Two other pieces stretched the limits of community tolerance. My partner spent the better part of one summer engineering a weight and attachment system to send a line of rubber ducks out into Lake Superior, where their arc would define the currents of Sibley Creek as it met the incoming waves. This was no mean feat: the weights had to be heavy enough to keep the ducks from flipping over, but not so heavy as to drag them under the water. Likewise the attachment system made of fishing line had to maintain an even length from one duck to another without becoming entangled.

Within twenty-four hours of the ducks being placed in the lake, they fell victim to kids detaching them from their shoreline anchor sending them out into the lake. A rescue party of kayakers retrieved them and we set them back in the creek mouth.

Next thing we knew kids were at them again, this time trying to pull them out. When we asked them to leave them alone, they threw rocks at them! Our last attempt to set the ducks in the lake was defeated when we discovered a local grandparent smiling weakly as his four-year old granddaughter pulled the ducks onto the shore, their lines hopelessly entangled.

The lesson learned from this is that certain types of imagery are categorized as toys meant to be played with, and the natural of domain of children to do whatever they please. Rubber ducks come with an unspoken contract that overwrote our intention to use them as art supplies.