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Skateboarding in Art Museum

This was originally part of an art performance. That idea originated in the mind of German artist Johannes Wohnseifer. He enlisted skateboarder Mark Gonzales. Cheryl Dunn them document this performance and turned footage and interviews into a film called "Backworlds for Words." Jason Schwartzman got permission to remix the video footage and sync it to the music for a music video for his band Coconut Records. The song title is "West Coast."

This is one of the most unique ideas I have seen. I love seeing the street culture of skateboarding brought into interactions with high art. However, this is not some conceptual interaction alone, but also a very physical and tactile interaction achieved by artist Johannes Wohnseifer and skateboarder Mark Gonzales.

As for how this whole thing became an idea for a music video, I can only speculate that Jason Schwartzman saw the film by Cheryl Dunn.

If nothing else this music video creates an interests to know more about the figures involved. The song is also quite nice.

I did a little research to find all of this out after watching the music video. Here is a short biographical statement about each party as they relate to the video clip shown above.

Johannes Wohnseifer (1967- , Germany)
In 1998, he produced an exhibition at the Abteiberg Museum in Germany. He came up with the idea of exhibiting minimal artworks and having a professional skate boarder skate between them. His approach to incorporating street culture directly into artistic context has been highly successful.

Mark Gonzales (1969- , USA)
Most recently, Mark Gonzales was also featured in the music video, "West Coast" by Jason Schwartzman's (Rushmore's Max Fischer) band, Coconut Records. This was a skate video sequence originally filmed in 1998 at a German Museum, but was edited and synced for this music video with his permission.

Cheryl Dunn (1960- , USA)
Her second film, Backworlds for Words (1999), is a documentation of a skateboard ballet, choreographed by artist/professional skateboarder Mark Gonzales for the Stadtisches Museum in Monchengladbach, Germany. The film includes footage of the actual performance as well as candid interviews and documentation of Gonzales performing poetry readings around Germany.

Jason Schwartzman (1980- , USA)
Prior to acting, he was the drummer for the band Phantom Planet (best known for their hit single "California," the theme song for The O.C.). In 2007, he created the pop/rock solo act Coconut Records. The first CD was released on iTunes on March 20, 2007. Songs include "West Coast," "Nighttiming," and "This Old Machine."

by Cameron Hatch
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