Ever since Henry Sanchez rendered street progression largely impossible by doing every trick in the mid-1990s, skating has been forced to put apply a new spin on old ideas, sometimes with a kickflip out. The advent of cheaply consumable home electronics ten years ago initiated the extension of this idea into the living room editing bay, where a new generation now has revitalized and celebrated the shitty quality that one can only achieve by filming on a clunky shoulder-ready VHS camcorder and the dual-VCR master tape compiling process. Two-liters of Shasta optional, but if Neon Indian and the chillwavers can mine cassette-tape hiss for bloggable revenues, why can’t VHS be the new super-8?
With the requisite ironic fist bump offered to Sam Salganik’s “Naughty” I really remember this idea hitting with the landmark “hello” clip from Palace that they’ve since evolved and hopefully are wringing out over some type of full-length, but in the meantime Atlanta bros Matt Swinsky and Matt Creasy have fetishized the static lines and tracking indicator (even if the 8-bit graphics are a little higher fi) to ground their generally awesome VHS Tape movie. Ryan Cooper’s heroin chic is a major highlight with ripping parts from Dan Plunkett and Chris Burns but the found/archival footage they weave in tinges the whole vid with a feeling of decay in several of the technological and cultural meanings you might imagine. Sort of like “Gummo” on a dying TV but with more Swooshes and with that one black/white checkerboard ledge spot as a key locale.
They maybe overdo the “tracking” thing by the end but the skating and wise soundtrack navigation keeps the concepts from getting too stale and it seems like one of the better videos to come out this year, for sure. Also wondering if the aesthetic will get plopped into more otherwise straight-ahead projects like last week’s barge through the Philly edition of the “Occupy Wall Street” movement. Keep the faith bros but I think the Philadelphia Stock Exchange sits a few blocks down Market St and now goes by the zesty acronym PHLX.