Water installation anchors Philly's shipping history to Delaware River

Hadas Kuznits
October 01, 2019 - 4:00 am
Ghost Ship

Biangle Studio

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PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) — Unlike ships passing in the night, a new art installation will take temporary siege under the Benjamin Franklin Bridge for the next month.

"Ghost Ship" debuts Friday in the Delaware River underneath the bridge, illustrating a 90-foot, three-dimensional light and water art installation that highlights the history of Philadelphia's waterfront.

The 18th-century sheer schooner, which will be visible from Race Street Pier, is still being assembled on the river.

Ghost Ship
Hadas Kuznits/KYW Newsradio

Mihai Baba, an artist with Biangle Studio, which created the piece, said the display includes jets that "shoot up (water) like a fountain."

"This creates an arch and you have like a semicircle, and that's what the screen is shaped like," Baba added.

That "screen" is the water itself. ""The jets shoot up water particles and as they fall down, they intersect the projection, and that's how you get the image."

Ghost Ship
Biangle Studio

Joe Forkin, president of the Delaware River Waterfront Corporation, expects this to be the first of many illustrations through its new arts program.

"The entire mission of the organization and the master plan is to reconnect Philadelphia to its waterfront," he said, "so we do that through physical construction of parks and trails and connector streets, but then now also through the arts."

Forkin noted "Ghost Ship" represents one that would have "frequented the Philadelphia port in the 1700s, bringing both cargo and people."

There will also be an audio component that includes the archeological significance of shipping in Philly, as well as shipmaking. Viewers can download it on their smartphones.

"You can use that on your device that you bring with you," Forkin added, "and hear different narratives that were recorded along with the installation."

The installation will be on display Wednesdays through Sundays from 7 to 10 p.m., through Nov. 3.