13 February 2008

La beauté est dans la rue

I am working on a thesis, that goes a little something like this. For most of human existence we have lived in the wild. It is only the last 1% of our history that we have settled, domesticated and civilized ourselves but do we really we think we can suppress our wild instincts? We have turned forests into deserts and have paved over vast expanses of nature but do we really think we can smother it in concrete and it will never break through? 

Nature will always win.

Wild wolves now roam the streets of Pripyat (once devastated by the Chernobyl meltdown). The wild will have the last laugh but there is no reason for us to fight it. On the contrary, our very sanity depends on us remembering how wild we once were. There are obvious ways to do this. You can climb a mountain or go surfing. You can drop out, live off the grid and off the land. But how do you tune into your wild heritage, perhaps where it is most crucial, deep in the urban realm? Some of us use a skateboard to redefine the urban landscape and to slowly chip away at the tonnes of concrete and tarmac. Others, spray graffiti and use the city as a giant canvas. Traceurs, use the city as a training ground for elegant escape techniques. Some people insist on breaking into and exploring off limit locations deep in the urban underbelly.

 Photo by Scott Pommier on Murray Siple's website.

And then there is a group of homeless can collectors in North Vancouver. I have high hopes that Carts Of Darkness will bridge the gap between social commentary, fly-on-the-wall/reality-docu-drama and 'eXtreme Sports' film.

Beauty is in the streets.