Scott Hocking is a canonical artist in the Detroit art scene, internationally famous for his site-specific monument building, typically out of objects found and installed amidst Detroit’s urban ruins . Recently, he has ventured to the tip-of-the-thumb town of Port Austin, MI, to work on a massive rebuilding of a derelict barn into an ark-like vessel that is a rural twist on Hocking’s powerful practice of self-executed acts of mythology. We sat down for a discussion about the ins and outs of “Barnboat,” the stubborn and meditative process of solo monument-building, and the underlying belief that fuels Hocking’s unstoppable drive to create and abandon these structures.
Sarah Rose Sharp: Okay, so can you walk me through, again, some of what brought you to Port Austin, and what’s happening there, in general, with the barns?
Scott Hocking: Sure. Jim Boyle brought me to Port Austin. There’s an entire Boyle clan that lives in Port Austin. And Jim tells me the story of some old Detroit Cass Corridor artists moving up there—the Mikolowski—which inspired him to bring Detroit artists up to Port Austin. The thumb is also, as everyone has told me a million times, a peninsula within a peninsula, so nobody passes through it.
This is my first piece for DAR, and I’m excited to see it go live! Stay tuned for more on the barns of Port Austin at Hyperallergic, and other up-and-coming business at DAR.