The Shipyard
May 15, 2007 10:06 AM   Subscribe

Founded in Berkeley by artist Jim Mason, The Shipyard, a collaborative industrial arts space constructed from recycled shipping containers, has hosted numerous large-scale projects and events including a Survival Research Labs show, Power Tool Drag Races, gassification experiments and workshops, and various large-scale Burning Man projects such as 2005's Clockworks. Short documentary here (quicktime). However, relations with the city of Berkeley have been consistently tense. Recently, the city shut off the Shipyard's power, to which the Shipyard responded by going off grid. On May 8, Berkeley issued 3-day vacate and abate notice, with which the Shipyard is attempting to comply (auto-playing video).
posted by treepour (8 comments total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
Semi-sort-of-related: Life Size Mousetrap.
posted by serazin at 10:12 AM on May 15, 2007

I like Jim, he's a knucklehead but good-hearted. I can also imagine his stubborned DIY attitude getting in the way of finding a reasonable compromise politically for the fate of the Shipyard. Jim took a 'better to ask for forgiveness than permission' route with the space and the Council called him on it.

The Life Size Mousetrap was originally house at The Barn near Headless Point, and was constructed years before the Shipyard existed.
posted by MiltonRandKalman at 10:52 AM on May 15, 2007

It's a mistake to confuse the peculiarity of the personal agendas in Berkeley's administration for a "liberal" stance. Berkeley is incredibly inflexible and has insider politics worthy of a much tinier, more inbred town.

Oakland, although it's changing, (or, more accurately, is aggressively being changed) has traditionally been more welcoming of these sorts of projects.
posted by small_ruminant at 10:58 AM on May 15, 2007

small_ruminant noted Oakland...has traditionally been more welcoming of these sorts of projects.

I rarely make the trip out to Jersey the East Bay to attend events in these places, but spaces like NIMBY which parallel the Shipyard in usage and purpose seem to get a long with the community because of careful planning.
posted by MiltonRandKalman at 11:27 AM on May 15, 2007

These folks have produced some fantastic works of art. Among my favorite is the Neverwas Haul "a self-propelled 3-story Victorian House, made from 75% recycled equipment and materials . . . an imaginary world based on the science fiction of the Victorian era where steam technology is considered cutting edge." (Flickr pix)

Hopefully their relocation won't impact the very ambitious Mechabolic project that's in the works.
posted by donovan at 11:43 AM on May 15, 2007

Man, that's a shame. I hope they find a good new home -- and if the way things turned out for the Crucible is any indicator, at least, they will.

Also, here's a more recent update, with some additional background.
posted by mattpfeff at 12:08 PM on May 15, 2007

For those curious to see the power tools drag racing, they will be at the Maker's Faire this weekend in San Mateo.
posted by spiderskull at 12:17 PM on May 15, 2007

posted by loquacious at 5:29 PM on May 15, 2007

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