Here’s a showboat custom-made for Houston’s bayous: an aluminum pontoon deck outfitted for exploring inland waterways . . . and screening videos along the way. Assembled by a design-build sculpture collaborative called Simparch, the Tex Hex has its official maiden voyage scheduled for May 21, the night before Houston’s Art Car Parade. The boat will dock in front of the concrete steps where White Oak Bayou spills into Buffalo Bayou, behind the loft building at 1011 Wood St., for a program of films about — what else? Car culture. They’ll be projected onto the Tex Hex’s onboard rear-projection screen. Downtown skyscrapers are expected to hang out in the background, just for effect.
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The Tex Hex project got its start during the 2008 Houston residency of LA’s deadpan Center for Land Use Interpretation, sponsored by the Mitchell Center for the Arts at UH. The vehicle is sponsored by the Mitchell Center and the Buffalo Bayou Partnership. In the week before the big car show, the Mitchell Center promises its ship will come in for a few “sneak peek” preview screenings at various points along Buffalo Bayou. (They’ll be announced on Twitter.) After its waterway screen debut, the Tex Hex is expected to settle down for more gritty floating-lab ventures: “It will be used as a live-aboard structure, developing and refining self-contained and energy efficient living systems, including solar power and water treatment technologies.” Plus: Movies!
- Tex Hex Pop Up Cinema: Past Forward [Mitchell Center]
- Tex Hex Unit [Simparch]
- Previously on Swamplot: CLUI in Houston: Attack of the Pod People, CLUI Houston Residency: Open to Interpretation
Photos: Cynthia Woods Mitchell Center for the Arts