i was a skate rat.
The sun drenched, cascade of sub and ex-urban cul-de-sacs crawl across the state of Florida, much like its creeping kudzu brethren to the north. A constant source of derision among urban planning futurists, architects, and environmentalists alike, the vague banality of suburban life has been excoriated for years by the culture class for representing the life draining, and waste producing by-product of our civilization’s greatest advances. Skateboarding, like life, as is so menacingly projected in 1993’s Jurassic Park, will find a way. It is in these island-like colonies, without the music scenes, without advantageous architectural density, and without the crews of peers that drove skating to new heights in urban environments, that some of skateboarding’s most pivotal moments transpired.
I was a Skate Rat, is a brief meditation on the nature of how suburban nomadic skateboarders find each other, build communities – and as is often the case in adversarial environments – use every inch of their limitations and blank canvas, to breed ideas that influence the life of skateboarders every day. From the kick flip, to the kick tail, Floridians are responsible for scores of technical and cultural advancements – and they are all skate rats.
words from Trey Edwards
In conjunction with the Smithsonian National Museum of American History’s traveling exhibition INNOSKATE 2014, presented in Florida by The Lemelson Center for the Study of Invention and Innovation & The Polk Museum of Art.
Film by Drew Miller.