Any time a book on the topic of modern body suspension is announced, I get incredibly excited. When that book is by an incredibly talented photographer like Stefano Moscardini, I find myself going from simply excited to checking my inbox daily for when it is ready to release. There are far too few books on the topic, and luckily after today you can add Suspension of Disbelief to your list that you absolutely must have. Stefano is such a valuable part of the European suspension community. He dedicates much of his time to helping document events and suspension gatherings with his beautiful photography. He is one of the rare additions to our community who although he doesn’t suspend himself, finds much of the same joy and love for it that we all feel. He was nice enough to take a moment to tell us a little more about his history with suspension, and his new e-book on the topic, including a sneak peek into the book at the end of the interview!
Recently, WNWO News took some time to interview Bradde and Bethany of Mercury Suspensions at their studio Open Minded in Van Wert, OH. In their small town, they seem to be an exception to the negative reception many people feel from their local communities when it comes to modification and body suspension. Previously, they have been in the news for the support the city has shown them in opening their studio, and now they are being shown the same support with the suspensions they offer. We all know media can be a touchy thing to approach; often you have no real guarantee of what kind of spin they will put on the final presentation when it airs. It’s definitely wonderful to see two people who are such a great addition to our community being treated so well in the media. As opposed to it being presented as a shocking and scary practice, the video gives them a chance to explain what it is they do and answer some questions about it. I recently had the chance to ask Bradde and Bethany a few questions about their experiences with being so open and public about what they offer, and how they feel it might impact the legality of suspension as it becomes more and more visible to law makers. Although laws regarding suspension are pretty limited in the US, it is something that I think we will see more of as time goes by and the suspension community continues to grow. I honestly can’t say which side of the fence I am on; is it better to be proactive and put out there what you do so that you might have the chance to educate those making laws regarding suspension in the future or to remain under the radar and be forced to possibly have to play catch up when states begin to look more in depth at our craft? Either way, I am happy that if there are going to be faces in the spotlight representing what we do, it is two people who are not only fantastic individuals, but also skilled and responsible practitioners.
Yes, the rumors are true. This year the 2013 Dallas Suspension Convention will be featuring a large scale live suspension performance that will be open to the general public. (We have not set a price as of yet, but not to worry if you are a paid attendee to the suscon, your admission is free) The performance will feature a collaboration between Stelarc and Håvve Fjell of Wings of Desire, with help from several attendees of the suscon. The suspension will be unique, but if you would like a bit of insight into what you might expect. Below is a video from the last time these two pioneers worked together in Norway at the 2012 Oslo Symposium: (WARNING the video contains nudity and may be NSFW)
The performance will be held the evening of Saturday March 30th, 2103 in Dallas, Texas. Please check back closer to the date for more details on pricing and location.
When most people ask for help, they are usually asking you to make a financial contribution to their cause. Well what if you could make a difference that could change someone’s life simply by posting online? We do it a hundred times a day through facebook, twitter, and other social media sites, and it’s all that J.C. Potts of Pangea Piercing is asking us to do to help make a difference in a young man’s life. Chris Huckstadt is an aspiring piercer in Long Island who, at only 15, is fighting a very aggressive form of cancer. He is barely old enough to be a part of our modification community, and yet he is facing something harder than many of us as adults will ever have to go through. Rather than dwell on his situation or ask for sympathy, Chris’ only request is to meet his idol, J.C. Potts.
J.C. has contacted many major airlines to try and arrange for them to donate flights for him and his film crew to make it to Long Island to visit Chris, but so far has been told he isn’t a big enough celebrity for them to do anything. So he is out to prove just how big the modification world is, by asking all of us to politely tag, message, or post about this to get their attention. We are by no means a small community, and what he is asking literally takes less than 5 minutes out of your day. Please watch the video and post to these companies. Help us get them the support to make this kid’s day a little brighter. We have proven before how fiercely we can pull together, let’s show Chris and his mom just how amazing this community is that he wants to be a part of.
“Truly ahead of his time.” This phrase has been used throughout the ages to describe a myriad of different people. However, within the suspension community, this sentence illustrates no one better than Stelarc.
For those who do not know his name, Stelarc is one of the most famous and influential suspension pioneers. Between the years of 1976 and 1989, several years before the beginning of the age of modern body suspension, Stelarc had performed 25 extraordinarily difficult and breathtaking beautiful suspensions. Several of which are featured here on his website – http://stelarc.org/?catID=20316
Over the next few days or weeks you will definitely be seeing more about Stelarc here on Hook Life, including some official announcements about his upcoming lecture and performance at the 2013 Dallas Suspension Convention. In the meantime, I would like to present a video that gives a bit more insight into the artist’s work spanning far beyond the topic of suspension. Enjoy:
For those outside of suspension, it can be incredibly difficult to explain what motivates people to take part in this; how do you really explain to them that there is something happening beyond the flesh and hooks they are so focused on? It also happens to be one of my favorite things to learn about people in our community. Although many of us have some common ground for why we suspend, there are always details that really make each person’s reasons unique to them. Katy Doran was willing to open up and share part of her story with this video and photo shoot of her superman suspension done with Sick Boyz Suspensions of Oklahoma City. Not only is Katy a proud part of the SBS team, they were also the first people to bring suspension into her life at a time when she needed it more than she knew.
Much of the content you see here on Hook Life comes from within our community. Whether it’s a personal experience or a piece written about another suspension, these blogs are generally written by someone involved in our world. However, today’s post is a bit different. Dr. Dominik Muench of Blacksun Productions submitted a beautiful film documenting WayLay Suspension Force and was kind enough to give his perspective as a self described bystander:
[Filming] was pretty amazing and a bit overwhelming. I’ve got a few piercings and about 80 hours of tattoo work on my body so I’m not completely new to body modification, but this was a whole new level. We picked a nice quiet spot by the river in the middle of the rain forest, set up all the gear and then the girls got their hooks put in. I was surprised how calm and easy the girls took it, considering how big the hooks were and how deep they had to go in. Even just as a bystander I thought it was a pretty amazing experience because its not something a lot of people get to see and I’d assume most people would have a pretty wrong image of what actually transpires. There was no blood, the girls didn’t even flinch and when they finally got suspended they seemed almost ecstatic and overcome with joy. It was really amazing to watch.
Dr. Dominik Muench is an ACS award-winning cinematographer & glamour photographer who has worked extensively throughout Europe, Australia, Thailand, Indonesia and India. Accredited with a Doctor in Creative Arts on Digital Camera Technology, Bachelor and Masters degrees in Film & Television from Bond University, Gold Coast, where he also tutors photography students, Dominik offers a vast array of services.
As of 11:12 UTC/GMT December 21st, the Winter Solstice came and went without the world coming to an end. Does this mean we are safe? Is this actually or final day on earth? Did the alien overlords simply sleep in and Armageddon is coming late this millennia? Who can say? One thing is for sure, if we do live to see tomorrow, and you are in the Vancouver BC area, you should check out the RISE Suspension Crew performing at – After The Rapture
These days it seems that a new suspension video seems to appear almost daily. Sadly, most of them are low quality cell phone videos often held vertically with little to no editing. However, every once in a while a little gem will appear. On Tender Hooks is a prime example. Big budget? Large crew? No. This film was shot, edited and produced by one person using a Canon 600D and a 13-inch MacBook Pro on a budget of £500. ($800) Although the piece focuses on suspension, it delves deeper giving an inside look at both personal relationships and the director’s own journey into suspending for the first time.
The film is not yet available for purchase or download. For more information on where the film will be screening please visit the main website – http://www.on-tender-hooks.com – After the break a a quick clip of Kate’s first suspension.
We’re approaching this year’s last breath, perhaps even this world’s, and if anyone out there is like me, this puts you in a very thoughtful nostalgia for all of the events of this past year. It’s been a phenomenal year for me, in some ways I’m still pinching myself trying to figure out if things really happened. Lucky for me, I have proof and as I look through the thousands of photos sitting in my hard drive, the hundreds of hours of video; I feel like it would be wrong not to share.
This is one of those moments I was able to capture on video using my phone. The event was the Oslo Suspension Symposium hosted by Wings of Desire in Norway. The main reason I was there was to attend the lectures, mainly to hear Stelarc speak. Not only was his lecture fascinating and heavy with concepts (my kind of candy) but it gave us a glimpse of the kind of person that is Stelarc.
After attending Allen Falkner’s lecture on the history of Suspension, which mentioned a lot of his work, he could be seen approaching people to converse. This simple show of humility left an indelible impression on me, there is much more to Stelarc that makes him an admirable person. During one of our conversations we asked him about the suspensions he performed in the 80s and as he began to speak it became clear that there was much more to the performances, there were some incredible stories to go along with the beautiful images. This is one of them. Here he talks about the amazing seaside suspension, the rigging and the obstacles he and his crew were faced with. You get a glimpse of how gracious he is about sharing his experiences with our community, his sense of humor, and how nerdy he can get when talking about the art of film.
Even though this year is coming to an end I definitely have something to look forward to, Stelarc will be attending this year’s Dallas Suspension Convention. Just one more reason Suscon should not be missed.
Suspension.org is a website for those interested in the art and technical aspects of body suspension and the responsible dissemination of information pertaining to such. It is not designed to encourage people to attempt any dangerous activities.