Storm Sequence

Storm Sequence - Courtesy of Shaun GladwellStorm Sequence - Courtesy of Shaun GladwellStorm Sequence - Courtesy of Shaun Gladwell

Storm Sequence.
Shaun Gladwell.
2000. Video. Duration: 12mins
Videography: Técha Noble
Sound: Kazumuchi Grime
Commissioned by Peter Fay

This was one of the very first works of art I saw yesterday at the 52nd Venice Biennale and was immediately mesmerized. Later in the afternoon I decided to return to the Italian Pavilion to see it once again. My thoughts on Gladwell's work of art, recorded — freestyled — as the video played:

wet concrete
pounding surf
skater looks to camera
and the dance begins.
tender relationship to the machine
wheel: ancient technology of motion
letting go, then returning to the board
just living.
atmospheric music …
you don't hear melody when in the flow
crouch, extend, pirouette,
the line the skateboard draws
not horizontal, not vertical
but curvilinear
like the ocean waves he embodies.
death spiral on wheels
spiral of life?

See also: Lightness and the Tactile Burden


3 responses to Storm Sequence

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  1. Rodster says:


    For my candidacy exams, I was asked a rather challenging question: "can sport be substituted for art? if so, what implications does this have for a postmodern theorizing of culture? what difference does it make for the theorizing of race and sport that both Cultural Studies and postmodern theory have focused on the arts?"

    Personally, I see it as a rather seemless move to substitute sport for art, but I also recognize some of the challenges and limitations of this move. When you have a moment, I'd love to hear your thoughts on the topic.

  2. sportsbabel says:

    Wow, that is a great question….I think we will need to spend much time over beer trying to figure it out. That said, I think that this sport-art binary is totally arbitrary and bullshit and needs to be blown up at once. And I think that is going to become a foundational component of my "project" as it were. I was amazed at how much sport and the body kept cropping up during my time here at EGS with a group of people that self-admittedly participates in the same binary coding. So there is some potential…

    What does it mean yet? I dunno…

  3. Rodster says:

    Agreed! The arbitrary division of sport and art is bullshit. Yet, it doesn't surprise me. I think that something I am (finally) coming to fully realize/embrace is that "culture" is the ongoing site for contestation over meaning. The spectre of the high-low divide in cultural studies still haunts. But even those self-admitted or self-proclaimed adherents to binary logics (I'd suggest those primarily of the Manichean variety) still desire to "slum it" and succumb to their appetites for the raw, the bestial, the primal that only sport and the body can satiate.

    Yes, my good friend, I look forward to discussing this and more over many pints of beer.