In my recent work, Divine Decks, Tampa, I am pushing this notion of a collective. My project incorporates skateboards donated to the Boards for Bros Headquarters: The Skate Park of Tampa (SPoT), which attracts skaters from around the world. This project will also have a book published that incorporates 100 skateboards that have been at least twice donated. Once to Boards for Bros, who in turn donated to me. I intend to find out what my project might reveal if an installation and a book are created from other chapter locations of the Boards for Bros. organization. What kind of information would surface if all the “dead” skateboards could be collected and reused? I aim to stir feelings of appreciation, interest, and imagination, but also to collect the memories and data that have been preserved. I believe that skateboards can be a model or reference, that they have the ability to show us symbols created by their owners, representing human or social behavior. Each deck has an abundance of information, there have been marks made, gouges, scratches, cracks, splinters, water damage and more. But there are also the cosmetics of each that can capture the authenticity of the skater. The griptape(top) and graphics(bottom) are covered with carefully placed stickers, drawings and graffiti, making every deck more unique. These symbols and marks are a key in better understanding skate culture and its influence in our lives.
Through my book and installation I mean to bring forward the power of the gift of skateboarding, “Why skateboards? The magic of a skateboard is that it is a mode of transportation in addition to being a tool for play, a tool for discovery, a tool to develop physical skill, a tool to interact with others who share an interest in skateboarding, a tool to teach problem-solving and a tool to teach perseverance. It is good for the mind and the body. It is fun. It can change someone’s life.”-Boards for Bros.
California, New York, North Carolina, Florida, New Jersey and Illinois are all chapters of the Boards for Bros. organization and I want to expand my project to these locations. I need to establish my own link analysis to help shed light on how the gift of skateboarding is a bigger representation of who we are as a people and who we can be. There is a link in all of us and I believe that my project emits human and social behavior from skate culture in a way that can bend the boundaries of the art world.
This is what installation Divine Decks does. It can hold the essences of over 300 souls. These skateboards will have become much more than just shaped wooden objects. It is a collective constructed at a monumental scale, a scale that helps convey the significance of these skateboards that now demand meditation and exaltation like an altar or a shrine.
Book Design: Madeline Baker. Graphic Designer + Illustrator. madelinembaker.com
Photographer for Divine Decks, Tampa installation at CAM: http://patblocher.com