An experiment to make the skateboard just like the one in the movie ‘Back to the Future 2’.

For two days on September 4th and 5th, an experiment to work the AirBoard by Kazuhiko Hachiya was carried out at Gallery Art Souko near the Simotakaido station. This AirBoard is an art project to actually make an airboard which floats by antigravity and using a jet engine just like the one in the movie ‘Back to the Future 2’.

Until now this project presented an alpha version that floats the AirBoard by using a firing mechanism to jet engine. This beta version is an experiment to take a person on the floating board. In fact, as the experiment can only be carried out for a few minutes, there were full programs consisting of a talk show, mini live and the experiment. Unfortunately, it was raining a little on the first day and it was not a good day to go out. The event started with the talk show by Kyoichi Tsuzuki, Yoshiki Sakura and Kazuhiko Hachiya, and the mini live by Gorgeous followed after that. Then it led to the experiment.

This is the AirBoard.
It was painted by Bonzaipaint. There seems to be a collaboration that Bonzaipaint will paint the artwork that Tetsuya Nakamura produced from an image of the fastest form.
There were two engines in alpha version, but it was improved to a single engine in the beta version and has a heat resistant skirte.

Hachiya constantly said, ‘this is an experiment to work the AirBoard and it’s dangerous’, I think if there’s someone who doesn’t think it’s dangerous, he must be crazy. It is no wonder that the board might explode, but they were trying to float using a jet engine and a man skating on the board. When thinking of that my head felt strange.

In a tense atmosphere, it was fired up by letting air in with a machine just like a vacuum cleaner. After a few failures, the jet engine started to make a terrible noise. It just let me take a half step backward. Then buoyancy started to concentrate on the silver colored skirt of the board and the heated airboard was actually floating on the stage (a little less than 10 centimeters high)!
Surrounded by a strong smell of soot and heat, one of the staff and Hachiya were ready to ride on the board. He tried to place his feet on the board again and again, then finally rode on the board with both feet!
He was actually floating with the AirBoard’s jet engine. To go forward, he had to kick the as same as skateboard. (It’s crazy to kick a such dangerous object having a jet engine!?)

This AirBoard project combined the boiling point of collective consciousness in this technological society and the floating feeling men of today have in their minds (but nobody didn’t think it actually floated). It succeeded in encouraging people and society to use an AirBoard, something that stands out in an otherwise extremely boring movie. Postmedia theory says ‘Art as an outcome of collective consciousness will sprout on the surface of consciousness when the crust of reality becomes too delicate to support the present state’. I think this applies to this art project.

I’ve heard that ‘this project was too stupid. It’s not art’ over these two days. I can understand what they say, but I don’t want this project to be recognized as equal in value to other artworks which cannot have any influence on society. It was really a wonderful two days.
The artwork of Hachiya simply let us think what the relationship between society and art should be. Unfortunately, the experiment ended in failure on the second day. I lost my nerve when the silver skirt started to melt.

The experiment on the second day ended in failure. The silver skirt melted because of the intense heat. It reminds us that it was a real experiment. I look forward to the next success.

The AirBoard will be exhibited in Germany soon and before that, another experiment will be carried out in Japan. I hope it won’t explode.

Hachiya Kazuhiko AirBoard Project Information

Text and Photo: Akira Natsume for Gasbook
Translation: Mayumi Kaneko

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