The Materiality of Skateboarding: Motion as Material

Sayers, Esther. 2019. The Materiality of Skateboarding: Motion as Material. [Digital]

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Abstract or Description

In this experimental film, series of overlaid clips explore the material process of learning to control the motion between board and ground: from a shaky, tentative start to a more confident sense of ability. Through this documentation I navigate body, skateboard and the undulations of skatable surfaces. The intra action of filming and using the clips both pedagogically and as the practice is important in exploring the entanglement of bodies and matter. Focussing on the force of matter in an expanded way I consider the agential contributions of surface, wheels, muscle memory and psychological processes with Barad’s (2012) conception of human and non-human agents. This enables me to reflect on skating as a method for qualitative enquiry into strategies for learning.

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Esther Sayers has been involved in arts and cultural participation through her work as a gallery educator and curator. Drawing from this work she developed her PhD research as a critique of the political rhetoric around inclusion in the arts. Her current enquiry, into modes of participation, community building and peer to peer learning, focuses on the cultural field of skateboarding. She is co-developing a pilot research project called City Mill Skate aimed at putting skatable obstacles on the Olympic Park in London. Instagram citymillskate
Esther is Head of MA Arts and Learning at Goldsmiths, University of London and has worked as arts in education consultant for a range of cultural organisations.  Esther was Curator for Young People’s Programmes, Tate Modern (2002 – 2011). She is currently professional mentor within the Practice Research (Learning) programme at Tate. Participation in the arts is central to her research interests, especially developing creative strategies for co-working.


body, skateboard, surface

Departments, Centres and Research Units:

Educational Studies > Centre for the Arts and Learning


31 March 2019

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Date Deposited:

04 Feb 2020 15:53

Last Modified:

29 Apr 2020 17:25


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