“Recounting your hometown, if done with sincerity, isn’t without implying the unveiling of a certain chunk of yourself – at least as far as your everyday habits and, in the context of skateboarding, your favorite spots are concerned, if anything.

Although Aymeric wasn’t born in Blois, France, that is where skateboarding entered his life and took him out of his house.

To this day, I can still remember breaking down the basic mechanism of a no-comply for this short, blond-haired kid ; that was easily over a decade ago, and he has been getting back at me by relentlessly pulling new variations out of his seemingly endless trick hat ever since. Son of a gun !

Aymeric now lives in the french skateboarding mecca Bordeaux easily qualifies as ; that doesn’t seem to prevent him from regularly coming back to Blois for a visit, which only makes for new opportunities for the both of us to go skate around the local streets and stack the occasional clips, to my greatest pleasure.

Anyway, he had been telling me about that vision of his, of a concept for a Blois-based audiovisual project involving a three-part Michel Petrucciani song comprising the imagery of “Morning”, “Noon” and “Night Sun[s]” for a while ; I thought the idea was interesting and here we are, two years of work later, in the position to introduce you to this historic french city and its ever-so-intriguing spots.

Enjoy your visit !”

Intro by Romain Badan
Questions by Yoan Taillandier

Ollie up b/s casper. Ph. : Tom Gerrier

Ollie up b/s casper. Ph. : Tom Gerrier

___

How long have you been skateboarding in Blois for ? How does the scene work over there ? Anyone filming or covering its locals in general ?

Well, I originally am from Tours, France, a bigger city located an hour away from Blois ; I moved to Blois when I was 8 for family reasons, which inherently motivated me to try out skateboarding - something I had always been fascinated by the imagery of as a kid, through the occasional glimpses of it I would sparsely catch in the media or - an even rarer occurrence back then - skaters in the flesh I would happen to come by (being lucky enough to witness something as elementary as a flatground ollie making for the highlight of many weeks to come from then on), but never dared to actually take the time to practice myself.

For reasons that should be obvious to most of us, after I eventually did, it stuck with me for good, and from then on my memory is nothing short of a blur of recollections of experimentation and discovery.

I remember being 12 and sitting in the classroom at 8 in the morning, while it was still dark out, and thinking to myself for the first time, “damn, there’s like 30+ of us kids in here and I am the only one with this secret – the secret that my existence among them might be nothing short of a fraud after all, because as soon as the day ends, and I am hopping on and then off the bus home, I will be riding around my neighborhood for hours on [what back then was] some obscure device, and experience sensations of a kind none of those guys will ever get close to knowing“.

La Tauge, Blois. Ph : Thierry Calloux

La Tauge, Blois. Ph. : Thierry Calloux

Anyway, that was 15+ years ago. Back then, Blois had a very popular skate spot, “La Pataugeoire” - promptly shortened to “La Tauge” after enduring the Skater Lingo Shredder treatment.

Originally a rather elaborate outdoor public wading / swimming pool for the children - which the city would fill up in the summer, and drain as soon as september - that spot (in its “dry” state) was pretty much a mash-up of more-or-less skateable banks and ramps ; out of all the local legends there, now longtime professional Luy-Pa Sin (who, unbeknownst to the masses, grew up in Blois), is notorious for trying out someone’s skateboard for the first time there - only to slam on the rough concrete flatground trying to drop in on one of the banks, hard enough to break his arm.

He quickly recovered from the results of this daredevil-styled introduction to the practice, though, only to stick to it, and incidentally become better at it than anyone else there back then.

Albeit unbeknownst to the radar of the mainstream, people have always been skateboarding hard in Blois and in central France in general - until a few years ago, the scene was actually really strong, passionate and tight-knit, which would consequently translate into its documentation under the form of numerous, yet inconspicuous amateur full-length efforts by various individuals throughout the ages.

Now – and to put it rather bluntly - due to their usual lack of substance besides the sentimental value (which is also important !), none of those local productions never really went anywhere, but they did exist nonetheless.

Olivier Varma - f/s boneless

Olivier Varma – f/s boneless

As far as I am concerned, I have been filming the Blois locals (amongst others) ever since I first took up skating there, so for about 15 years.

Due to having little to no access to modern technology back then, I started out with some of the most basic equipment, including some of the first battery-powered webcams ; I remember very well that the first one I ever used could record and save up to 20 frames in ‘high quality’ (to 2002 standards) mode, and up to 80 frames in ‘low quality’ mode, that one would then need to “manually” organize as an animation in whatever free editing program was at hand back then.

SD cards didn’t exist, so you had to rely on nothing but the built-in memory ; and you could only delete either all recorded frames at once or no frames at all, only to come back home with about four seconds of “footage” every night as the best-case scenario.

Needless to say, filming lines with that thing could get quite hectic - we would still go for it, though, regardless.

___

Where does your motivation come from ? What pushes you to get involved in the local scene ? Do you have any outside inspiration sources (internet, books, music, others) and if yes then can you please go more in depth about them ?

As I previously stated, the scene in Blois (and in central France in general) used to be genuinely motivated and tight-knit ; all values that - to an extent that really isn’t limited to the local scene either – unfortunately tend to fade away nowadays, with how easily and quickly the newer, developing thus impressionable generations of skateboarders are now exposed to the mainstream skateboarding industry and its outside capitalist deviances as soon as they take up the activity, which eventually shakes their perception of the culture in ways that encourage more selfish attitudes, short-term thinking and destructive behaviors - rather than the magnificience of an art and the subsequent sublimation and celebration of the individual among a community by the means of said art.

Place Jean Jaurès, Blois. Ph. : Aymeric Nocus

Place Jean Jaurès, Blois. Ph. : Aymeric Nocus

Opting for a fatalistic outlook, though, would be just as much of a destructive behavior as it would also be a catch-22.

I personally choose not to condone pessimism, not just because I personally happen to think that pure pessimism itself never leads anywhere, but also because - to me at least - it is blatantly obvious that when you look past the actual form of the set behaviors kids all over the world nowadays get force fed with by the forementioned deviances of capitalism – something they personally do not really get to choose to get exposed to, either, and thus can’t be blamed for - the only energy left stemming from those kids is the same love and motivation for skateboarding as we all feel.

[Although] the monopoly the industry has been developing over the younger skateboarders’ minds has had a destructive effect on their creativity, their essential motivation is still intact, and should be fueled.

Rather than stubbornly focus on the immediate negatives, I’d rather try to be a positive energy myself and do something constructive for the local scene.

To the humble extent I can, I strive to be a motivator, as well as an eye-opener ; there are perspectives in skateboarding (and, by extension, in life in general) beyond what is immediately perceptible which, due to their indisputable, spontaneous love for it all, kids also deserve access to.

Actually, I would go even further than that by reckoning that I think that every individual deserves access to those perspectives, in order to expand their spiritual realms, therefore fulfill a better part of themselves and reach a certain level of enlightenment.

The road to enlightenment. Ph. Aymeric Nocus

Bordeaux, 2013. Ph. : Aymeric Nocus

I just go by the elementary line of thinking that if you are in position to contribute to some sort of evolution in the grand scheme of things – no matter how seemingly insignificant the field - yet choose not to, and prefer to stay isolated and mindlessly rant about everything you view as going wrong instead, then you are nothing but part of the problem, too.

Factually, the monopoly the mainstream skateboarding industry has been developing over the younger skateboarders’ minds (around here, at least) over the past years has had a destructive effect on their creativity in general – their essential motivation is still intact, and should be fueled, but their spiritual approach to skateboarding has been tainted so much that as relative newcomers to the practice, they are confused about what they [feel like they] are entitled to do, and where to start.

A lot of them only see the technical side of the practice, and do not even skate the city streets anymore – making for a stark contrast with how said streets were all we had to make do with just a few years ago – nowadays’ kids just fail to see the point anymore, they fail to see how creative you can get interacting with your environment, deciphering and reinterpreting man-made “urban” settings consisting in nothing but elements with pre-determined respective purposes, and how interesting and fun it essentially is.

No-comply wallie up to narrow f/s wallride. Ph. : Tom Gerrier

No-comply wallie up to narrow f/s wallride. Ph. : Tom Gerrier

Moreover, and consequently, the social and cultural aspects of skateboarding are also gradually decaying ; to me, it appears that most representants of the latest generations of Blois skateboarders do not travel nor explore quite as much anymore, or are no longer exposed to interactions with people of all kinds of backgrounds inhabiting the city, dwindling potential cultural exchange.

The omnipresence of capitalistic endeavors in modern mainstream media also makes it harder for young skateboarders to get exposed to artistic content nowadays, and nurture their natural curiosity, whereas sociological and generally cultural substance used to be all over the place in skateboarding magazines no earlier than a couple of years back, when companies were smaller and publications more independent.

In a nutshell, I feel like – nowadays and for the most part – confusion is reigning, and the younger generations deserve to be exposed to untainted, more constructive sources of inspiration.

If that video encouraged at least one kid [...] to learn a new exotic trick, to experiment while shooting photos or filming, or to skate an uncommon spot, then the mission I set myself to is complete.

In a way, the “Trilogy in Blois” video is my personal, custom-fitted response to local manifestations of a more global phenomenon I personally couldn’t relate to, in addition to making for a time capsule of the expression of my take on local skateboarding. I never really intended it to be seen by anyone outside of Blois, nor do I intend it to be seen by every Blois skater either - I just like the idea that it exists, it’s floating around somewhere and available for everyone to stream, for posterity‘s sake.

My ultimate goal is to inspire and stimulate the creativity within people’s minds, regardless of wherever they might be based ; if I can somehow do that through my work and if, for instance, that video encouraged at least one kid, somewhere, at some point, to actually skate to the skatepark for once instead of passively relying on their parents driving them around, or to learn a new exotic trick, or to experiment while shooting photos or filming, or to skate an uncommon spot, then the mission I set myself to is complete and I can sleep in peace.

Julio de la Cruz-styled impossible casper trick. Ph. : Tom Gerrier

Julio de la Cruz-styled impossible casper trick. Ph. : Tom Gerrier

As far as inspiration goes, mine – just like everyone’s – obviously comes from everything in life I happen to get to sensorially experience.

You know how it works – when your sensitivity gets triggered by an outside stimulus of some kind, your memory registers the resulting emotion along with everything else it has registered before in the records of your own, unique personal history ; then, when the time comes to express what you might think is an original thought, and you have to shape this very expression into an optimally accurate form in order to ensure that you convey said thought in the most exactly representative maneer you can get to, your brain picks among all those now more abstract symbols and signs it has logged from your former experiences, and uses them as a tool in order to render your “new” thought in a way that, hopefully, feels appropriate enough.

According to this theory and when you think about it, impressionism, for instance, all comes down to the art of pushing the right buttons, in order to trigger the right emotions within people.


Pat Brennen’s “Celebraty Tropical Fish” part

But I digress ; my point is that the more stuff you get exposed to in general, the more tools you will gather and the more inspiration you will get.

I have always been an old-school skate video nerd ; back in my earlier, formative years of skateboarding, a lot of the newer videos I wouldn’t find inspiring. Consequently, in order to quench my thirst for exciting skateboarding-related content, I would (struggle to) get my hands on some of the older stuff, which I could relate to the raw aspect of a lot more ; that was back in the early- to mid-2000′s, when access to “vintage” media wasn’t as easy as it is nowadays - where you can look up almost any video title in search engines and it’s almost a guarantee that the corresponding film will come up.

I would spend weeks logged in on Soulseek or eMule, trading numeric VHS rips of more-or-less obscure videos from the late 1980′s, early 1990′s with other anonymous, yet passionate users.

The resulting viewings obviously helped shape not just my taste in videos in general, but also my skateboarding style ; to this day, most of, if not all my tricks are tongue-in-cheek tributes to all the skaters who influenced me growing up.


Soy Panday’s “Jolie Routine” part

As far as “Trilogy in Blois” is more specifically concerned, though, I can safely pinpoint the following as major influences : Soy Panday‘s section in Pierre Prospero’s “Jolie Routine” video (2006), which I find to be full of smart, witty ideas on both sides of the camera, and, to me, conveys a rather carefree feel all the while insisting on giving the featured locations a sense ; Pat Brennen‘s section in the Powell video, “Celebraty Tropical Fish” (1991), for its overall mood which I feel resonates as a timeless celebration of the act of skateboarding in all its rawness, all the while retaining certain cinematic qualities I personally deem interesting.


Chris Pulman’s part in “Live From Antartica”

Throughout the rough two years I spent working on that project (on and off seeing as I don’t live in Blois anymore and thus could only collect new footage on sparse occasions), I also found myself watching a lot of early- to mid-2000′s Chris Pulman parts, from the first Heroin videos ; the great, original skating aside, they would also motivate me to go film locally, by reinforcing my confidence in documenting obscure hometown spots that might not necessarily come off as the ”classiest” (whatever that might mean and to whichever standards the currently popular ones might be) on footage, yet - indisputably and by definition – make for the essence of everyday skateboarding.

"We Can't Go Home Again" (Nicholas Ray, 1973) video still

“We Can’t Go Home Again” (Nicholas Ray, 1973 version) video still

Now, as far as non-skate-related influences for this project are concerned, they are all given a mention in the YouTube description of the video - which also happens to generally go more in depth about the various meanings behind the overall artistic direction, be it the choice for the music or the aesthetics of the accompanying, orchestrated visuals ; that being said, in the context of such an interview, Nicholas Ray‘s never-quite-completed movie “We Can’t Go Home Again”, as well as the topic of Michel Petrucciani‘s career and life, might deserve to be brought up again.

I find that the “We Can’t Go Home Again” references make sense, not just as a play on the movie title (Blois being the place I consider my hometown, that I now live away from and only get to visit on sparse occasions) [ironically enough, I am just now replying to those interview questions in the midst of a two-month stay there due to family obligations which happened to reveal themselves just when the video was done and published], but also because of the original, personal nature of both projects, in that they were both given birth to in the sole order to give form to – and thus fulfill – their author’s fantasy, with close-to-complete disregard of what might make or break the “entertainment” factor to the general public. I personally tend to appreciate crafts of that nature the best, due to their obvious authenticity and sincerity.

Oddly enough, because of how film director Nicholas Ray was still making alterations to his movie when he eventually died from lung cancer in 1979, and thus never really got to completely finalize the materialization of his vision, as I was gradually realizing how technically ambitious, physically and spiritually draining, and time-consuming my own project was getting on its humble scale, I have to admit that I grew somewhat superstitious and became a little scared of drawing too many parallels. Needless to say, that only made for some extra relief when I eventually got to publish my own, finished piece.

Then, and more importantly, one of the keys to the understanding of my project is the awareness that the entirety of it revolves around a three-part musical composition by late, legendary french jazz pianist Michel Petrucciani called “Trilogy in Blois”, comprising a progression through the following, successive sections respectively entitled “Morning Sun in Blois”, “Noon Sun in Blois” and, finally, “Night Sun in Blois”.

All very picturesque titles ; however, albeit they already might make it all sound like some kind of pre-drawn, conceptual layout just waiting for an accompanying visual illustration to be made complete, actually resorting to the (hopefully proper) use of that composition for a skateboarding video really entailed a lot of work.

First off, the whole piece is almost twelve minutes long, which really exceeds the general standards for your average “video part”, let alone the attention span of the modern skate video viewer ; not to mention that my sense of artistic integrity dictated me from the start that butchering the composition by cutting it was out of question, plain and simple – especially seeing as the recording used was one of a live performance, I felt like its authenticity just had to be preserved.

Michel Petrucciani, 1992.

Michel Petrucciani, 1992.

Another complication that rose was how elusive any pre-existing studies of that track turned out to be.

“Trilogy in Blois” revealed itself as one of Petrucciani’s most mysterious songs ; apparently composed just three years before his early passing, only one version of the whole composition was (officially) ever made public, as recorded in Frankfurt, Germany on the 27th of February, 1997 and included on the live album, “Solo Live”.

Having no alternate element of comparison – and being no particular music specialist – it took me a little while (as well as a handful of meticulous listens) to fully grasp the varied patterns of the song out of Petrucciani’s virtuoso improvisations, how they articulated together, and to generally understand the global progression of the whole piece.

I find Petrucciani’s whole life and career to be an inspiration ; I can only encourage people to study the entirety of what he has achieved.

Another live occurrence of “Night Sun in Blois” by itself (probably the oldest segment out of all three) had already been logged and published before on an earlier live recording, “Au Théâtre des Champs Elysées” (1994), but, due to being singled out from the rest of the composition, wasn’t of much help in the context of my project.

Digging deeper, I found a few other instances where the song was at the very least alluded to – notably an audio recording of Petrucciani himself teaching the listener how to write music, and choosing his own experience with composing ”Night Sun in Blois” in order to describe the intricacies of such a process ; or a few other, rare, often bootlegged instances of early public performances. Those did help, to an extent.

Michel Petrucciani on stage.

Michel Petrucciani on stage.

All in all, I can’t help but feel like the whole “Trilogy in Blois” composition wasn’t just the elaborate process it obviously really was, but also some type of last-minute new found love Petrucciani was still passionately, relentlessly working on perfecting by the time of his passing at the age of 36, from pneumonia.

Obviously, from then on, superstitious minds could easily draw some more scary parallels between that theory and the fate of Nicholas Ray’s movie, in order to make out whatever truth they would like to set their minds to… Either way, I find Petrucciani’s whole life and career to be an inspiration. I can only encourage people to study the entirety of what he has achieved, all the while being afflicted with a genetic disease most people would probably treat as a moral fatality.

I also made it a point to publish my video on what would have been this great man’s 52nd birthday, as my humble tribute to his existence and works.

Ph. : Aymeric Nocus

Pushkar, 2014. Ph. : Aymeric Nocus

___
Is there a certain message that you would you like to convey to the Blois inhabitants (non-skaters) ? Also, what message would you like to spread to skaters growing up in other average-sized cities ? Do you already have a next project in line ?

I personally do not subscribe to the popular belief that everything has to be about nothing but whatever is going on in the biggest, most effervescent cities in the world, and that everywhere else only has to count as some obscure conglomerate of subsidiary locations that do not really matter at the end of the day.

While I do get the obvious convenience – in some practical, everyday aspects - about living and acting in a populated area, I also do see how this line of thinking might have some of its roots planted in a soil tainted by capitalistic considerations such as the pursuit of mindless consumerism at the expense of individual well-being ; not to mention that existing in the midst of a cacaophonous crowd also has its downsides which, in my opinion, can hinder personal development in the long run, notably by making people lose touch with their inner selves, all the while generating hefty amounts of spiritual confusion.

Kathmandu. Ph. : Aymeric Nocus

Kathmandu, 2014. Ph. : Aymeric Nocus

So yeah, it’s a tough one – to say the least about an issue people have been pondering for centuries.

I think one of the most important favors one can always do for themselves is to never forget to keep nurturing their own innate ability to clear their head of all the surrounding chaos and all kinds of influences and deviances stemming from its noise from time to time, in order to properly listen to what the deeper levels of consciousness within their body have to say, only to then figure out their own, personal healthy balance.

No, I really don’t think there is anything intrinsically fatalistic about growing up in a smaller, more secluded community – as long as you never forget to nurture your innate curiosity and cultivate your mind through research (which has never been as convenient as in nowadays’ internet age), the celebration of subtleties (in every field there is always something new to see or do, and learn of and about), and - of course, wherever you come from, you always have to get there - travelling.

Jantar Mantar, New Delhi, 2014. Ph. : Aymeric Nocus

Jantar Mantar, New Delhi, 2014. Ph. : Aymeric Nocus

Growing up, one of my first favorite artists was Glen E. Friedman, which I first read an interview of when I was 13 ; his work didn’t just help introduce me to several universes worth of music that heavily influenced my personal development in the long run, it also taught me all about punk, and the importance of the D.I.Y. attitude in local scenes – regardless of your physical location and environment, you can always (as coined by the Beautiful Losers) “make something from nothing” ; after all and when it all comes down to it, as long as you set your mind to something constructive, why should anything hold you back ?

If anything, I find that not “having it easy” and, to the contrary, having to do with little resources in a secluded zone only fuels one’s creativity. I know that - among many other purposes - skateboarding has always served me as a tool to connect with people, which I have been using to actively travel – first all across the country by myself, then across the world - ever since I was 16 ; and the most original styles I ever got to witness always came from the most confined areas, where people don’t get to be exposed to as much of an influence overload as they would be in some other environments.

Jimmy Lannon, 2014. Ph. : Aymeric Nocus

Jimmy Lannon, 2014. Ph. : Aymeric Nocus

As far as a message to the Blois inhabitants is concerned – I really don’t think I am in a particular position to teach anyone anything. I just want to do my “thing”, just like I think everyone should be able to do their “thing”, all within the bounds of individual freedom, aiming at global harmony.

This is easier said than done, though, because the cultural disparaties (which, again, really should be celebrated rather than repressed) inherent to community life make such an ideal line of conduct a constant, everyday struggle to follow – which is the entire point of the primary existence of politics.

I wish everyone got the access they deserve to the teachings of ancient civilizations, and schools in general didn’t teach just the “how”, but also the “why”.

Obviously, and just as much as the next person, I strive for nothing but justice ; I think communication should be encouraged, and I often wish that nowadays, education wasn’t – factually - a privilege, so that everyone had access to the development of the most excellent skills when it comes to interacting with other people within the community of the city, and defending their respective rights in a peaceful way.

I personally kind of mourn a lot of the behaviors I daily get to observe within the modern crowd, and perceive to be representative of a social decline ; I wish everyone got the access they deserve to the teachings of ancient civilizations, and schools in general didn’t teach just the “how”, but also the “why”, in order to properly enlighten the youth as to their sense of purpose on this Earth, rather than just turn them into apparently functional pawns with the minimum level of consciousness required to fulfill some anonymous social role in the play of our western society, and thus mindlessly serve productivity and capitalism - which I am sure they would do not just a more personally enriching, but also a more efficient and, generally, better job at carrying out with a proper education, too.

Glen Fox, 2014. Ph. : Aymeric Nocus

Glen Fox, 2014. Ph. : Aymeric Nocus

On my end, this translates to trying to present local skateboarding in a way I intend to be more intelligible than how it is commonly displayed in most videos.

I don’t care much about showing specific tricks – everyone already does that anyway. I’d rather focus on putting skateboarders and the act of skateboarding itself back in their actual, everyday context of an active city, and shine a light on the significance of their presence and role - rather than take apart all the different ways you can flip a piece of wood around, which I think really wouldn’t amount to much in the grand scheme of things.

The whole process is a rather challenging issue because although skateboarders do play a socially meaningful and interesting role - dare I say maybe one of the last meaningful and interesting roles left - in the modern city, notably by essentially raising many issues regarding the destiny of the purpose of public living space, the act of skateboarding itself is still popularly deemed unproductive ; which really is understandable - there is no reason why a general public that was for the most part trained to reason with mostly monetary perspectives in mind wouldn’t have a hard time grasping why some of us would instead choose to repeatedly jam their bodies into walls, commute for the sole sake of commuting (which cruising around on a skateboard really all comes down to), or relentlessly try to achieve successfully jumping onto random objects in various styles of aesthetic fashion.

Wallride nollie out. Ph. : Tom Gerrier

Wallride nollie out. Ph. : Tom Gerrier

I like this Ocean Howell quote : ”the purpose of this [...] is not to argue that skateboarding should be permitted in public space. It is by virtue of its status as a misuse of these spaces [...] that skateboarding is exceptionally good at drawing attention to the quietly exclusionary nature of the new public space.”

What we do is secret and I personally like it that way, but, realistically, skateboarders have been sticking around for a while now and people are starting to take not just notice, but also increasingly repressive measures regarding our activity. And whilst it is a given that we will always find ways to practice it regardless of how completely illegal it might become on paper, now might be the most decisive time to let our voices be heard to the most appropriate extent, and mobilize ourselves for a constructive group effort to present skateboarding as the respectable, albeit undesirable, phenomenon it is. See how delicate and cornelian the issue is ?

Vivien Feil, crooked grind, 2011. Ph. : Aymeric Nocus

Vivien Feil, crooked grind, 2011. Ph. : Aymeric Nocus

Finally, as far as my “next projects” are concerned, I really can’t say much as of now, for I can’t predict what the future holds ; everything I do tends to be spontaneous, the only way I really know how to craft, all making for nothing but reactions to personal experiences, sentiments and observations more often than not.

All of which can be hard to foresee, let alone plan in advance ; so, all I can say is that I am still (and, as of now, intend to always be) constantly out there skateboarding and documenting life through that prism, be it through filming, shooting photos, drawing, collecting or really whatever I naturally seem to do - resulting in various sorts of “material” that I am sure will, at some point, organize itself under a cohesive form as inevitably dictated by the rules of this universe.

Yoan Taillandier and I have been going on a considerable amount of filming sessions together with the next MINUIT project in mind.

In addition to my necessary local activity, I try to travel a lot and actually just got back from some time in Japan, where I got to film with Zach ChamberlinColin Read and Shigeta Iha (FESN), so I guess you could expect something distinct to stem from that sooner or later ; also, throughout the past two years, I have been working quite a lot with my friends in Croatia on projects you should soon hear of, for the final touches of which I will be going to London in april ; and throughout summer 2014, I got to help out quite a lot with the filming for the next Magenta Skateboards Bordeaux-based full-length feature, to be released sometime this spring.

Last but not least, you (Yoan Taillandier) and I have been going on a considerable amount of filming and shooting sessions together, all with the next MINUIT project in mind ; everything we have gathered yet makes for some of my favorite, most genuine material I have ever produced. I am proud to be part of all those projects and can’t wait to see them develop and unfold. Only time can, and will, tell us.


MINUIT 2012 video “MEANWHILE”

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Can you go more in depth about your outlook on skateboarding, the way you like to practice it and how you would like to showcase it or seen it showcased ? Do you have any ideas of things you would like to experiment with in the future ?

My quest is impossible. Ideally, I would like to get to skate everything in the world, including unexpected objects and elements of the urban landscape that really aren’t spots, as well as develop absolute board control that would enable me to get creative on all of those, to a level of both understanding and muscular skill where even failed attempts would turn into something new ; I am, however, painfully aware that mathematically – and thus realistically – such goals are essentially unreachable, due to the defining physical limitations of the human body.

Bali. Ph. : Aymeric Nocus

Ubud, Bali. Ph. : Aymeric Nocus

The truth is that on the individual scale, talking potentials, and not being gifted with ubiquity, we really can’t accomplish anything but close to nothing out of what would actually be possible, let alone imaginable, for us to do.

I still give it my best effort, though, and insist on trying, because I believe that this is what realizing yourself all comes down to : humbly managing all encountered odds in order to keep putting your time to the most optimized possible use, in order to constantly better your grasp and thus mastership of the physical technicalities of this world, in order to feed and, subsequently, express your vision more and more accurately accordingly.

No-comply wallie over gap to 5-0. Ph. : Yoan Taillandier | MINUIT Audiovisual

No-comply wallie over gap to 5-0. Ph. : Yoan Taillandier | MINUIT Audiovisual

Besides the simple-to-grasp, rather linear concept of lack of time, something else that is enough to hinder even just the mere thought of a possible materialization of absolute self-expression is that inspiration itself (which would be its very root) is relative, therefore constantly evolving and expanding.

“Why am I just one ?”

As much as one can strive not to be by pushing their respective limit as far back as possible, the individual human being always reaches a point where it can only be unidimensional, which isn’t just a problem as far as time management (which we just discussed) is concerned, but also the field of their own spiritual realms.

Were any individual to, somehow, successfully express the magnificience of their creativity to its fullest at a given time, that the universal accuracy of the resulting work would become invalidated one moment later, as new elements (including the contemplation of  said work itself) would already enter the author’s spiritual picture, and inspire their mind, only to drift it away from what is now an outdated representation of their vision to the corresponding extent.

Creativity is a never-ending cycle ; even (especially ?) with all the time in the world, one could always come up with something new. Again, the only solution would be to be ubiquitous. Which raises the fundemental question : “why am I just one ?”.

Bordeaux. Ph. : Aymeric Nocus

Bordeaux, 2014. Ph. : Aymeric Nocus

At the end of the line, it really all comes down to the choices that we – for whatever reason - end up making in life (provided there is such a thing as free will), out of all the more or less abstract possibilities. Those choices we end up making (or enduring) really are what puts each and every one of us on the map of life for all other individuals to perceive and consequently interact with, and what defines us as a potential, more or less refinely trained artist, also known as “person”.

As far as skateboarding is concerned, my personal choice as guided by my primary tastes would be to practice and eventually display an all-terrain cruising style sparsely magnified by a seemingly endless range of always improvised, fully controlled, more or less complex manoeuvers and sequences of movement that would often look like they challenge the idea of time (notably by resorting to successions of abnormally quick, yet precise motions, in order to seemingly break continuity down into surprisingly small intervals and thus convey a certain impression of distortion – think “how many different types of moves can you sneak into one second ?”), and also general physics (in regards to gravity and coating surfaces), favouring original body language as well as occasional culturally intelligible expressions over plain arbitrariness (which obviously includes ”trends”), and contextualization of the skated location.

Jal Mahal, Jaipur. Ph. : Aymeric Nocus

Jal Mahal, Jaipur, 2014. Ph. : Aymeric Nocus

In a nutshell, my dream style would implicate the meditative ability to get myself into some sort of creative trance paired with optimized cognitive automation, which would then result in a constant output of coherent, perpetual freestyle ; think of the eventual product as a crossover of the substantial sharpness (and the resulting seeming simplicity) as exemplified in the early Traffic videos with the more technically experimental touch that is commonly labeled as the trademark of, say, the early 1990′s. That is my vision and impossible quest ; and despite how one sole existence wouldn’t suffice to achieve such a completely ambitious goal, I am still determined to put in as much work as I get to, in order to come as close to its realization as humanly possible. And if I eventually manage to cover even just about 0.1% of this task I am setting myself to, after giving it the humble effort of my lifetime, then I would die an artistically fulfilled man.

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