Imagine if Ken Kesey and the Merry Pranksters had reenacted “The Adventures of Tom Sawyer.” That’s basically what Tianna Kennedy and her crew pulled off when they led a flotilla of floating scrap sculptures from the coast of Slovenia to the heart of Venice. The dumpster-diving crew needed a strong organization to make the 130-mile trip to Venice. The team began pulling wood out of construction site dumpsters on the streets of New York in December 2008 to build the floats.
The crew had almost no money, and they subsisted on bread, prosecco and beer. “I was miserable for a good 70 percent of the time,” Kennedy said, until they floated victoriously into Venice for two weeks of puppet theater, silent movies and music alongside the Venice gardini in June. “Kids asked me ‘Where’s Peter Pan,” she said. “I felt like Santa Claus.”