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Free Basin
2000

20’ x 40’ x 50’ galery
plywood, concrete, steel, skateboarders

Free Basin was inspired by Los Angeles skate culture of the 70s, when empty swimming pools were used as sites for skateboarders to emulate the movements of surfing. The work consists of an elevated kidney-shaped skate bowl that is fully accessible to skateboarders during the exhibition. From the bottom of the structure, visitors were confronted with a huge, bellied wooden form, the structural underside of a kidney-shaped basin. A spiral staircase connected the two levels. On the upper level, surrounded by a platform, the smooth biomorphic depression became the armature for trajectories and maneuvers of skateboarders in spectacular body-board-terrain relationships. Built specifically for each of its five venues, free basin was offered free of charge to skateboarders during exhibition hours. On the platform, the fast-paced centrifugal moves of the skaters charged the atmosphere with conviviality combined with a sense of controlled chaos.

Like Joyce's 'festival of language, a delirium of words', skateboarding is a festival of movement, a series of precise spatial-temporal actions rendered demented and deranged, and which ultimately destroys and recreates body and architecture together. This is super-architectural space.

-Iain Borden, Skateboarding, Space and The City: Architecture and the Body, 2001