Dan Griffiths

Lives and works in Cardiff

Who?, Video Still, 2012
Who?, Video Still, 2012
Who?, Video Still, 2012Hate, Video Still, 2012Fool, Video Still, 2012

Charles Baudelaire's flâneur is the starting point for my work; that observer of modernity
who purposefully walked the streets of Paris making fragmentary notes of his encounters
with the chaos of urban life. Recognising the significance that the metropolis plays in the
everyday, Guy Debord and his Situationist International encouraged playful movement
through the city; they showed that the bleak rationalism of the urban environment can be
resisted, its cultural signifiers reclaimed to create a more fulfilling set of daily encounters.

Transposing these ideas into a local context, the work I produce explores Cardiff from
my own perspective as a skateboarder, mapping my transient passage through the city.
Skateboarders are increasingly being driven from cities by myopic authorities that value
capitalist gain over cultural fluidity. The displaced are forced into purpose-built skateparks,
which contradicts the very nature of what we as skaters do and, in the wider social context,
questions our freedom. My work explores the impact of these developments in the face of
increasing urbanism and raises questions regarding the ownership of public space.

My works are unplanned performances, spontaneous drifts through the built environment
that celebrate lived experience. They embrace chance encounters and strive to promote
social interaction with people. My journey finds adventure in the most banal of urban
expanses, actively seeking and temporarily re-appropriating its concrete creations. Resisting
established movements and seeking to construct new situations outside the one-way
communication imposed upon us as spectacle, I ask the viewer to look again at their
surroundings and experience new ways of travelling through them.

Borrowing from the lo-fi punk aesthetic underlying the skate subculture, these encounters
are documented using unsophisticated hidden cameras and often displayed with discarded
skateboarding artefacts. Seeking purity and embracing chance mistakes I hope to capture a
naked glimpse of the postmodern city in constant state of flux.

- Artist Statement

Other Artists

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