Press Release: Installation Dates


CONTACT:  E-mail:   Twitter: @varioushazards


New York-based, Eureka-raised artist Nick Hubbard will present a series of sculptural installations around town that engage with the history of Fort Humboldt.  The works will be first set in place this coming Saturday, April 23, 2016.  Some of the installations will disappear within a few days, other may stay longer at the discretion of the community.  

A participatory event on Sunday, April 24, will accompany the installations.  The artist will be on-site at Fort Humboldt, and citizens are invited to come and jointly build a collection of paper models of the fort buildings.  These models will contain messages written by participants that will be shared back with the community over a timespan corresponding to the activity of the Fort.

The project, Through Various Hazards and Adventures We Move is derived from digital models constructed using documentary photographs of Fort Humboldt, utilizes 3D printing technology combined with traditional model-making, and takes the form of a series of expanded dioramas that change over time.  

Nick Hubbard is currently a Master’s candidate at the Interactive Telecommunications Program (ITP), Tisch School of the Arts, New York University.  Through Various Hazards is his thesis.  For more information, contact the project at or visit the project website,

Through Various Hazards is on Twitter @varioushazards.  

#forthumboldt or #varioushazards

Prototype: Sugar Cast & Testing in the Tide

3D Print + Sugar Cast   

3D Print + Sugar Cast


The point, again, of making a mold (Part 1) and casting in sugar (Part 2), was to prototype the interaction of the material in the salt water of a river that connects with ocean.  I plan to install models of Fort Humboldt at the mouth of Elk River in Eureka, CA.  I want these to dissolve slowly over the course of, at least, several hours on April 23, 2016.

Pier 4 Beach, Brooklyn Bridge Park.   

Pier 4 Beach, Brooklyn Bridge Park.


I took the sugar cast and a camera down to the East River at Brooklyn Bridge Park, to see what the tide would do to the object.

An issue that became apparent immediately was weight: the strength of the tide massively surmounted the weight of the model, picking it up once the water rose high enough and beginning to toss it in the waves.


The model survived for about 1:39:00 in the tide.  There was a significant rise over the hour, so two problems were obvious:

  1. If the model was heavier or secured somehow, it would quickly be submerged
  2. If the model was heavier but not secured, it would still be jostled and potentially lost or impossible to track (for viewers).

I lost sight of the model a number of times, but fortunately found it again.  I also impacted the total dissolve time by rescuing the model and pulling it out to snap documentation photos.


  • The sugar models in combination with moving water will be gorgeous, unusual, and therefore compelling.
  • Tidal waters may not be the best option — a unidirectional stream (like the mouth of the river instead of the shore) will be optimal.
  • Most likely I’ll be looking at a dissolve time of several hours.  This will be better for the opportunity for many people to find and see the installation, but will make documentation of the dissolve more challenging.

Mapping: Installation Geography

A core conceit of my project Through Various Hazards has been the idea that the physical site and the architectural form of Fort Humboldt are iconic representatives for the larger historical questions I’m asking and the historical dynamics I’m pointing to.  As I was visiting sites in Eureka, trying to decide where and how I wanted to install the series of expanded dioramas, I was struck by the potential of merging the layout of the fort itself and the geography of the city.

Map of Eureka, CA

Map of Eureka, CA

1861 Map of the Fort Humboldt grounds.

1861 Map of the Fort Humboldt grounds.

I took the fort layout into Photoshop and overlaid it onto the city.

Based on the location of the original fort buildings, I determined sites for placing markers/clues about the project and also the installations themselves.

Proposed placement of installations (large icons) and markers (small icons)

Proposed placement of installations (large icons) and markers (small icons)

I felt this was a successful prototype of the layout, and discussions at the Quick & Dirty Thesis Show allowed me to develop a second version that I think is much stronger.

The markers have been removed (no need for them to be represented here).  The installation sites have been shifted and, while they still correspond to a metonym of the fort layout in terms of geography, they now also reflect it figuratively as well.

Starting from North to South, West to East:

  • Woodley Island, Duluwat Historical Marker (Violence, Memorial)
  • Civic Center: City Council Building, Superior Court, Times Standard newspaper (Politics & Media)
  • Wabash Ave, entryway to the city  (Everyday life)
  • Samoa Peninsula, former reservation site for overflow prisoners from Fort Humboldt
  • Fort Humboldt
  • Mouth of the Elk River + Hikshari’ Trail (Indigenous life, Constant flux)
  • (Ulysses S.) Grant Elementary School (Education/Ignorance)

My vision is to have this map as a physical object and guide in the style of the many years of Fort Humboldt Brochures/Pamphlets, which I will distribute to coffee shops, the library, etc.  It will also be the centerpiece of the project website (which Sam Lavigne reminded me–smart–needs to be mobile-first).  This will be a tool for seeing how each installation is part of a larger endeavor, and navigating between the distributed sites.