead fabricators on Gon Kirin. In recent years he has specialized in architectural installations around Detroit.

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Aram Polster making things. We’ll be doing that a lot at Seafoam.

Using found materials, Aram Polster is a multimedia artist, coffee brewer, and also involved in NYC/Detroit arts groups like Dark Passage and Madagascar Institute.

 

 

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Maggie Sisco beta testing some nature for possible inclusion into Seafoam.

Maggie Sisco lives in Detroit and works in public relations for a small firm in the metro area. Her expertise is in media and content strategy.

 

Seafoam Palace is made up of artists, writers, photographers, filmmakers, sociologists, engineers, historians, travelers, explorers, and a few varieties of alchemists. Some have been collaborating on projects for over twenty years, some are brand new – drawn together by a love of the absurd, the profound, and the curious.

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Me & Julia Solis in Paris last year tracking down weird stuff. We both read and presented from our respective books, Tales of the San Francisco Cacophony Society and Stages of Decay.