In the experience of roller skating speed is harnessed for speed’s sake. Speed is the consequence of going fast. It is not about getting somewhere or someplace quicker and although it can be used as a method of transport it is more often not. A destination is not the outcome of speed in this instance; speed is not goal orientated, the goal is movement in itself. Speed which is often associated with labour and productivity is here allied to pleasure not product. Emphasis would seem to be on ‘being in the process of speed’, pleasure in movement for the sake of itself. Roller skating produces a form of pleasure in speed that is rapturous, transcendent, and liberating because that’s all it needs to be.
-Gary Needham, “The Culture and Politics of Roller Skating,” 2009
Opening on Saturday, March 14 from 7-10pm, JOAN is pleased to present The True Skater, a one night performance by Thomas Torres Cordova. Performance begins promptly at 7:30pm.
The True Skater is a performance that marks the half-way point in the production of Thomas Torres Cordova and Helki Frantzen’s upcoming film, L.A. Roll. The film is an expressionistic essay that looks at roller rinks, roller skate manufacturers, and stories from skaters to tell a history of skating and its social, political, and aesthetic significance. Cordova will present vignettes of footage with live editing and performers.
What does it mean to roll? Glide? Move? Why skate?
What are the aesthetics of skating?
What is leisure?
Where are roller rinks found?
What is the rinks roll?
Skating as a sub-culture moves in and out of pop culture, what effects does it have as a popular leisure activity?
The floor as promenade, the strip, the stage.
Is skating a utopian endeavor?
Turner, James and Michael Zaldman. The History of Roller Skating. Lincoln, Nebraska: National Museum of Roller Skating, 1997, NMRS Collection.