Type: Art Exhibition
Location: San Francisco, CA
One 20-foot shipping container is cut into 29 pieces of different sizes and shapes. It is designated ‘out of service’. It is container number AKLU6022124. It was built in 2006. It is red. Its travel records, entirely typical of the almost inestimable 5 to 170 million shipping containers in the world, are mostly unknown. We know that over the past two years it has been in China, Singapore, Korea, Myanmar, and between those places, in international waters, on the lawless sea.

SPILL begins in response to the elusiveness and opacity of the shipping world. And to its excess. Our container has been vivisected or dissected – or cut apart or broken open – to incite pause. Its fragments are literally spilled: to welcome, to allow wondering, seating, connections and conversations, around them and in close proximity, as this completely mysterious object is now fully exposed to all.

Cuts that favor the 90-degree moments of the containers create leftovers that are simply propped up and steadied to be used and occupied. The entirety of the container is utilized—a moment of awareness and recognition; and celebrated—the ingenuity of the object and system, its essential simplicity in endless transformation.

SPILL invites proximity and intimacy. Of people with one another, And between those people, individually or collectively, with the shipping container as an object: now so very close, so very small, and so very accessible.
A set of projections, also mined from existing imagery, displays and uncovers the relentless repetition of container ports along the shorelines of our planet. With their fantastic geometries and geographies. With their violence to the richest ecology on Earth, found always at the threshold of ground and water.
We notice. We celebrate. We ruminate. We are surprised, shipwrecked, joyful, outbound, abroad, aboard, overboard, at sea, off course, and on alert.


Ada Tolla, Giuseppe Lignano, Hector Song, Reza Zia, Romain Dubettier, Tala Salman, Virginie Stolz, Francesco Lagioia, with the contribution of Sanober Khan, Thomas de Monchaux and Marci Pei.

Our work on the container ports is accompanied by a collective recording. Reflections of personal experiences of the threshold between ground and water from around the planet are interspersed with data on shipping and its environmental impact.

We thank our friends who shared their stories:

Vasudha Karnani / Goa, India + Barcelona, Spain
Andrea Lagioia / Parma, Italy
Francesco Lagioia / Stromboli, Italy
Irmak Turanli / Istanbul, Turkey
Tala Salman / Beirut, Lebanon
Patricia Anahory / Cabo Verde + Atlantic Ocean
Farouk Kwaning / Tema, Ghana
Maliyamungu Muhande / Democratic Republic of Congo
Sumayya Valley / Johannesburg, South Africa
Omar Badriek / Jeddah, Saudi Arabia
Usman Iqbal / Karachi, Pakistan
Rizwan Khan / Banaras, India
Praditi Singh / Mumbai, India
Thomas de Monchaux / Sidney, Australia
Hector Song / Tianjin, China
Hein Song / Busan, South Korea
Peter Miller / Seattle, Washington, USA
Devina Deo / Hayward, California, USA
Melanie Ide / Honolulu, Hawaii, USA
Inés Yupanqui / Bogotá, Columbia
Daniela Beraun / Lima, Peru
Agustina Capurro / Montevideo, Uruguay
Pedro Rivera / Rio de Janeiro + Belém do Pará, Brazil
Clare Walsh / Yarmouth, Maine
Manaal Farooqi / Kuwait + New Brunswick, Canada

Marci Pei
Napkin Poetry Review
Miles Petersen / Hosfelt Gallery
and courtesy of LOT-EK

BMarko Structures for their support and for letting us use their shop to do the work

Learn More:
Hosfelt Gallery, San Francisco︎