A Child overlooking the Hudson River at the right time and place during the late summer of 2008, may catch a sight that to most eyes will appear, at least for an instant, as either enigma or hallucination. Seven boats, crafted from scrap wood, metal, foam, barrels, bottlecaps, fabric, and a host of attendant detritus are due to leave port from Troy, New York in mid-August and arrive in New York City during the fi rst week of September. Titled Swimming Cities of Switchback Sea, the craft resemble less boats or cities than fantastical hybridizations of tree houses and shantytowns, playgrounds mixed with refugee rafts — Miyazaki-like contraptions woven together from bits and pieces of a known world, though seeming to arrive from some imagined past and headed fully prepared toward an uncertain future. Swimming Cities is the vision of Swoon, a 30-year-old artist who first came to attention nearly four years ago for her ambitious, expertly skilled prints and cut-paper portraits that she was pasting on derelict walls and construction sites around New York City. The simultaneous beauty and ephemerality of her work — the focus apparent not only in her attention to detail in the portraits themselves, but also in their contextual placement — brought her wide acclaim and quickly set her apart in the genre of “street art”. In 2005, Swoon made her New York gallery debut with an installation at the infl uential downtown gallery Deitch Projects.