Dispatches: Audio/Visuals art show in Salt Lake

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words and captions: Davidaisy
photos: Amanda Hankison and Jacob Malenick

There are countless references across the vast landscape of time citing Salt Lake City as a snowboard culture mecca. Whether you have heard this in reference to the nearby mountains, the people/riders the area has bread in the sport, or the countless street spots during a good winter, it doesn’t matter, you’ve heard it. Therefore there is no need for an introduction (if you do need one, then Google it, you’ll find more than I can possibly write about because I am lazy sometimes–like you–and can’t write factual stuff all of the time, it’s too strenuous) for the city that held our one night art show “Audio/Visuals” featuring a handful of local riders of various skills and myself (Davidaisy) demonstrating their talents off the board. This art show was about art, music, and the snowboarding community and how it can all come together for one freaky night full of phone smashing, guitar smashing, and colors from another dimension.

“Audio/Visuals” as an idea spawned from my love of music and being immersed into the SLC culture and discovering the talents of Hot Vodka. Hot Vodka is a band comprised of four snowboarders who live and ride in SLC: Andrew “Dridge” Aldridge on drums, Logan Griffith on guitar, Sean Whitaker on bass, and Durrell Williams on guitar and vocals. When Logan isn’t melting your brain into the twilight zone with a ripping solo or Sean laying down a heavy bass line in tribute to Les Claypool, you can find any one of them ripping through Brighton. That duality between music and snowboarding is what spawned the idea. As soon as I heard them play I knew I wanted to combine forces through an art show/live concert for the snowboarding community by the snowboarding community. Though my work with paints has left me no shortage of material to carry a solo show, that wasn’t what I wanted it to be about. So outside of Hot Vodka, I needed more artists/boarders to contribute to the madness. Enter the FLYING.JPEG boiz. Rav, Christian Buling, and Gravedigger were the perfect fit. Long time friends of mine as well as Dridge’s, and recent SLC inhabitants, they fit the criteria and they fit the vibe. It was on. Christian and Gravedigger both contributed art to the walls while Rav and Gravedigger formed an opening music act for Hot Vodka, Mike & Gravy (or later proclaimed as just “Freak”). With all the madness on and off the wall dialed in there was no doubt about us having a night for the ages.

The only true piece missing was the venue, and luckily for us Dave and Jude of Photo Collective Studios stepped up big for us, providing the perfect place for the event. I will never be able to truly thank them enough. With the venue locked in for May 13th, we opened the doors at 7pm to a small, steady crowd until the sun dipped out at 9pm, at which point the visually-starved came bounding in eager to feast their eyes on some psychedelic color palettes. With the support of PBR the beers were flowing and the stoke was amping up, climaxing at midnight when the beer began to dry up and Durrell put an end to his set by smashing his guitar in half in an emotionally charged burst. As I said before, the purpose was not just about me, but to bring the homies together and have a time that no one would forget, and one who won’t forget soon is Sean Whitaker, a more important person to the event than anyone probably. After “Audio/Visuals”, Sean will soon depart for a stint with the Navy, temporarily breaking up the original four of Hot Vodka, meaning that Audio/Visuals was their last show together for some time. It was a heavy moment at the end when the final note rang out from the instruments, but they knew, as I knew, we were glad we made it happen for one more night, for anyone that wanted to be a part of the madness or just wanted to witness it, it was there to behold or be heard, the Audio and the Visuals.

If this night taught us anything it’s never take the time you get with your crew for granted because life’s possibilities and paths are endless. So go out there with your crew and do crazy shit because life is crazy anyway so to hell with it, embrace it, you’ll never forget it, believe me.

Huge thanks to PBR and Photo Collective Studios for making this happen!