Colonial Surfer - STNC is a project about the contemporary globalized world and power structures within the surf industry and its realm. Surfing is not just a sport but also culture, producer and distributor. In current discussions you hear about the post-colonial but the situation today is better described as neo-colonial. Surfers do travel a lot and sometimes to places unknown to other tourists. The way surfers behave and represent themselves in the adventures search of perfect waves has a lot in common with ancient colonizers and their roles. To surf maintain and conserve already existing structures. History.
Editor: Kristoffer Svenberg
Monday, September 9, 2019
Thursday, August 29, 2019
Sunday, August 25, 2019
Monday, August 19, 2019
Why is Gagosian doing an exhibition with #fletcherDNA as the hashtag and the overall title: The Fletcher Family – A Lifetime in Surf? The exhibition is on Madison Avenue in New York. Vice Magazine has been writing this about the skateboarder Greyson Fletcher who is the youngest guy in the family: ”Greyson is more than just a skater, he´s the fourth generation of a bloodline that has produced some of the most influential surfers ever. ” I´m questioning. What does this have to do with art at all? Is this art?; Four generations of great surfers in a family.
You need to be in a situation that allows you to spend a lot of time surfing waves instead of doing other things to become a professional surfer. I dare to say that being a surfer is a matter of class. And I would say that the surf scene is taking place in similar upper-class environments like golf, sailing, and art.
You can make art out of surfing as a subject or material. You can do art out of any material and subject, but to be a great surfer is about being a great surfer. To say that it´s the same thing as being a great artist is naive.
The practice of the artist . . . is no different than that of the surfer, who inscribes his or her self in the ocean—a bigger canvas could not be engaged, defining their humanity in the most personal way, using themselves to draw their lifelines through the massive fleeting freedom of that power. The power and majesty of the sea—Herbie shared that with me and with my family as well as his own.
Wave surfing is originally a Polynesian sport and tradition with its first historical beginning in Hawaii. It’s being told that Hawaiians themselves mainly described and focused on surfing as an art form integrated into their culture. In addition, some who tell the story says that the first and most surfers were women. When missionaries from Scotland and Germany arrived in Hawaii in 1821, they banned and downplayed a number of Polynesian traditions and cultural practices. This also included wave surfing. The number of active surfers were limited to very few and surfing as an art form was about to completely die out.
Surfing as a cultural phenomenon back then was something different from how it is today. In the contemporary situation surfing is more mainstream, an ideal and something commercial more globally. To say that surfing is automatically art within the contemporary art-scene is conservative.
A Lifetime in surf is a celebration of a book with the same title about the Fletcher family. It is written by Dibi Fletcher, and with no further explanation is Dibi Fletcher being called the matriarch of surfing´s first family by her Husband Herbie and media. Mentioned about the book is also surfing as a counterculture from 1950s until today. How surfing has the possibility of both being viewed upon as counterculture and mainstream culture at the same time is interesting and something of a mystery. No matter how popular surfing is surfers consider themselves alternative and counterculture. I haven't read the book yet but will do soon.
Surfing is great fun and amazing! But it is not art just like that. And it’s not about bloodlines or DNA.
Monday, February 11, 2019
Wednesday, September 19, 2018
Monday, September 17, 2018
Wednesday, September 5, 2018
I work on a project in Arugam Bay, Sri Lanka, that is a distant and exotic place for me. Through the project, I intentionally intend to be in a colonial gaze. At the same time, it’s a look that’s already my own. From a global perspective, I already represent the role I now consider myself to play.
I'm in a role as a missionary in an American Christian surf organization. I do this as an art performance. Nobody on site knows that I see my participation as something related to my art practice. I perform a role in a group that I'm critical with. I'm carrying a camera with me and I am photographing a lot. The others in the group do also carry around cameras. Many photographs and video clips are being shot in an environment that is very exotic to us. A difference is that I am primarily interested in targeting ourselves. When days and weeks pass, the situation becomes more known to me. At the same time, I probably exoticize and generalize the missionary role in an unfair manner. And maybe I also over-identify me with the research subject. I make a series of overthrows and break the rules in ways that are more and less typical of anthropologists throughout history.
After being away for 2 months and 2 weeks, I've returned home to the Swedish summer via airplanes, airports and airport buses. I'm in Mälarhöjden where I live in a collective with friends. We share a garden villa in a neighborhood with a lot of quite old but very nice villas. My room is still occupied since I've hired it temporarily to an exchange student. I do now make the living room into my sleeping area. I´m laying down on a pile of mattresses that really are too soft in combination with each other. I'm so tired that I don't make an effort to separate them.
The days are very hot in Arugam Bay. The place is located on the southeastern side of the island of Sri Lanka. Strong sunlight is shining through the window. We are as missionaries visiting a welcoming Sri Lankan family.
As I look around, I wonder how the picture on the wall looks so familiar. There is something with the color scale. The various shades of green that are broken up by some reddish and brown. A bookshelf is placed in the spartan-decorated room. It's very similar to a shelf in our collective in Sweden. And just as it stands. I'm getting a nice curious smile on my lips when I see that it also contains the book The Aesthetics of Resistance by Peter Weiss. On the wall is a Mona Lisa poster mounted on a wooden board. The same as we have in our collective in Mälarhöjden! It's also worn in an almost identical way. The feeling in the body is overwhelming. I'm rising up out of the several layers of mattresses. I reach for the camera to start photographing the room. I focus, and when I press the shutter button, the perspective changes.
Sunday, September 2, 2018
There is now a plan for a 3 billion dollar tourism project in The Benoa Bay area. That is about building artificial islands with resorts for rich people. This will also include huge harbors for cruising ships. This reclamation will destroy a natural area of mangrove trees and has far worse environment causes in Bali overall.
There have been fishermen in a more smaller scale harbor in this area. They have been refusing to move from there. Then the stories about this are different depending on whom you talk to. But what is for sure is that some days ago around 40 ships got burnt in a fire disaster. And this is right in the spot where the building of this mega-tourism complex should go on. In all the media I’ve been reading, internationally, about this fire disaster, the only explanation I get is that Bali has to pour safety for fires and that the boats have been to close to each other in the harbor.
Some locals have other versions. One version is that people, or the government, with interest in this exploitation project, has burnt the ships. A friend of mine send me the same kind of article as the ones I already read recently about this incident, but with a date from 2017. The causes of the fire that year, as with this year fire, are not solved. Just some thoughts are presented about that it could be about electricity. In 2017 it was only three boats that got on fire thanks to helping from 15 fire engines and two boats deployed to the scene. In 2018 the fire was more massive and it went extremely fast. 40 ships got gulped in the fire this time. It might be an electrical short circuit that caused the fire. But this is widely discussed.
”The negative aspects of unrestricted tourist development have been highlighted by the Bali Tolak Reklamasi movement, including unregulated mining of limestone and coral for hotel and airport construction, coastal erosion, plastic waste, sewage pollution, and water source diversions from the Subak water irrigation system towards areas that no longer have existing water tables.”
”…estimated 85 percent of the tourism economy in Bali is non-Balinese owned, and the tourism industry accounts for 65 percent of Bali’s water consumption.”
Thursday, May 24, 2018
Wednesday, March 28, 2018
Charles de Gaulle is one of Europe’s most supervised airports. A person puts down and leaves a backpack in the airport. Before leaving, the person photographs the bag. This action shows the surveillance cameras that everything is intentional and that the backpack is not forgotten. The bag is closed and locked with a padlock in the zipper opening. This means that it can not be easily opened. The backpack is meant as an attack in the airport.
Studies of art, photography, postcolonial theory and my own experience of traveling as a tourist in Asia are behind my decision to perform the action. I am convinced that the action is worth doing for a number of important reasons. Placing the bag like this at Charles de Gaulle airport can scare, shock and hurt individuals. A part of the airport may be blocked by the security guards and people on their way to or from their flights might be disturbed. The ethical problem of exposing other people to my actions is included in my calculations.
I justify the action with theories of how the system itself is so much more violent, wrong and destructive.
"For security reasons, baggage left unattended will be removed and destroyed."
The contents of the backpack are pictures. These images consist of scanned material from travel brochures and travel commercials printed on photo paper and then cropped to 10x15cm format. Nothing but a large number of these pictures lies in the bag. The selection is made to represent a typical representation of the world through a European travel commercial perspective. The backpack contains something that the tourism industry generates. Images that constitute the current world order.
The security system, the structure, and the strictly disciplined architecture are tangible. I’m up in this with intentions about it as art. Flying with the bag containing only pictures is part of a performance work. Passing the bag through the X-ray machine at the airport worries me. Perhaps I will face suspicion and questions. I’m afraid to be remembered, or that security staff should notice this as something strange so that I can later be linked to the Charles de Gaulle airport attack and seized as a terrorist.
Tuesday, March 27, 2018
Sunday, March 25, 2018
Wednesday, March 7, 2018
STNC: It's about the position and role. Who is mobile and free and who is getting frozen solid. Anyone who can move more freely, such as a surfer who travels the world, has the advantage in matters of representation when holding the camera. From such a free-floating position, it is easier to control the representation of the 'other', the influence of photography and the performative power. It is also very much about his/her own identity by consuming the environment as an "aesthetic surface." The power lies in the ability for geographical movement but manifests itself through pictures and stories. Whose stories are told through these images and why? What is the purpose of the image photographed from this tuktuk ride? In general it is very often photographs that manifest the photographer's role and identity.
STNC: Yes, that’s a way of putting it. But somehow that is also problematic. Since we need to find ways of getting everyone able to be observers alike. Not just the free traveling surfer. In Surfers are The New Colonialists I am observing the surfer and the surfers gaze. I do this to find ways of challenging very unequal perspectives.
Monday, December 4, 2017
Thursday, September 7, 2017
role-play and as an art performance. The organizations name is Surfing The Nations and has its base of operations on Oahu, Hawaii. The same place as the colonizing English missionaries discouraged and forbade wave surfing in the 1800s. Surfing The Nations is an American organization but with a surprising over-representation of Swedes. STN:s (not to mistake for STNC) main focus is to bring people into religious conversion within what they call the 10/40 window. Countries that are located 10°-40° north of the Antarctic Circle. Countries like Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Indonesia, India and more.
Wednesday, September 6, 2017
Saturday, October 29, 2016
If you believe that meaning comes in sequences and takes the form of a trajectory through a number of different points, then what you really care about is movement: the real possibility to move from one point to another fast enough to prevent the overall shape from vanishing. Now what is the source of this movement, and what keeps it going? Your curiosity, of course, and your desire for experience. But these aren’t enough, believe me. This movement is also propelled by the points through which it passes … [The surfer] has a chance to build real sequences of experience only if at each stop along his journey he gets another push. Still, they’re not really stops, but systems of passage that generate acceleration.
Unsurprisingly, if the diver is the person who reads Proust, Baricco writes, the surfer is the person browsing the internet.
More importantly, by introducing the figure of the surfer, Baricco develops Jameson’s notion of depthlessness from an experiential register to a modality of engagement. In order to stay above water, after all, the surfer needs to develop the skills that keep him on his board. One of these skills, one similar to Deleuze and Guattari’s concept of the rhizome, is to perceive the ocean as a “trajectory” rather than either a territory (implying a mapping) or a telos(suggesting direction). (Indeed, Deleuze himself introduces the figure of the surfer in his “Postscript on the Societies of Control.”) Here the surfer stays on his board by choosing one wave after the other, regardless of the corals he scratches with the tip of his board or the direction the waves take him in. He literally lets the waves carry him—he “lives in the moment.” The second skill is the ability to constantly keep moving. If the surfer slows down or is momentarily stopped “by the temptation to analyze,” as Baricco puts it, he sinks.
He must progress, advance, experiencing each wave not on its own terms but as the medium, the catalyst for the next encounter, which is to say that each experience is experienced not in and of itself but in anticipation of the next experience, the next wave. What Baricco suggests, thus, is that the experiential registers of depth and depthlessness prescribe different modes of engagement: in the former you focus on one point in particular whilst in the latter you let your eyes scan over the surface; in the first you look for the special, in the second for the spectacular: the next wave, the next thrill. Though Baricco’s metaphor of the surfer is both limiting and reductive and certainly does not define all art from the eighties and nineties, it manages to put into words a sentiment often shared between certain artistic traditions and their audiences: the act of looking for a hint, not of what lies beneath, but rather of what lies ahead of us—the spectacle, the thrill, the controversy, the next wave we can ride and then the next, and the next.
By invoking the figure of the surfer, someone whose concern is not only to stand on the water but to avoid falling into it, going under, this duality is made manifest: to speak about depthlessness is to speak about the extinction of depth, not its nonexistence.
To return to Jameson’s case studies, Van Gogh’s A Pair of Boots implies another mode of engagement than Warhol’s Diamond Dust Shoes: in the former we are invited to look for traces of an experience; in the latter what we are left to see are points for discussion.
Vincent van Gogh’s A Pair of Boots (1887), Jameson wrote, expressed both, through its “hallucinatory” use of color, the artist’s “realm of the senses” and, through its use of “raw materials,” a world “of agricultural misery, of stark rural poverty, … backbreaking peasant toil, a world reduced to its most brutal and menaced, primitive marginalized state.”5 The painting, in other words,conveyed individual ideas, sensibilities, and social realities which continued beyond its borders. In contrast, Andy Warhol’sDiamond Dust Shoes (1980) communicated neither an authorial voice, nor a personal attitude or affect, nor a sense of the world it supposedly represented. The black-and-white photograph, with its shiny, isolated aesthetic, Jameson suggested, could allude to glamour magazines just as well as to a memory of the artist’s mother, to shoes left over from Auschwitz or the remains of a dance hall fire. If Van Gogh’s painting of peasant shoes pulled the viewer into another world of poverty and misery, Warhol’s photo of pumps pushed the spectator out back into his own.6 As Warhol himself is alleged to have said: “If you want to know all about Andy Warhol, just look at the surface: of my paintings and films and me, and there I am. There’s nothing behind it.”
Extract from: The New “Depthiness” - Timotheus Vermeulen
Friday, August 12, 2016
"The mayor of Cannes has banned the wearing of burkinis - full body swimsuits - on the beaches of the French Riviera resort famous for its annual film festival, officials said on Thursday."
- The Telegraph
Sunday 14 August 2016
"A second resort town on the French Riviera has announced a ban on full-body swimsuits - or 'burkinis' - at its beaches. (...) Anyone found breaching the order, in place until the end of August, faces a €38 (£32) fine."
MAKE SURE NOT TO WEAR THIS IN CANNES OR VILLENEUVE-LOUBET!
Friday, August 14, 2015
Sunday, August 2, 2015
Saturday, August 1, 2015
What does the sign that this guy is doing in the picture mean? A positive way of reading could be to say that this guy is breaking the surface in the image. A image of him as a poor. But the one in control here is the one who’s behind the camera.
And this is rather a sign that says Hello in a more specific way.
It’s a surfers sign. And in this case it's about the surface. Being above or under the surface.
A young kid doing the hang loose sign from his perfect position as a poor.
Traditional. As used in the Hawaiian Islands, "Hang Loose or "Shocka" is used as a non verbal expression; or greeting. To tell the receipiant, that every thing will be OK, Relax, Stop looking at me w/ that stern look on your face. / from Urban Dictionary