The Useless Tool
The University of Chicago's Gray Center for Arts & Inquiry hosted an experimental skateboarding symposium in the summer of 2022 called The Useless Tool. Sadly, we couldn't attend in person, but we were able to contribute a take-away poster for all the participants. The poster was meant to be a visual "thinking piece" about the nature of skateboarding. It was accompanied by a small statement.
"As a tool, maybe a skateboard is "useless". But what about as an interface? The thing between you and the built environment. Many times, the structures around us sternly tell us how to move, but skateboards can turn these commands into a dialogue. Skateboards unlock agency to interact with the human-made world in new ways. But it's a negotiation, of course. Not just between you and the environment, but you and the interface, the board. In giving access, skateboarding also demands something in return. You must face yourself, use yourself, hurt yourself, and celebrate yourself all at once."
By: Nick Butcher and Nadine Nakanishi
Medium: 6-color screen printing
Edition: 133, signed and numbered
Size: 18 x 24 inches
Client: The Gray Center for Arts & Inquiry