Mespeatches : Bad Water Places
Mespeatches translates to “at the bad water place” and was the original name for “Maspeth,” an area in Queens, NY that was inhabited by a Native American tribe of the same name. Sto Len is an artist who is using the pollution in urban bodies of water to create mono prints. Working en plein air from a rowboat, Sto uses a process like paper marbling he calls “Tsunaminagahsi” to print directly off of the water. In this film, Sto traverses the waters of Newtown Creek (a Superfund site and one of the most polluted bodies of water in the US) and Corona Park in Queens. These areas are virtually abandoned and ignored, abused for decades by factories who illegally dumped toxic materials but also now becoming high dollar real estate potential for new waterfront developments. In this context, Sto Len exposes the area’s true conditions while creating artwork that explores aspects of environmentalism, land art, performance, and printmaking.