The corkscrew squiggle is not something exclusively found in Hochbaum's work. This doodle can be found in margins of nearly every school kid's notes, on countless scraps of paper etched on while people speak on phones, and often in recurring forms in nature. It is a universal scribble.
For the artist, the undulating form is another character in his narrative. It plays different roles. A symbol of sound, transport, memory, or psychic vibrations. Often found scrawled throughout the layers of his work, scattered across the landscapes and sky like insects. For the Ghost Ships series, the doodle is removed from the background and becomes the main character.