The Rise of Galaxy Brain Spots

Us members of somehow still-functioning society are no strangers to pendulum swings: anything that veers too far to one side is due for a correction. Safe, digestible art gets confronted by messy experimental art. An army of skaters in slim highwaters eventually gets run over by a parade of Big Boys and their imitators.

Except is boring art ever more than a reappraisal away from being a “return to form?” Can your pants really be out of date and not simultaneously years ahead of their time?

The story of skaters is at-once the tale of the spaces that we inhabit along the way — but nobody needs another boring rant about how we ended up with a lot of skateparks. There are very few skatepark holdouts left; the defiant act of being “skatepark sober” requires a monk-like asceticism. Like Amazon and Seamless, most people caved to their convenient evils a long time ago. L.E.S. Skatepark turns 10 (!) this year.

In the years since, a bunch of shit happened and we arrived at a skateable space sanctioned by the International Olympic Committee. At that point, you knew there was only one place for the pendulum left to go…

Via @tybeall

Via @homiesnetwork

…and it went towards brilliant works of expanding-brain madness like those you see above.

The shaved-down edges of skatepark culture can only be countered by the sorts of inanities that bored skateboarders are particularly adept at creating. For instance, a road sign was once understood as piece of punctuation on a skate spot — one that covers a crack or obfuscates a curb — but now, its role has been multiplied into creating a spot in and of itself.

In fact, the pedulum went so far towards the other end that it swung past a lot of skateboarders’ brains. “Imagine just wanting to skate the box and showing up to this ding dongerey” is how one veteran observer reacted to the construction of a first-sixty-degree-day-at-Tompkins masterpiece just weeks ago.

Skateboarding can be understood as being at its absolute best when it leaves regular people dumbfounded by our idiocy, idiosyncrasies, cool pants, shockingly hot girlfriends/boyfriends, etc. There has always been a smug satisfaction at rolling away from a trick in the face of some stupid lame-o who doesn’t “get it” — who, just ten minutes ago, was telling you that you were going to break your stupid fucking neck.

But to get it to a point where skateboarders themselves are like, “Wtf is this spot? You’re gonna break your stupid fucking neck” — well, that party is just beginning. And it’s gonna be good 😈


  1. I’ve always thought of skateparks as a cage. Last time I was at Lake Cunningham in San Jose (the park in the picture), you had to sign a waiver and rent pads, so there’s that bullshit too. Long live jank.

  2. They become activists and cry incessantly about how everything is everyone else’s fault

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