Patrick Holbrook :: <Back |Main| Next>

Phenomenological Workshop
DVD (23 1/2 minutes), painted wood bench and pedestal, 2007.
The Atlanta Contemporary Art Center

I videotaped Atlanta-area traceurs (practitioners of Parkour) on weekends for about a month. While they didn’t necessarily see it this way, I was interested in how Parkour may offer a model of resistance against regressive urban design. I became more interested in how the traceurs talk about the relationship of their bodies and space, and how Parkour gives a method/structure/language to activities they’ve always been inclined towards (climbing and jumping for example), and increases the capacity and effectiveness of those things, in much the same way I feel art practice and critical theory has given a form to my impulses. Parkour and visual art practice seriously look at the objects around us. Both disciplines offer models for not accepting the way things are, and leading a creative life, not just a consumerist one.

What is our relationship with the built environment?
How do we become accustomed to obstacles?
How may we overcome them?
How do we become accustomed to the conventions of language and genre?
When does it become necessary to make a new language?
What is the relationship of the worlds inside and outside of the screen?
How is power identified and possibly interrogated within these questions?

I greatly appreciate the involvement of the traceurs:

H. Akil Palmer
Chris Brown
Max Calder
Tony Bullard
Tamir Mohammad


Excerpt from 23 1/2 minute DVD