In case you are curious, for any reason – or best, for no known reason what-so-ever – here are a few details about the arsenic skateboard that might interest.
Look closely at the image and perhaps it will come clear that arsenic is a bit unique.
Even if you’ve seen many skateboards, i think it’s fair to doubt you’ve seen a board just like that.
For example, the shape is made from 2 hyperbolic (aka non euclidean) spirals.
That means the geometry of the board comes inspired from organic, living, shapes.
If you look at any one of your hands, the geometry isn’t immediately evident. In fact, it took a few 1000’s years for humans to realise that organic shapes – like hands – are in fact geometrical since geometry doesn’t require lines to be parallel. (a requirement in euclidean geometry).
Therefore, like other organic shapes, arsenic doesn’t look symmetrical –
yet it is.
The theme of life and living goes throughout the board.
Assuming these lines are read by a human, then like yourself and much life on earth – the skateboard is made of carbon.
Be it carbon fiber in arsenic’s particular case.
Apart from carbon, as far as we seem to know, life *may* be based on Arsenic (the substance).
With the notion of bringing together various elements from organic life into the board –
initially, it seemed cool to use actual arsenic (a poisonous material) inside the carbon fiber, as part of the board body.
However, since the very idea of arsenic-based-life – is controversial. Arsenic based life is a question discussed in scientific spheres, it seemed naming the skateboard “arsenic” could be a fitting option. Life may – or may not – come based on arsenic, and as a word, rather than a substance, we get a sense of dynamic elasticity.
the board could have contained arsenic, however, the in-conclusive evidence allowed a few more life connected elements to be conjured – such as language itself.
With arsenic as a material, how could the board to have a freedom, a fearlessness among humans and other lives, and language?(..as poisonous as it may, a word may offer a negotiative plasticity other materials struggle with.)
Arsenic not as a word material but as a substance, isn’t as elastic – it would have poisoned, no questions asked.
(Unless you happen to be an arsenic based organism, scientifically verified or otherwise.)
Keeping the board away from other lives, like you, them, and us, would have been restrictive imho.
(perhaps kinda like placing arsenic in a zoo, a cage – because it could come dangerous to life?)
Indeed, now that someone has taken to have the board without asking, without negotiating – think how troubling it might have been if indeed there was arsenic in the board without the person having a clue about it!
Perhaps there are other things that, who ever is with arsenic nowadays –
will be happy getting more clues about..
In the dark, the lines and letters on the board glow.
That’s phosphorous that lights up in darkness –
a basic substance for life as we know.
We all need glowing phosphorous style, in our lives.
Since arsenic is made through dynamics to do with life rather than well functioning skateboarding experience,
the skateboard was involved in numerous art connected practices –
some people think of the board as an art object.
There are people who suggested that it wasn’t a skateboard that was taken by someone –
but an art object.
With art and objecthood in mind, I think the process of attempting to contact whoever is with the board – now or whenever – becomes interesting since we may get a fresh perspective into dynamics between art linked processes, objects and humans.
Here we have a certain object that surfs between surfaces in function, narratives and now also in terms of life and belonging – arsenic is an in-between life form. Some may say, in spite of my own efforts to keep the board with me.
By taking the skateboard, a new opening became clear –
a connection between myself and whoever took the board,
and who ever may have the board thereafter too, imho.
An opening that is in itself a fairly special interval since it is always negotiable –
despite the fact it is yet to be negotiated. In 100 years time, after I am long dead, perhaps an old friend could encounter, notice, the board with someone. They could say:
“Hey! You have Aha’s board!!”
Since there are no other boards like that – someone, perhaps even a future you, could claim the board should be with someone other than whoever they are with.
That’s the kind of negotiability talked about.
An opening that’s an ongoing connection – because it came abruptly.
There many narratives, and mainly theories, that connect and question a relationship between art and life.
From a duality of art as some kind of an OutOfLife element of cultural life, through to ideas that indeed, every part of life is art – or may become art.
However, there’s another connection which is the life – or indeed death – of art connected stuff.
With the art/life duality narrative in mind, there are those who consider the bringing into artistic focus of stuff –
from stories to images, perceptions and imaginations, scientific processes and politics, performativities, imaginations, objects, concepts and traditions –
a process that offers new kind of evolution for stuff in art – artistic lives.
Some, mainly artists, profess an intimate relationship with their art anointed works.
I think it’s curious that regardless of materials, media, intentions, concepts, culture and periods, the Life of the art –
as object/s, process, project or any other –
comes as a relevant and constituitive question.
we can hear exchanges that may go like:
How do you know the art work is ready?
“I know the project/object is ready because it Doesn’t feel Alive anymore.”
*Why did you use such and such a process?” kind of a question can bring something to the tune of:
“Because the process is meaningless, pointless, and lifeless”. Another kind of common reply to a similar question goes something like:
“Because the object is dead, meaningless –
that’s when it comes to life for me!”
Many of our contemporaries find digital and internet oriented
art connected stuff – hard to either deal with, or even consider in artistic terms.
Listening to the kind of things such humans say, I think, invariably has something to do with life of stuff.
People say digital stuff feels cold, remote, not alive.
That digital music, digital performances, texts, manipulations and indeed programming languages –
may feel to some across all ages and cultures – as a bit dead – digital stuff doesn’t “speak” to them, even if they actually like reading, listening to music, visiting images in galleries and so on.
Perhaps that’s how projects that highlighted various physical aspects of the internet, seemed both relevant, meaningful and very interesting early on around the end of the 90’s and beginning of the 00’s? eg, alpha-3-4
I asked a berlin curator once: “what would you consider as art – is there something particular?”
The reply was that ANYTHING can be art.
So I took a piece of paper and jotted:
If A B ?
No!!! This can not be art!
Why – I asked.
“it has no life!”
I think questions of lives – and deaths – of art linked stuff are curious in multiple ways since the perception of life – be it metaphorical, allegorical, poetic or literal through art processes – may practice a wider imagination of how we connect with lives and the question of
Who and how is indeed – alive?
Now that human activities come to annihilate so much life on earth – perhaps the question of who and how is alive becomes pressing?
Consider, for example, readymade kind of an approach with the how and who’s alive in mind:
With art readymades, there’s the process that’s Taking-Out-Of-Life –
something that was useful becomes “dead” and gains an AfterLife like a bike wheel, or suspended basketballs, or a tin can or a urinal, or –
something which was alive, is dead and through art gains a cultural afterlife – like a shark.
An afterlife that’s hard to tell whether that of a zombie or a ghost –
however, in terms of culture,
if indeed culture – via art – offers life, surely, that living is who and how our culture evolves.
Are we saying that our culture – human in general, or european specific – lives only as a zombie or perhaps a ghost?
While we may tend to think and consider Things as stuff which can be owned. Humans make other humans into objects to justify ownership (eg slaves), or indeed at times – killing others since they are not perceived as humans.
I think that perhaps the very sense of ownership, of a dictatorship one may practice over one thingified life or another –
even if indeed that’s an object that feels nothing what so ever –
is a sensation of deadly consequences.
Since claiming such and such is my-own, ties me (as well as others who may do ownership) to that which my dictatorship is claimed over. Such ties, such bonds, can suffocate all involved.
This is My coffee Cup – and I can break, freeze, attempt to eat it, kiss it and so on – if i well please so!
Ofcourse – no attempt to deny such pleasures here!
there’s a difference between a coffee cup you bought, to one that was to become part of culture. The difference, IMHO
is not the question of Ownership – but connections.
Who might get infected in case you licked the coffee cup, and how.
Such connections, frictions that are, in a sense, alive –
since, as this skateboard episode illustrates, they (the frictions) evolve in various ways that escape development or control.
Hold that thought in mind for a few lines, since perhaps its an apt point to mention such atitudes towards possesions aren’t new for me.
After taking the best part of a month, skateboarding between Brasilia and Rio, I took Everything I Had with me into a gallery: decurators and put it all for Auction.
The currency in that auction was Critique.
People were presented with
the stuff done betweemn Brasila and Rio
a catalogue of my possesions
Choose an item, critique the project done with skateboarding between brasilia and rio
and if your critique is accepted by people – the item, which ever it may be, is yours.
Now, lets’ go back to the personal dictatorships we may exercise over things –
perhaps indeed we, in europe or in other cultures too, are defined by having to be such dictators.
Forced to fend off others who will leave us for dead if we didn’t claim such and such Is “Just For Me”!
However, I would like to try something different in various ways.
Arsenic was thought of with the above Life and art conversations in mind.
Art as life and the urgency for allowing new freedoms in How and Who life comes.
A skateboard object made with life in mind – and that has it’s own life.
A living connected with yours truly, however refusing to belong to each other.
Therefore, since there’s some kind of a life in arsenic the skateboard – being the dictator of that life, just isn’t in me.
The life elements in Arsenic are to do with how skateboards live rather than function. Life of skateboards has something intrinsically that is Between stuff.
Moving Between surfaces. Between a vehicle and a toy. Moving Between zigzags around obstacles of all sorts. An in-between body that is a surface in itself which lives in the interval between a skateboarder and that which comes bellow. When it fails to be between, when a skateboard’s body attempts integration with other objects – the skateboarder may fall.
Skateboards are made with some cosmic intelligence. (Cosmic in the multi universe manner rather than the mystical kind.) Therefore the in-BetweenNess of skateboards comes between human cultures, ages, genders, sexes, religions, languages, fave traditions, fave technologies and liked brands. It matters not what your background is, skateboard can connect with you. (while other stuff does these sort of multi-cross connectivness too – i think not all operates as being in between by their very nature.)
Moreover – and here comes the cosmic intelligence in full – skateboards, as far as we know, are Intuitively, no need to teach, cross species. Other intelligence than humans conceive skateboards in much the same way as we do.. Perhaps that’s what happens when, for example, some dogs and perhaps ducks recognize a platform that can move, and with their intelligence – connect the recognition with themselves and indeed, skateboard without being told or trained.
Skateboarding places the boarder in a constant between as well. One’s body comes interconnected instantaneously with the boards’ betweeness.
With all such in-between-ness-es in mind
Arsenic is a living form from between life supporting substances, shapes, ideas, movements and circumstances.
With the above in mind –
I hope it is clear that in my mind there’s a particular art connected uniqueness here,
with Arsenic having gone with someone else.
It is also hoped that through
this clarity of questioning connections with objects –
it may be obvious that there’s a complete lack of interest this side of the screen to harm anyone who is with Arsenic.
Indeed, in case you are – or know someone – with arsenic, there are things about this board you might not know. Things that may come useful to know.
you may not care this board, a few years a ago, has been through muddy 1st world war fields on way between brighton and brussels.
However, you might care
assuming the 85mm wheels are still there – that these are 85mm no more. In fact, last time they were measured 2 years ago – they were 83mm.
Yes, in a way, these wheels traveled 2mm off from their initial size.
You might not care that this board, in palestine, visited the dead sea and helped embedding local art inside the land in various manners.
It may come as boring to note that arsenic once landed in an airport, got a piece of charcoal attached to the backside, and rode all the way to a place called: charcoal’s mom – while the sound of the friction between the charcoal and roads being recorded.
However, you might be curious to note that some of the bearings come to the end of their lives? They need replacement and don’t use spacers..
It might interest you to note the kind of crews used for king-pins (in case one breaks) – and where to get slightly less than usual allen keys to open them.
Sure, there are stories that this arsenic board has been to, through and a part of.. From weird and wonderful roads in Lisbon that left scratchy marks and memories of unique encounters, through to snowy mountains in Sarajevo’s winter.
There are tales or near accidents near tariffa on rout to malaga, and stories of constant chatter between brasilia and rio – along the 040 road.
This arsenic board was also detained and refused flight by airport security in stanstead..
Arsenic was admired by people of all kinds in Sofia, Stockholm, Hamburg, Bologna and Belo-Horizonte – as well as others.
These things may not come interesting.
However, in case you fancy using the board without getting too annoyed by squeaking noises – I will be happy to show how to fix that! (..and in ways that will not put you in danger via contact with cancerous materials..)
Indeed, if you check the way which the brackets are made, it will come clear that no trucks are used.
In case you want to make these brackets better, perhaps you fancy
getting in touch with the person made them.
Sure.. all these may come superfluous for who ever reads this or indeed is with arsenic.
A person, for example, may throw the brackets and put traditional tracks on. However, this may break the board.. (there’s already a crack near the A.. Was fixed, but not as strong as it should be..)
While indeed I am open to suggestions – here are a few to consider?
Can I borrow the board and bring it back?
Do you simply want to keep it and let me assist you with possible difficulties coming from the board?
There’s a different board (image bellow), more steady, easier to ride and with newer parts – if you want, we could exchange?
In case you bumped into arsenic the skateboard, have it, or something else – will be great if you get in touch!
Though.. again.. Whatever comes, no hard feelings nor complaints 🙂