SWIMMING CITIES OF SERENISSIMA, 2009, SWOON ARTIST STATEMENT: In the spring of 2009, I organized a crew of more than thirty friends and collaborators to build a series of three junk rafts, which would navigate the Adriatic Sea toward Venice. The rafts were all built from scavenged materials from New York City, as well as Ankaran, Slovenia, where this journey began. The rafts, imagined as bits of fantastical cities, broken off and floating out to sea, returned finally, to the mother of fantastical cities rising from the sea—Venice, otherwise known as La Serenissima. We docked and performed for two weeks in Venice, making lots of mischief with the Venetian Coast Guard, and a little with the Biennale. Having been denied permission to enter the Grand Canal by police, the Coast Guard, and the mayor of Venice, we decided to take to the canal illegally in the middle of the night, and, to our wonderment and surprise, we were able to navigate successfully until sunrise.