The Hidden River Expedition: A Re-Exploration of the Post-industrial Wilderness along Philadelphia’s Rivers

6026610110_a5b7e169bf_o1An Illustrated Lecture and Film Screening with Allen Crawford (aka Lord Whimsy)
Date: Friday, May 18
Time: 8:00
Admission: $5
Presented by Morbid Anatomy

In August of 2011, Allen Crawford (aka Lord Whimsy) left his house to embark on a three-day, forty-mile solo kayak trek from Mount Holly, NJ to Bartram’s Garden, in West Philadelphia. This May 18th, Crawford will present a video using footage shot from his kayak during this trek. He will also give a slideshow presentation, highlighting the strange history along these rivers he traversed: fugitive slave enclaves, floating churches, Civil-War era submarines, and derelict aircraft carriers all await you. This expedition was a re-exploration of Philadelphia’s landscape, and an investigation of how its built and grown environments have affected each other over time. This landscape is not pristine, but it is wild-and perhaps most important, it’s new. The “local frontier” exists!

Lord Breaulove Swells Whimsy (a.k.a. Victor Allen Crawford III), After twenty long years, has at last achieved his dream: unemployability. He is an artist, designer, author, re-explorer, failed dandy, tin grandee, gentleman trespasser, bushwhacking aesthete, parenthetical naturalist, pseudo-intellectual, and a middle-aged dilettante.

Having taken a solemn vow to do as little in life as possible, Whimsy was dismayed one morning to discover that he had accidentally wrote, designed, and illustrated The Affected Provincial’s Companion, Volume One (Bloomsbury 2006), which has been optioned for film by Johnny Depp’s production company, Infinitum Nihil. His face and his words have graced the hallowed pages of The New York Times, Interview, Frieze, Vice, Tin House, and Art in America.

He and his wife are proprietors of the design and illustration studio Plankton Art Co. Their most notable project to date is the collection of 400 species identification illustrations that are on permanent display at the American Museum of Natural History’s Hall of Ocean Life.

A devoted enthusiast, lower-case adventurer, and explorer of what he calls “the local frontier,” Whimsy spends most of his time among the nooks and margins of the forgotten, the curious, and the speculative that is found beneath, around, and between the everyday. He smells like gusto.

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