Friday, November 25, 2005

Art: Skateboarding, B-Boying, Rodney Mullen, David Bernal

With my limited amount of insight into B-Boying and Skateboarding, I think there are similar discussions going on in both disciplines. Discussions that are also generalizable to art in general, it doesn't matter which modality of expression is chosen.
To turn the claim upside down: Important (and controversial) points in the general discussion about art and aesthetics can be discovered in the debate within the disciplines of b-boying and skateboarding. However, in a less theoretical and (seemingly) less intellectual way.

At the heart, there is the dichotomy of minimalism versus grandiosity with contributions of the discussion about the relation between skill and popularity.
In B-Boying it seems to be implemented in the debate about powermoves (fancy and very athletic movements) against simpler moves that are in closer symbiosis with the rhythm of the music.
In Skateboarding there are e.g. fancy 720 degree flips and turns over high obstacles versus rather delicate and more sophisticated freestyle moves that mainly involve the board and the skater.

In the historic development usually the "higher, faster, wider" paradigm is observable, with regular interruptions that revert to older virtues.

To make a long story short: Check out Rodney Mullen's skills in this video. He is almost 40 years old and perfectly combines the two extremes mentioned above in skateboarding, yielding sophisticated, yet pompous performances.

And then there are artists who are in a league and a discussion of their own. An example in b-boying is David Bernal, called Elsewhere. Check out the incredible collaboration videos at the kollaboration festival 2003 and also in 2001.

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