This is an archive of names and figures that make up a small part of the gigantic network of trans-national shipping. If the products delivered through that network are the products of our lives and the material of our lifestyles, then this is a document of the transportation of lifestyles and an aggregation of data linking us to the goods we consume.
From the summit of Munjoy Hill in Portland, Maine it’s easy to see many different types of ships. The most prominent are the crude oil tankers parked at the gaping mouth of the oil terminal in South Portland. With some binoculars it’s easy enough to get their names and with access to a network of another sort it’s easy enough to find out something about them. And we are not alone in this act of reporting: many people around the world find a certain pleasure in photographing and documenting the ships in their harbors and off their coasts. It’s nothing new – newspapers in major shipping centers have long noted on the ships currently in port. This archive is in common cause with those who enjoy and respect these ships, but understand that they represent a serious problem for natural resources and signify the excesses of an era which has to end in order for true sustainability to begin. Here, we document the weights, classes, flags, and companies which are now associated with an age of confused and unparalleled expansion. That age is at the hour of its twilight. We keep these names and figures to remember what is ending and to remember what we have done.
This site is an extension of the sub-blog I started on crackleunion.com which became more regularly updated than I had originally intended. Please visit it!
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