Ben Chapman
Master’s Project

The practice (or perhaps a sport, craft, hobby, or art form) of skateboarding has a unique relationship with public space. Skateboarding in public space (commonly called “street” skateboarding) involves performing tricks on, around, and over architectural features like curbs, ledges, stairs, etc. These landmarks, repurposed by the act of skateboarding, take on a new identity in the eyes of skateboarders. Skateboarding, through video footage as well as through photographs, remembers these acts – the who, what (as in, what trick), where, when, and often how, are all of great importance. Though skateboarders remember these details, the information is gleaned from disparate sources and only informally documented.

Skate Atlas seeks to document the way in which skateboarding records essentially ephemeral acts, to increase the legibility of these acts, and to update the creation and viewing of skateboarding video footage within the confines of digital media. By using the common digital map format and mapping individual pieces of skateboarding footage, interesting perspectives will be created, as the landscape of skateboarding will be newly visible to skaters and non- skaters alike.