fed square skateboard vandalism

drew 14:12 17/Nov/08

an email I received.

Vandalism of the “The Federation Square Skateboard Series”

On Monday 10th November 2008, I installed an artwork in Federation Square for the Urban Sculpture Prize. The work was a series of 21 modified Skateboards attached to the bluestone blocks in-between existing anti skating devices. The work was to be there for two weeks until the 24th November.
The idea behind the prize exhibition (which I did not win) is to make a sculptural work responding to the urban environment. My work was about the development of public space and how urban planners design recreational spaces, such as Fed Square, with the intent of excluding certain people.
Fed Square was specifically designed to stop skaters, both through their choice of surfaces and the implementation of anti skating devices. This in architectural terminology is known as defensive space. There is a great piece about this issue found on the net by an ex-pro skater, Ocean Howell called, “The Poetics of Security: Skateboarding, Urban Design, and the New Public Space”. My work was specifically drawing attention to the fact that skateboarders are not welcome in most public spaces.
Folklore and Hemley sponsored the work by providing used skateboards, trucks and wheels. I was paid a token fee by the Exhibition organisers (which did not come close to covering the three months it took to create the work).
During installation I had fantastic feedback from the public, from kids, to skaters, through to grannies. Most liked the work, many were not aware of the issue and others enjoyed the irony. I also had to have words with several skaters who tried to knock off the work.
Before installation I was aware of the chance of some vandalism taking place. I figured a few sets of trucks and definitely some wheels were going to go missing. At worst a figured a couple of boards would be prised off the walls. By Wednesday 12th, the night of the opening, five skateboards had been torn off the bluestone and stolen and a further three had been worked loose (which I removed). After surveying the work for many hours I had to come to the unfortunate conclusion that it was skaters that were targeting my art. By the end of the first weekend there was nothing left of my work? Every piece was gone.
It amasses me how blatantly my work was disrespected, by what I hope is, a minority of skaters. I did not win the large pot of prize money or any of the smaller prizes and now I also have no chance of winning the peoples choice prize, as there is no work left to see. The whole thing has been one mass disappointment. It’s very rare that a pro skating statement (or protest if you prefer) is made legally in such a public sphere, and I naively assumed that it would be appreciated and respected as such.
If you have one of my boards, or know someone who has, I would it would be great to recover them. They can be returned, no questions asked, to Hemley Skateboards, 259a Brunswick St, Fitzroy, or email me If you like the work, vote on mass for the photo that is left at the site. People’s choice forms are available at the square in the exhibition catalogues.
Jason Waterhouse

braddox 14:20 17/Nov/08

little bastards. that actually looks really fucking rad. pitty it couldn`t have stayed there for posperity.

little bastards.

Dudley Booger Dawson 14:27 17/Nov/08

On one hand I'm thinking.. "that looks rad, fuck you little shits, as if you would even want anything off those crappy setups"

On the other hand... "oh boo hoo, artist man who got paid to do this isn't going to win a whole bunch of $$$$. Naive twit to think that shit wouldn't have gotten taxed"

Mr Fox
Mr Fox 14:30 17/Nov/08

How'd he bend the boards like that?

easeup 14:30 17/Nov/08

for fucks sake why would you steal a bent board?

Dudley Booger Dawson 14:31 17/Nov/08

"How'd he bend the boards like that?"

There folklores

Choder Boy 14:33 17/Nov/08

that "art" makes skating look bad/worse

sk 14:35 17/Nov/08

all this does is confirm the general public's impression that most skateboarders are disrespectful little shits...

logi 14:40 17/Nov/08

the first ones truck is backwards

.bombzigty 14:42 17/Nov/08

there is no way at all they were ever not going to get stolen.

marburg 14:50 17/Nov/08

sounds like a big woe is me, no prize whinge

the question remains, do you have his boards drew?

franga 15:04 17/Nov/08

I'm glad his shit got stolen and he isn't going to win any prizes. why wreck what looks like boards in alright condition, when there are kids out there that don't have boards?? that guy is a fuckhead

Leland Palmer 15:26 17/Nov/08

What the fark do you expect Jason?
Your artwork is in a very public place and it looks like an easy heist. It's definitely wrong that people took your art but don't cry about it if you thought it was going to happen anyway...

Joel Ingleburn 15:26 17/Nov/08

i want to know what took him three months to do. pretty cool and people are dicks for stealing it but what else would you expect. interesting though

Dunnas 15:44 17/Nov/08

So skateboarders are the only people out there that can steal shit??? Dumb.

Log in to comment · 1800 034 588·